Wowing Visitors with Your Outdoor Patio Designs

Written by Andrea Davis, HomeAdvisor Posted On Monday, 12 May 2014 10:38

It's spring! Color is coming back to your lawn, and the sun is shining again as temperatures continue to rise. With all of these warm days ahead, it might be time to invite friends and family over for barbecues, pool parties or quiet dinners out in the backyard. So why not do some work and redesign the backyard for such occasions?

If you want to grab everyone's attention from the moment they step through the back door but don't know where to start, here are some ideas on creating breathtaking outdoor patios:

Luscious landscaping

With spring comes an opportunity for new growth, which means you should consider adding onto or remodeling your landscaping to complement your patio.

The possibilities are endless in terms of what you could add: trees, shrubs and flowers of any variety. Where you live will limit some of your options, but you should always consider long-lasting trees with thick trunks and perennial flowers rather than annuals.

If you're uncertain about where to begin, why not get inspired by looking at other landscape designs first? Other homeowners have created a wide variety of outdoor patios to inspire and entertain, and you could mix and match their ideas to create your own.

Then a landscape contractor with knowledge of your city's climate can help determine the plants and accessories needed to make that design a reality. By the end you will have a lush, beautiful landscape that will take visitors' breaths away.

Photo courtesy of Monarch Nurseries, Inc.

Cozy seating & dining area

Patios are traditionally installed as an extra space on the end of a home, additional area part of the home exterior. However, that doesn't mean it has to consist solely of brick or concrete flooring and landscaping.

Often with a roof overhead, homeowners can transform a patio into a seating or dining area for parties and socializing. Purchase comfortable chairs and situate them around a dining table or coffee table on the patio. There can also be a grill or complete kitchen to create an outdoor dining area. Everyone will then be able enjoy the natural surroundings up close rather than behind windows. It's comfortable, intimate and makes use of the patio as more than just an exterior addition.

Warming up the patio

For those particularly cold nights, why not have a fireplace or fire pit to keep everyone warm? Even though fireplaces have been traditionally installed in living rooms, it's also easy to install them outside and then huddle up chairs nearby. Just as easily and reminiscent of camping, homeowners can build fire pits in their backyard and keep their lawn green and safe from any fire hazards. Both of these structures are traditionally constructed from stone, but there are other materials and styles to choose from if others fit better with the design of the backyard and patio. Outdoor fireplace construction costs will vary depending on factors like materials, leveling the ground and piping if it's going to be a gas fireplace.

Photo courtesy of Arocon Roofing and Construction, LLC

Entertaining accessories

Depending on friends and family or personal preferences, there's no shortage of accessories to add on to the porch. For example, for friends who are into football and keeping up with the games, install a flat screen TV so everyone can sit outside and watch the game while the grill's on. For playing games, it's easy for professionals to build games like shuffleboard, large scrabble boards, bowling lanes and more. If the patio is going to be all about relaxing, additional seating like hammocks, swings and even a foldout futon could be options to consider.

Photos courtesy of DesignMine
Andrea Davis is the editor for HomeAdvisor, which helps homeowners find home improvement professionals in their area at no charge to ensure the best service in the shortest amount of time.
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