An outdoor patio is an opportunity to bring an entirely new design element to your yard, setting the tone for lazy afternoons and future gatherings. Whether going for a modern or country look, creating an outdoor space involves choosing from a range of hardscaping materials, plantings, furniture, and decorative options which makes honing in on the perfect design style difficult. Landscape design experts suggest selecting a patio theme first because it provides a base on which to build your cohesive space. Let’s jump start your outdoor living spaces by having a look at 5 popular design styles for your patio.
Originating in southeastern Massachusetts’ famous cape, the Cape Cod design style is known for its simple sophistication. Utilizing neutral tones and sparse plantings, a Cape Cod patio works in harmony with its natural surroundings rather than distracting from them. Emphasize your landscape’s inherent charm with bluestone or flagstone patio flooring, which evoke a sense of classic elegance. Concrete pavers with naturalistic texturing can also work exceptionally well for this design style, with options like Unilock Beacon Hill Flagstone fitting the bill. Brick piers and seat walls beautifully frame a Cape Cod style patio, as do picket fences in muted hues of grey, cream, or white, or light yellow. Use this same color palette for architectural elements such as gates or arbors, introducing slight accents with bright container flowers or foundation plantings. Keep in mind that this design style demands an impeccable lawn, so be sure to mow regularly or hire a professional to prevent your patio from falling flat.
For more information on using natural stone in your landscape, check out this related read.
A Spanish style patio contains elements of Islamic, Moorish, and Persian garden design, and is, at its heart, a truly intimate space. For an authentic feel, choose porcelain pavers—or something like the Unilock Limestone in Renaissance Gold—for your patio’s flooring, as well as for nearly all other hardscaping and decorative elements. Weathered stone and iron pair well with dynamic plantings for characteristic Spanish contrast, while bright colored paints bring the space to life. Symmetry is fundamental, so be sure to preserve its integrity with contentiously planned archways, lanterns, urns, and mosaic accents. Water features are a must if you want this design style for your patio to be successful, especially in the form of several small fountains placed throughout the space.
A Mediterranean patio eloquently combines formal and relaxed elements for that special feel reminiscent of the coasts of Spain, Italy, and France. The warm colors of Spanish tiles, terracotta travertine pavers, and natural stone hardscaping bring home an Old World feel, while tiered fountains and herb plantings offer the sights, smells, and sounds of an iconic Mediterranean garden. Since water is scarce in the coastal climate of this design style’s namesake, choose succulents cypress trees, and ornamental grasses for a genuine experience. Take it one step further by constructing an outdoor bocce ball court adjacent to your patio for a true spectator sport experience.
Modern patio design ideas are characterized by sleek, cosmopolitan features. Strictly organized by its hardscaping and structures, a Modern style relies less on plantings and more on materials such as concrete, wood, and metal. Contrast plays a key role and is achieved by playing backdrops of rich-colored wood or grey toned hardscaping against brightly colored cushions and textured ornamental grasses. Plants are used primarily for creating texture and shape contrasts, while furniture and planters provide precise bursts of color only where necessary. Steel retaining walls, planter boxes, and privacy screens, too, contribute to the sophisticated aesthetic of a Modern design style patio. Consider the clean lines and large format of the Unilock Umbriano paver to complete the perfect modern patio hardscaping.
Dating back to the seventeenth century, a Country design style best augments rustic, ranch, and farmhouse architectural elements. Harness the traditional impressions of brick or stone paving materials, using thick plantings and flowers in irregular patterns to further bolster an informal setting. A Country style patio should feel relaxed, letting heavy foliage and colorful flowers dictate the space. Enjoy nature from the comfort of a small table and few surrounding chairs partially hidden by intricate latticework. Wooden structures painted a crisp white let dense foliage take center stage – a fundamental attribute of any Country style landscape.
Aside from picking a theme, you should also consider how you intend to use the outdoor area when planning your patio project. Will your design style support the kind of environment you hope to foster? Are the dimensions of your designated patio space best suited, for instance, to a modern or country design? Think these questions over as you narrow down design styles for your patio. Be sure to use the Unilock Design Idea catalog to draw inspiration and tips for pulling it all together.