Submitted by: Edit Bazso
A patio is an outdoor area that is normally paved. A well-designed patio becomes an extra room, an additional living space. Designing a patio deserves the same care and thought we would put into designing our kitchen or living room.
There are many things that need to be considered when designing a patio, so let’s start with one of the basics: the purpose of your patio and its main users.
It is important to think about who will use the patio most of the time as it will greatly influence its main purpose. One of the most important users will be YOU of course, but you might also want share your patio on a regular basis with others like family, relatives, friends, neighbours, pets, wildlife or your favourite plants. So why not think about the needs of the primary users first? Start with yourself and once you have a clear idea ask those who are important to you and who will use your patio often. Once you get their lists of priorities you can then start to highlight the common elements and base your design around it. As for the conflicting ideas, you will have to sit down and sort them out first (hopefully there wont be too many of them) to avoid further disappointment.
And now lets have a look at some possible patio uses you or your loved ones might have in their minds when thinking of their dream patios. Here are some examples:
* Entertaining family and friends
* Sitting outside as a couple in a romantic setting
* A quiet place to drink coffee and read the paper in peace
* A safe place for kids to play
* Easy access for people who might be in wheelchair or have difficulty walking They can still enjoy the blessings of the outdoors from your well designed patio.
* A comfy spot where pets can soak up the sunshine
* A tranquil place to enjoy the view of the garden
* A place for morning exercises or just to sit and meditate
* A perfect place to grow herbs and veggies ready to pick and eat or use fresh for cooking
* A little green oasis with flowers and lovely scents
* A place to attract wildlife (e.g. birds and butterflies) to
* An outdoor kitchen to cook up a BBQ feast for family and friends
* An outdoor dining room
Of course these are just some examples of the many ways a patio can be used. So why not get out a piece of paper and write down the ways you want to use your ideal patio? If you have several ideas in your head write them all down and then order them based on how important they are to you. Start with the most important ones as these will take priority over the others if you need to make decisions further down the track. The best is of course to find a way to incorporate all your ideas into your patio design.
Once you get the main and most important purposes of your patio clear you are well on the way to design it.
About the Author: Edit Bazso is the author of the “Design A Patio Garden” Manual and Workbook. For more information please check out