Patio vs alfresco: A patio is often confused for other similar home extensions like a deck, alfresco or a veranda. What makes a patio unique is its simplicity.

A patio is essentially a courtyard attached to your building. Patios are installed over the ground and unlike verandas or an alfresco, they are uncovered. Patios are distinguished from decks because they are generally not raised from the ground.

2-patio.jpg

Patios are typically found in backyards, though you could have one installed at the front of your house if desired. They can be made with a variety of materials, though there is usually a focus on durability as a patio will experinece a lot of foot traffic. Tough substances like concrete, granite, gravel, slate or limestone are popular choices for patio flooring. Patios can also be made from porcelainand sandstone. They are rarely constructed from wood, another quality which sets them apart from decks.

Patios provide an outdoor space for socializing and relaxing. They are particularly good for entertaining guests and parties as they essentially increase the floor space of your home. Guests can socialise and enjoy the view of your garden without having to stand on the grass.

3-patio.jpg

While this may seem like a menial benefit, it is actaully the conceptual change from grass backyard to patio that makes the most difference. A patio feels like just another room in the house, except with a connection to nature and the outdoors (thanks to the lack of walls and overhead cover).

By contrast, a grass yard with no underfoot support feels unrefined and makes the house seem more cramped. This is particuarly evident whilst entertaining – there is a suprisingly different atmosphere when lounging around with afternoon drinks on a patio compared to standing on the dirt and grass (particularly in heels!).

4-patio.jpg

Of course, the purpose of your patio will depend on your personal needs and the way that you like to spend your time. For the socialite, a large patio with lots of furniture for guests is the most likley design to suit your household.

For those who enjoy quiet time and relaxation more, perhaps a small enclosed patio with a reading nook is the way to go. If you lead a particularly active life, you may want to consider a poolside patio. Determining the purpose of your patio is the first step towards your renovation. Once you have an idea about how you intend to use the patio, other considerations like style and design will follow naturally.

Something else to keep in mind when considering installing a patio is your budget. This will influence the type, size and materials you will be able to access for your patio. As such, you should establish a rough budget early and refer back to it as you make the more important decisions for your patio. Modern patio trends include outdoor lighting and multipurpose furniture; if this is something you are interested in and can budget for, it is a great way to give your patio a kick of intrigue. For some designer patio ideas, see the list and images of patio designs below to help inspire your future remodel.

Designer Patio D├ęcor Ideas for Backyards: 4 Incredible Styling Ideas for Your Outdoor Patio Setting

4. Small Patio

5-patio1.jpg

A small patio is a great idea for those on a budget. Small patios come in many different shapes and sizes, but popular trends are partial patios with space inbetween the paver groupd for grass to grow. This helps to connect the patio with nature and lean into the outdoor setting.

5-patio2.jpg

Small patios are perfect for reading nooks and gatherings of close friends. A cozy chair or two is perfect to transform this space into one of the most comfortable spaces in your home.

5-patio3.jpg

Another popular idea with small patios is installing a fireplace, perfect for nighttime gatherings and storytelling around the fire or watching the stars together. Patios in small backyards are romantic and understated, and because there is less material needed you also have the option of choosing a higher quality material without breaking the bank.

3. Enclosed Patio

6-patio1.jpg

An enclosed patio is a great way to ensure that you still get to use your patio when the weather isn’t perfect. It also provides shade from the sun, so regardless of the heat you will still be able to enjoy your outdoor space in a safe and healthy way.

6-patio2.jpg

An enclosed patio is very similar to a veranda but an enclosed patio usually only extends from one area of the house while a veranda usually wraps around.

6-patio3.jpg

Enclosed patios are generally the most expensive style of patio because there is so much more material and planning needed. However, you can minimize costs in your choice of cover – some patios will have walls and ceilings while others may opt only for one or the other.

2. Poolside Patio

7-patio1.jpg

One of the most common places to find a patio is next to a pool.

7-patio2.jpg

They provide an area for lounge chairs and outdoor furniture as well as often storage cabinets for towels etc.

7-patio3.jpg

A poolside patio is a great spot to lounge and have a break in between swims, or to keep snacks during an afternoon party.

1. Designer patio furniture

8-patio1a.jpg

If you already have a patio at home, a great way to restyle without having to renovate or make structural changes is to invest in some designer patio furniture. There is a huge range of furniture designed specifically for patios that is robust, durable and incredibly comfortable. Designer patio heaters are a popular feature of outdoor patios at the moment as they allow you to make full use of your space even during the coulder months.

8-patio1.jpg

Something like this 5 piece outdoor lounge set, available here for just $545, is perfect for a social household.

8-patio2.jpg

For a romantic rustic look, this gorgeous rattan sunbed is available here for $1,550 and would be perfect for a sun-drenched afternoon reading spot.

8-patio3.jpg

Designer patio doors are also seeing a popularity boom and would make a beautiful addition to your patio.

8-patio4.jpg

Glass doors like the ones above are particularly well suited to patios as they will allow you to enjoy the view from indoors and keep you feeling connected to the interior of the house while relaxing outside. They are a fairly affordable option, though if you opt for more complicated styles like french doors this will make the price climb.