Patio ideas: 50 stylish patio schemes & design tricks for a welcoming outdoor space

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We’ve rounded up 50 striking patio ideas to get you ready for a spring refresh.

Now is the perfect time to spruce up your patio in time for the warmer months ahead. It’s one of those small garden ideas that can make a big difference to a little space. 

Patio gardens 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.

Make your patio garden a space you’ll love to spend time in, whether that means lazing in a hammock or swing chair, sunbathing on a lounger, planting a vegetable patch (one of the biggest gardening trends we’ll have you know), or enjoying a glass of rose in the late afternoon sun.

For extra 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? One of the best patio ideas for small spaces is to 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 have also surged in popularity over the past year, 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 50 stunning patio ideas to transform your patio garden into a dreamy outdoor oasis…

1. Consider a tiled patio floor

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.

patio garden with tiled floor

Get the look: Garden design, Barbara Samitier Landscape & Garden Design. Unit with Big Green Egg barbecue, £5,680, WWOO. Tiles, Mosaic Factory

(Image credit: AMMA BATCHELOR)

2. Blur the indoors and out with a continuous scheme

Clad in zellige tiles, this kitchen dining area focuses on a cantilevered table that continues through the bifold window to the terrace outside. The tiled bench also starts indoors, and continues out onto the patio garden.

patio garden blurs indoors and outdoors

Get the look: Similar tiles, Bert & May. Try West Elm’s Cosmo side table. Wall lights, Hicken Lighting & Interiors

(Image credit: Barbara Corsico)

3. Let light into the basement level with a striking sloped display

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. A thousand times more interesting than a plain light-well.

patio garden slopes down from ground floor to basement level

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

4. Tile the walls to give your garden a clean, glossy and colourful look

It may be set in a lush and lovely garden, but this inspiring outdoor living space could just as well have been created indoors. The metro tiled wall makes this a clean, glossy and colourful space, and is a modern twist on traditional brick.

With its layers of textured tiles and fabulous finishes, it’s a great example of how to mix colours and patterns whatever their setting. 

patio garden with tiled wall and bench with cushions

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

(Image credit: Barbara Corsico)

5. Mix materials for an interesting and balanced scheme

This small garden space feels calm and soothing, with clean stone flooring, bedded plants, exposed brickwork and sleek, slatted wood fencing. 

small patio garden with brick, concrete, wood and plants

Get the look: The garden was designed by Andy Stedman Landscape and Garden Design and was built by Belsize Gardens.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

6. Paint your patio walls a bright and unexpected colour

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. 

patio garden with turquoise walls

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.

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

Read Also: Balcony Ideas To Make The Most Of A Small Balcony

7. Create a designer look with built-in banquette seating

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. 

patio garden with chic built in bench

Get the look: Designed and created by Hay Joung Hwang

(Image credit: Phillip Durrant)

8. Invest in a statement outdoor fireplace

This cool fire feature is particularly dramatic, set inside a concrete column on the patio.

patio idea with chic outdoor fireplace

(Image credit: Design by The Novogratz)

9. Break up a tall wall with tiered seating

Tiered seating draws the eye up, breaks up a tall space, provides additional seating and makes the most of garden views.

patio idea with tiered seating adding height

(Image credit: Design by The Novogratz)

10. Install an outdoor kitchen for al-fresco dining and summer entertaining

The tiled outdoor terraces also features an outdoor kitchen, complete with sink, fridge, barbecue and pizza oven.

patio idea with a stylish outdoor kitchen

(Image credit: Design by The Novogratz)

11. Add character and charm with reclaimed vintage tiles

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. 

garden patio with spanish tiles

Get the look: Marble tables from Minas Claudio Moveis. The fabric for the cushions is waterproof and was bought at Villa Nova Tecidos.

(Image credit: Denilson Machado)

12. Invest in garden spotlights to illuminate and add drama

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. 

patio garden idea with uplighters and spotlights

Get the look: Garden design, bespoke bench and water feature, Amir Schlezinger

(Image credit: Future)

13. Draw the eye out with a seamless transition

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.

The only thing that could have made this even better is if the pond also started indoors and continued through the glass doors out into the patio garden.

chic patio with pond, living wall and wood flooring continued from the kitchen inside

(Image credit: Design by Nulty Lighting garden lighting)

14. Give an unused wall a built-in fireplace to create a cosy focal point

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. 

patio garden with wall mounted fireplace and cosy seating

Get the look: Fireplace, from £2,000, WWOO at Garden House Design

(Image credit: Future)

15. For larger gardens, create small and cosy nooks

This stunning coastal home features lots of separate outdoor patio spaces, each one with a different purpose or function. There’s a covered area outside the kitchen for morning coffees, a more impressive al-fresco dining set-up elsewhere, there are sun loungers in spots that catch the most sun, but our favourite? This cosy corner where a change in level creates a rounded pocket of space to retreat to for cosy evenings. 

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.

round patio garden idea with fire pit and seating

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

16. Turn your garden into a peaceful retreat with a water feature

In this small, quiet garden designed by Katharine Pooley, a wall fountain makes a gorgeous feature without taking up too much space. It means there’s always the soothing of trickling water in the background, soothing the senses and blocking out other noise.

patio idea with small wall fountain

(Image credit: Katharine Pooley Design)

17. Max out on the latest home tech – like an outdoor cinema

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.’ 

There’s even a wall-mounted flat screen TV under a nearby covered porch area, offering an outdoor cinema vibe – perfect for sporting events or movie nights.

modern patio garden with outdoor cinema, sunken seating and uplighters

Get the look: Garden design and furniture, Haydesigns. Lighting design, John Cullen. LG Signature W8 OLED TV, LG

(Image credit: GEORGINA VINEY)

18. Divide two zones with an arch

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.

patio garden with alfresco dining and arch leading through to wild garden area

(Image credit: Katherine Pooley)

19. Install striking modern sculpture for a contemporary look

Taking the outdoor fire idea up a notch, Wendell Burnette Architects created this striking fire feature for their Desert Courtyard House project in Arizona.

modern patio with angular scultpure and raised firepit

(Image credit: Bill Timmerman, Phaidon books)

20. Play with shade and sunlight

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.

a patio garden with covered roof with a skylight

(Image credit: Matthew Millman)

21. Opt for durable materials for fuss-free maintenance

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. 

patio garden with cement floor

Get the look: PorcelPave Cuba tiles in Anthracite, from £39.94sq m, The London Tile Co. Roman pergola, LiveOutside

(Image credit: Future)

22. Introduce more unexpected lighting – like outdoor pendants

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. 

patio garden with hanging pendant lights

Get the look: Garden design, Stefano Marinaz Landscape Architecture. Giro table; Taiki lights, all Paola Lenti. Chairs, Roda

(Image credit: DAN CLARKE PHOTOGRAPHY)

23. Got a basement level? Incorporate glass skylights in the flooring

Glass panels built into the garden 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. 

patio garden with decking with glass panels

Get the look: The Ruti wooden chairs and Grinder table are from Caravane. The vegetable-dyed indigo rugs are from Madagascar.

(Image credit: Frenchie Cristogatin)

24. Welcome the rewilding trend

Free-flowing plants tap into this year’s re-wilding trend, giving this sleek, minimalist patio a more relaxed, informal feel.

patio idea with wild plants

Get the look: The garden is by Helene De Witte. The kitchen design is by The Vawdrey House.

(Image credit: Chris Tubbs)

25. Introduce modern, asymmetrical lines 

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.

modern patio with asymmetrical lines and levels

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

26. Give your patio loose, spaced paving to allow nature to flourish

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.

patio ideas of a spaced paving stones and plants in between

(Image credit: Stuart Craine)

27. Max out a small space with tiles, blackboard paint, festoon lighting and a hammock

This small garden 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. 

small patio garden idea with tiles, blackboard paint and a hammock

Get the look: For a similar tiled blackboard wall, go to Freeman & Whitehouse.

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

28. Create a layered look with levels

A layered garden spread over different heights helps to create interest and a layered look that draws the eye out. We particularly love the built-in banquette seating that frees up floor space and maximises the patio area.

a patio garden spread over different heights to add interest and draw the eye out

(Image credit: James Merrell)

29. Add interest to a small patio through lighting, levels and water

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.

patio garden in the city has ponds and fountains at different heights

(Image credit: Savills)

30. Inject instant colour through glossy wall tiles

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

small urban patio garden with teal wall tiles

(Image credit: Barbara Corsico)

31. Go all-out for a colour scheme

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.

patio garden with burgundy walls and plants

(Image credit: Future)

32. Create different zones or ‘rooms’ in the garden

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. 

patio garden with seating area that leads through to wilder garden

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.

(Image credit: Future)

33. Low-maintenance can still look chic

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.

low maintenance patio ideas

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

34. Give a patio a cobbled stone floor for a traditional look

Stone blocks create a more traditional look in this gorgeous English garden.

patio garden idea with cobbled stone floor

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

35. Experiment with modern furniture

Modern outdoor furniture made from cement offers an eye-catching contrast to this patio’s warm woods.

patio garden with modern outdoor furniture

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

36. Create an outdoor living room with soft, upholstered furniture

Modern, weather-proof furniture from Ligne Rosset transforms this small patio into an outdoor living room.

patio garden idea with modern outdoor sofas

(Image credit: Ligne Rosset)

37. Add an oversized Anglepoise for a playful look

An oversized Anglepoise floor lamp offers a pop of colour in this London garden. 

patio garden idea with oversized anglepoise lamp

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.

(Image credit: James Merrell)

38. Or add modern drama with an oversized arched floor lamp

The oversized Twiggy Floor Lamp from Christopher Wray creates instant wow-factor in this grand patio.

patio garden with oversized floor lamp

(Image credit: Kasia Gatkowska Photography)

39. Contrast wild spaces with minimalist design

A minimalist bench by Feldman Architecture in California frames a modern patio, firepit and stunning views over the Sonoma wine country.

modern patio garden idea with minimalist furniture and wild views

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography, Phaidon books)

40. Add greenery to compact spaces by planting along the walls

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.

small patio garden idea with living wall

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

41. Create a permanent alfresco dining spot

A modern outdoor dining set lends a fresh, inviting feel to this patio garden. 

patio garden with alfreco dining setup

Get the look: This is the Beach Garden Ben Dining Table, £795, from Barker and Stonehouse

(Image credit: barkerandstonehouse)

42. Tiered layers offer additional seating for summer entertaining

Lounge seating rests against tiered planters, creating comfy seating as well as plenty of greenery. 

urban patio idea with tiered seating

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.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

43. Frame banquette seating with built-in planters

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. 

patio garden with bench seating and raised planters

Get the look: Tiles from Tile Giant

(Image credit: Tile Giant)

44. DIY wood block seating

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. 

patio idea DIY wood block seating

Get the look: Created by WoodBlocX, Prices start at £154.40, www.woodblocx.co.uk

(Image credit: WoodBlocX)

45. Create a recessed seating area for a cosy and cocooned space

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.

patio garden area with recessed seating

(Image credit: uniquehomestays.com)

46. Introduce a semi-circular seating area 

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.

modern patio idea with infinity pool and U-shaped hangout spot

(Image credit: Shamanth Patil J, Phaidon books)

47. Use materials to create a feature wall

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.

The warm clay works beautifully with the light – but other materials you could experiment with include moss, cement, wood cladding, or tiles to name a few.

patio garden with clay feature wall

(Image credit: Munro-Schalkwijk-Reyes-Troche, Phaidon books)

48. Use poured concrete flooring

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.

patio idea with poured concrete flooring contrasting olive groves

(Image credit: thethinkingtraveller.com)

49. Brick flooring creates a more classic backdrop

A brick patio creates a traditional, but clean look.

patio garden idea with brick floor

(Image credit: Habitat)

50. Complement a coastal setting with an all-white scheme

Architect Michaelis Boyd used white weather-proof furniture to match his all-white Cornish home. 

patio garden with white furniture

Get the look: For similar weather-proof outdoor furniture, try Cane-line.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)




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