Patio Design: Ideas and Inspiration

Learn about the different options for patio designs.

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By: Sean McEvoy

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

White wicker outdoor furniture keeps the feel crisp and contemporary on this balcony terrace from the 2012 HGTV Urban Oasis home in Miami. Glass walls enclose the space without hindering the city and water views. The 8-foot terrace is generous enough to accommodate a small party of guests. Bali-inspired furnishings comprise a cozy seating area. The poly resin "vine"-wrapped, ebonized lounge chairs and side table were chosen for their style and durability. An oversized chaise, upholstered in all-weather fabric, provides the ideal sunbather's perch. A silkscreened pillow pays a subtle nod to sea life and serves up the needed dose of color. Live palms and greenery, planted in aluminum urns, soften the design of the seating area and provide an organic focal point.

Photo By: Eric Perry

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Photo courtesy of Westover; Photography by Rich Pomerantz

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Beautiful front porch with beige furniture, white seating, tiled patio floor, and stone step frame leading to sunroom.

Photo By: Bruce Shippee

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Photography by Rick Brazil

Prarie Style Home Patio

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Photo courtesy of Westover; Photography by Rich Pomerantz

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Photography by Scott Mayoral

Photo By: Scott Mayoral

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Photo courtesy of Landscaping Network

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Photo courtesy of Joanne Kostecky

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Photo By: ImageBrowser

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Veranda and living room with sliding glass door wall leading outside to this white furniture and table design under an awning.

Photo By: Goodshoot

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Photo By: HEAD Productions

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Photo courtesy of Marrokal Design and Remodeling

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Photo courtesy of Joanne Kostecky

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Photo courtesy of Landscaping Network

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.

Patio Videos

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