Patio Design: Ideas and Inspiration

Learn about the different options for patio designs.

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Your backyard or outdoor living space can be made much more welcoming—and your whole home can become more valuable—with the addition of a patio. These days, patio designs are limited only by the extent of your imagination, and expert advice can help spark your creativity as you begin the planning stages for your new outdoor space.

Patio Design Ideas

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HGTV Urban Oasis 2012: Bali-Inspired Terrace

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Prarie Style Home Patio

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Tree Centered Courtyard

Your first patio design decision is whether to bring the inside outdoors. In other words, do you want your patio to reflect the interior design of your home? If your living room is decked out in mid-century modern angles, you can certainly reflect that on your patio with outdoor furniture in the same style, but you'll need to use furniture that's waterproof and resistant to fading from sunlight. That said, even weather-resistant furniture will need to be brought indoors during extreme winter weather. Even the hardiest patio furniture won't stand up to a full winter of freezing temperatures.

If you want to make the outside its own unique space, that's of course an option as well. You can create a beach-themed resort or a rustic sitting area on your patio, regardless of your interior design aesthetic.

Another important consideration for patio design is lighting. You may want to consider portable lamps or strings of lights to provide ambience and illumination for parties or barbecues held outside after sunset.

Lastly, make a cozy space with rugs, pillows and cushions. These elements, commonly found indoors, can brighten and add comfort to any outdoor patio design.

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