6 Patio Design Tips That Will Make Your Backyard Shine


Want to take your backyard to the next level? Perhaps you should consider a brand new patio. But before getting started, you’ll benefit from taking a few moments to explore different design options.

6 Patio Design Tips for Homeowners

A patio addition can make a big difference in the look and functionality of your home. While every project and market is different, you can generally expect a pretty healthy return on an average patio addition. But it all depends on how you approach the project. Quality is paramount. 

“If the project looks like you skimped on quality to get it done, you’ll lose big time,” home construction expert Brian C. McHugh explains. “But if you spend the time and money to make it a feature of the home, you could potentially add 8% to 12% of value to the home, and an ROI of over 80% or more for you. Covered outdoor spaces are especially high on most buyers wish lists and will maximize your return.”

In light of this, here are a few helpful tips to make sure you end up with a high returning patio investment that maximizes both your enjoyment and ROI.

  1. Think in Zones

Whether you’re designing a small patio under a roof overhang or a large patio that runs the entire length of your backyard, it’s helpful to think about the addition in terms of zones. In other words, one area might be reserved for sitting, another for a grilling station, and another for a dartboard. By establishing some clear delineation, you can make the patio feel more functional. 

  1. Choose the Right Materials

The last thing you want to do is pour a massive slab of concrete and call it a day. Too much of one material – particularly concrete – will leave you with a boring and generic look. Instead, switch things up with a variety of materials.

Some of the best patio designs are the ones that use creative combinations of stone, landscaping, wood, custom trim work, etc. This sort of diversity creates visual interest and adds a sense of uniqueness to your home’s design.

  1. Get Creative With Patterns

When you bring multiple materials into play, you have the freedom to get creative with patterns and layouts.

“If you are thinking of tiling your patio, why not leave some grass between each tile to create a contrasting grid,” ABL TILE suggests. “Think grey tiles on green grass, with luscious leaves springing out wildly between each tile. It creates a fantastic contrast and brings a bit of colour to an otherwise monochromatic outdoor area.”

You want your patio to be a natural extension of the home, so you should probably consult with a home design expert or architect to ensure you’re designing a cohesive look that will add value to the home. However, don’t be afraid to put your own unique stamp on things!

  1. Choose Durable Furniture

There are plenty of good patio furniture options available, but make sure you’re selecting a smart choice for your setting. Just because something is described as “outdoor” seating, doesn’t mean it’s going to hold up. Many outdoor cushions act as sponges and soak up rainwater. So if your furniture will be directly exposed to the elements, it might be better to go with a wood or wicker option.

  1. Be Intentional With Lighting

Lighting can really make or break a patio space. By designing with smart lighting choices in mind, you can develop a functional space that’s safe and easy on the eyes. Be sure to account for multiple layers of lighting, including task lighting, accent lighting, and ambient lighting.

  1. Account for Landscaping

Landscaping should be a priority, not an afterthought. And while a thick carpet of grass is the go-to choice for most backyards, it’s wise to think about alternatives around your patio.

“Environmentally, [grass] is not a wise choice,” landscape architect Erika Floysvik writes.
“Replacing the lawn with low-maintenance plants that enhance the home plus give interest all year round is becoming more popular. And consider winter interest. Winter is long and the leaves are gone for many months, so a design should incorporate winter interest first.”

Give Your Home Some TLC

A patio addition can take your home to the next level by making it even more functional and enjoyable on a year-round basis. But before diving in headfirst, make sure you have a game plan. From materials and patterns to furniture, lighting, and more, every detail can have a significant impact on the finished product. Take your time and be thoughtful in your approach!