As we finally approach the long, balmy summer months, now is the perfect time to spruce up your patio.
Make your patio garden a space you’ll love to spend time in with these gorgeous patio ideas, whether that’s lazing in a hammock or swing chair, sunbathing on a lounger, planting a vegetable patch (one of 2020’s biggest gardening trends we’ll have you know), or enjoying a glass of rose in the late afternoon sun.
Patios have the benefit of being relatively low-maintenance compared with other garden designs, meaning that it can be enjoyed year-round and not just in the summer. So why not create a patio you’ll enjoy the whole year round? Invest in a warming fire pit or heater lamp, or build a gorgeous brick fireplace or pizza oven. Aside from creating a cosy focal point and an area for enjoying cooler summer evenings, they’ll also allow you to use the patio space during cooler spring and autumn months. With the British weather being notoriously unpredictable, it’s worth creating some covered areas too, for example a traditional awning or canopy.
Read Also: Chic & Stylish Ideas For Small Gardens
For style points, layer a patio over different heights to create interest and intrigue. Built-in wall-mounted bench seating will maximise floor space. Add custom-made cushion pads in bright colours and patterns to add instant pizazz.
Tiling the floor or the walls provides another opportunity to introduce colour or funky pattern. To blur the boundaries between indoors and out, continue the same flooring you have inside out onto the patio too.
Soft weather-proof furniture will transform a patio into an outdoor living room. Add an over sized lamp like a classic Anglepoise or the Twiggy design from Christopher Wray for an eye-catching scheme.
Got a small patio? Plant up: invest in a striking living wall, or create a low-maintenance alternative by planting climbing plants or trailing plants. Fast-growing plants like bamboo and grasses in a narrow planter box against the wall can also create a wall of green without taking up too much space.
Water features are also one of 2020’s biggest garden trends, and there are plenty of affordable options out there. Aside from the soothing trickle background sound they make, they’re eye catching focal points too, and add interest to a patio garden.
Ready to get inspired? Here are 49 patio design ideas to transform your patio garden into a dreamy outdoor oasis…
In this courtyard garden, designed by Barbara Samitier, the bespoke Bauhaus-inspired tiles create a party vibe and distract the eye from the boundaries, making the space appear bigger. A chic black unit creates a practical workstation, while a bistro-style table and chairs would complete the look. They can be easily set to one side when more space is needed.
Get the look: Garden design, Barbara Samitier Landscape & Garden Design. Unit with Big Green Egg barbecue, £5,680, WWOO. Tiles, Mosaic Factory
Clad in zellige tiles, this kitchen dining area focuses on a cantilevered table that continues through the bifold window to the terrace outside.
Get the look: Similar tiles, Bert & May. Try West Elm’s Cosmo side table. Wall lights, Hicken Lighting & Interiors
This garden is cleverly arranged over two levels, with the patio area at the top, and a landscaped slope stretching down to the basement level to let in natural light. Nestled in between the step planters is a a cascading waterfall, that ends in a small rock garden at the bottom.
It may be set in a lush and lovely garden, but this inspiring outdoor living space could just as well have been created indoors. With its layers of textured tiles and fabulous finishes, it’s a great example of how to mix colours and patterns whatever their setting.
Get the look: Cedar fence designed by Kingston Lafferty Design; painted in Beaumont Blue, Cuprinol. Mirrors, Ikea; painted in Seagrass, Cuprinol. Subway tiles,
Halo Tiles. Table, Kingston Lafferty Design using Halo Tiles. Floor tiles, tiles.ie
This compact outdoor space feels calm and soothing, with clean stone flooring, bedded plants, exposed brickwork and sleek, slatted wood fencing.
Get the look: The garden was designed by Andy Stedman Landscape and Garden Design and was built by Belsize Gardens.
A patio with a turquoise wall draws the eye out to the back and making the space appear larger. A pop of vibrant colour adds interest even in the middle of winter.
Get the look: Get the look: Glass doors from SunSeeker Doors. Kitchen marble worktop and splashback from Granite & Marble UK. Kitchen cabinets from IKEA. Kitchen pendant light from Random Chandelier by Chian-Yi at mintshop.co.uk.
Similarly to the previous example, plants sit on a raised level, with a sunken level for seating. Built-in banquette seating is the piece de resistance, with chic striped upholstery.
Featuring lush evergreens, meaning that the space is green all year round, the plants have been arranged in such a way as to appear wild and spontaneous.
Get the look: Designed and created by Hay Joung Hwang
This cool fire feature is particularly dramatic, set inside a concrete column on the patio.
Tiered seating makes the most of the garden view.
The tiled outdoor terraces also features an outdoor kitchen, complete with sink, fridge, barbecue and pizza oven.
A tiled floor adds instant colour to this patio garden. Design studio Guta Louro gave the unloved patio space a simple refresh, opting for marble-top tables and bright patterned cushions that complement the tiled floor.
Get the look: Marble tables from Minas Claudio Moveis. The fabric for the cushions is waterproof and was bought at Villa Nova Tecidos.
The modernist-inspired granite and glass-tiled waterfall in this small urban garden creates a bold streamlined statement. Designer Amir Schlezinger has used spotlights to create dramatic shadows as evening falls, while a bench with a lit cavity echoes the fireplace in the adjacent living room. Raised beds double as impromptu seating
and the hardwood flooring creates a seamless flow between indoors and out.
Get the look: Garden design, bespoke bench and water feature, Amir Schlezinger
Both the wood flooring and the living wall continue from the inside out, providing a flow and a connection between the spaces. Inside, the living wall is illuminated with spotlights in the floor, while outside uplighters bring out the plants as well as the smart pond feature that's built into the patio floor.
This integrated fireplace is guaranteed to take off the evening chill, while its minimalist Corten steel surround makes a stylish focal point – day or night. Install the fireplace in a boundary wall or, in a larger garden, enclose your seating and dining area with a freestanding screen, such as this one from WWOO’s modular system. And burn only low-emission dry wood or manufactured solid fuels.
Get the look: Fireplace, from £2,000, WWOO at Garden House Design
Whether you're able to build an outdoor fireplace, a pizza over or a fire pit, an open fire creates a focal point and a cosy area for socialising on cooler evenings.
In this small, quiet garden designed by Katharine Pooley, a wall fountain makes a gorgeous feature without taking up too much space.
Cottage-style planting softens state-of-the-art technology in this garden by Hay Joung Hwang. A sunken seating area creates an enclave, transformed by lights into a starry stage set at night. Sally Storey of John Cullen says, ‘Light key features, such as trees, to show off their textures and colours, and also steps to guide you safely.’
Get the look: Garden design and furniture, Haydesigns. Lighting design, John Cullen. LG Signature W8 OLED TV, LG
This sophisticated London garden has been divided into different zones; a patio for alfresco dining, with an arch leading to a relaxed lounge area at the back.
Taking the outdoor fire idea up a notch, Wendell Burnette Architects created this striking fire feature for their Desert Courtyard House project in Arizona.
A break in the ceiling casts a spotlight over this al fresco breakfast spot, so you can enjoy the sunshine over your morning coffee and the newspaper.
Create the perfect setting on your terrace with lightweight seating that combines comfort with style, a pergola with a flexible retractable canopy and cement-effect porcelain tile flooring. Made from natural and recycled materials, these stain- and scratch-resistant tiles are now the favourites of top garden designers.
Get the look: PorcelPave Cuba tiles in Anthracite, from £39.94sq m, The London Tile Co. Roman pergola, LiveOutside
Chic and comfortable weatherproof furnishings allow you to recreate your dining room in the garden. Here, landscape architect Stefano Marinaz has enhanced the inside-out look with iroko and bronze-clad fencing panels for a textured wallpaper effect. Pendant lights create just the right night-time ambience, while matching cushions unify the design.
Get the look: Garden design, Stefano Marinaz Landscape Architecture. Giro table; Taiki lights, all Paola Lenti. Chairs, Roda
Glass panels built into the decking let in light to the basement below. A fire pit acts as the focal point in this garden, with lounge seating facing towards it. This generously planted space provides a sense of nature and privacy in a busy district. Sleek light wells built into the wooden flooring channel extra daylight into the ground floor below.
Get the look: The Ruti wooden chairs and Grinder table are from Caravane. The vegetable-dyed indigo rugs are from Madagascar.
Free-flowing plants give this sleek, minimalist patio a more relaxed, informal feel.
Get the look: The garden is by Helene De Witte. The kitchen design is by The Vawdrey House.
Asymmetrical lines create a more interesting look in this Victorian terrace garden in London. Contrasting materials – a cork wall and dog bed, a concrete patio, a gravel path, wood planter boxes and a grassy patch – all add interest and intrigue in this small urban space.
Hardscaping is becoming greener with crazy paving or spaced pavers that allow rainwater to seep into the ground rather than run off into drains. In a small urban garden, designer Stuart Craine used spaced concrete beams to create a path that allows plants, such as mind-your-own-business to creep into the crevices. This looser approach to paving softens the look of a path, creates better drainage and provides habitats for wildlife, too.
This courtyard is only a small space, but the tiled wall adds a fun atmosphere, plus the blackboard is fun for the kids and in the summer, the owners hang a hammock here.
Get the look: For a similar tiled blackboard wall, go to Freeman & Whitehouse.
A layered garden spread over different heights helps to create interest and a layered look. We particularly love the built-in banquette seating that frees up floor space and maximises the patio area.
An open fire with a traditional mantel and over-mantel mirror, plus two illuminated water features both at different heights all add interest to this tiny London patio garden.
Gloss teal tiles add shiny colour, create a clean look and bounce light around this patio space.
See more of the designer's work at kingstonlaffertydesign.com
walls are getting punchy thanks to sophisticated renders. Deep colours can bring drama to outdoor spaces like this Sao Paolo patio garden owned by set designer Michell Lott, which is featured in the book Plant Tribe (£25, Abrams). The plum wall works brilliantly with the burgundies and purples of the plants, which include Euphorbia cotinifolia, dark philodendrons, begonias and coleus.
The Dutch are known to create different 'rooms' in their gardens, and this approach works well in this English garden too. A living area further back helps to draw the eye further out, and makes better use of the space. It would have been tempting to place the outdoor furniture directly outside the back doors for ease, but the garden space would have gone to waste. Now the outdoor space becomes a separate retreat.
Get the look: The garden was designed by Barbara Samitier, with tiles by Alhambra Tiles. The outdoor sofas are by Gloster Furniture. The lamp is by Anglepoise.
This Mediterranean-inspired patio is easy to keep clean and chic all year long, with potted trees and boxus balls, but no grass or other plants to worry about.
Stone blocks create a more traditional look in this gorgeous English garden.
Modern cement furniture offers an eye-catching contrast to this patio's warm woods.
Modern, weather-proof furniture from Ligne Rosset transforms this small patio into an outdoor living room.
An oversized Anglepoise floor lamp offers a pop of colour in this London garden.
Get the look: The grass furniture is by Artificial Landscapes at Notonthehighstreet. This is the Original 1227 floor lamp by Anglepoise. The coffee tables are from La Redoute. The ornamental pig is from Wyevale Garden Centres. The floor cushion is by The Forest & Co at Notonthehighstreet.
The oversized Twiggy Floor Lamp from Christopher Wray creates instant wow-factor in this grand patio.
A minimalist bench by Feldman Architecture in California frames a modern patio, firepit and stunning views over the Sonoma wine country.
Short on floor space? Plant up. Living walls aren't going out of style any time soon. For a cheaper, low-maintenance alternative, you could add vertical greenery by using climbing plants, trailing plants or planting fast-growing plants like tall grasses and bamboo.
A modern outdoor dining set lends a fresh, inviting feel to this patio garden.
Get the look: This is the Beach Garden Ben Dining Table, £795, from Barker and Stonehouse
Lounge seating rests against tiered planters, creating comfy seating as well as plenty of greenery.
Get the look: The furniture is from Danish company Cane-line. The terrace and steps are made from York Stone and were laid by English City Stone, which also installed the railings. The steel windows are from Clement Windows.
The house has just won Wandsworth Council’s 2014 Design Awardfor ‘recognition of its outstanding contribution to design in the Borough of Wandsworth’. Ade Architecture, who worked on it, is at ade-architecture.co.uk.
Chic banquette seating fits into these built-in planter boxes, so you can sit nestled in between the flowers while also freeing up floor space.
Get the look: Tiles from Tile Giant
The same is achieved here but by using wood blocks – easy to build at home yourself without the need for an expensive landscaper or garden designer.
Get the look: Created by WoodBlocX, Prices start at £154.40, www.woodblocx.co.uk
This cosy seating nook is cleverly hidden from the main patio area, as it sits just a few steps lower. This creates a cocooned and cosy feel, a perfect garden escape.
This stunning property designed by Khosla Associates features a beautiful U-shaped wooden bench that's built into a stone wall, creating an inviting spot to socialise.
A vibrant feature wall at the Bacoc Hacienda in Mexico, designed by Reyes Ríos + Larraín Arquitectos, creates a warm contrast against the modern concrete main house.
Poured concrete patios at different levels make the most of a sloped garden. The poured concrete also creates an interesting contrast to the wood decking areas.
A brick patio creates a traditional, but clean look.
Architect Michaelis Boyd used white weather-proof furniture to match his all-white Cornish home.
Get the look: For similar weather-proof outdoor furniture, try Cane-line.