Weekend Design: 8 Patios That Come to Life With the Perfect Designs


By Annie Thornton | Houzz

It’s easy to overlook the patio. Sure, a patio is convenient when you need a place to wipe your feet or leave your shoes before heading inside from the backyard, but it’s also an opportunity to enhance your indoor and outdoor living experiences by tying them together. A well-designed patio smooths the transition from home to landscape, adding valuable living space in the process.

These eight patios from around the country reveal that while there is no one way to design a patio, resilient materials, comfortable gathering spaces and details that reflect the specific needs of the homeowner and climate will create a lasting and useful patio. Take a detail or two from some to help you create your perfect patio.

Patio on busy Los Angeles street. Photo by Kurt Krueger Architects, original photo on Houzz

1. Relaxation on a Busy Street

Location: Front yard of a home in Los Angeles
Size: 558-square-foot

As part of an overall home remodel, architect Kurt Krueger transformed a midcentury ranch house’s previously underused front yard into a private outdoor sanctuary. Retractable shade covers, Douglas fir fencing and a custom water feature enclose the exposed space, masking the sound of passing traffic and creating an intimate gathering space steps from the front door.

2. Sophisticated and Functional

Location: Backyard in Davis
Size: 180-square-foot deck and 324-square-foot patio in a 750-square-foot backyard

Designer and contractor Chris Corbett used a focused material palette and thoughtful details to create an elegant, edited patio. One-of-a-kind details elevate concrete, steel and rock in this budget-friendly and drought-tolerant California patio. Warm Up at Night With an Outdoor Fireplace.

3. Outdoor Entertaining Near the Beach

Location: Backyard of a house in San Diego
Size: 200-square-foot paved area under the pergola, plus an extended patio area

Roll-up garage doors, a kitchen pass-through and concrete flooring indoors and out make the transition from inside the pool house to the patio as smooth as the waves rolling onto the beach just down the hill from this home in San Diego’s La Jolla neighborhood. Multiple seating areas, colorful patio furniture and amenities that keep the party going from day into night make this party patio one you surely wouldn’t want to leave.

4. Color and a View Open Up a Narrow Spot

Location: Side yard of a house in San Diego
Size: 30 feet long and 11 feet wide

Eleven feet is all architect Christian Rice needed to create this new outdoor dining space off the living room of a newly remodeled home in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood. A previously unused setback next to the house received a new concrete slab, a dining room with outdoor furniture and a colorful custom mural by artist Nate Schnell, along with a new roll-up door, to extend this contemporary industrial home’s living space all the way to the property line.

5. Lush Garden Grows in Place of Cracked Concrete

Location: Urban yard in San Francisco
Size: Overall backyard is 25 by 60 feet; deck is 20 by 15 feet

A cracked concrete parking lot found new life as a lush enclosed patio and deck space in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood. Landscape designer Beth Mullins layered plenty of evergreen foliage in containers for a true garden effect and poured large concrete pavers for the family’s young daughter. A new ipe deck at the far end of the yard added height and saved some cost on the demo of the old concrete patio. Find a Deck Builder to Get Started Today.

6. Covered Dining Area Extends Outdoor Living in Seattle

Location: Connects to a Seattle home’s kitchen and great room
Size: 168-square-foot paved area under the pergola, plus an extended patio area; backyard is 100 feet long and an average of 17 feet wide

Precast concrete pavers extend the length of this house in Seattle. A modern pergola angles away from the home, complementing the materials and architecture while retaining a slick and unobtrusive appearance. The rain drain that’s integrated into the pergola and directs water away from the house and into a subdrainage system beneath the patio’s gravel base is one of the many genius details featured in this design. Built-in concrete benches frame the patio and pick up the horizontal paving pattern that also ties in with the fencing.

7. Wine Country Patio Opens Up to the View

Location: Back patio of a house in the Santa Ynez Valley, near Santa Barbara
Size: 40 feet long and 12 feet wide

This contemporary but rustic patio in one of California’s most famous wine-growing regions features materials and details that will withstand bright sun and freezing nights. A slatted pergola shades the flagstone patio and living room while opening up the view to the vineyards beyond.

8. Patio for a Shared Property in Seattle

Location: Backyard of a home in Seattle
Size: 461-square-foot patio; 297-square-foot deck and steps

A wall of glass doors from the home’s great room opens to a long deck of tight knot cedar with steps down to a bluestone patio. Architect and homeowner Rick Mohler extended dining, living and entertaining outside on this corner lot in Seattle. Foliage plants and retractable awnings shade the house and landscape in summer; the deciduous foliage drops and the awnings are pulled up to keep the garden warm in winter. See Thousands of More Patio Inspiration Here.

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