Outdoor Patio Ideas for Great Backyard Living

When trying to find patio ideas for the home, deciding upon the style that you want the patio to have is the first and most important step. Once you have a style in mind, everything else falls into place easily. However, there are many styles to choose from when looking for outdoor patio ideas.  You’ll find some ideas include patio covers while others are meant to be more open aired.  The types mentioned below encompass a variety of ideas to consider.

Antique Style

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Here are some older patio furniture items that make for a great antique element to your patio space.

Perhaps more of a theme than a formal style of design, this antique patio design would include items that carry some historical presence or look about them.  The antique style of design usually favors weathered-looking furniture, tumbled pavers and concrete layouts.

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The pavers and planters are usually stained or tumbled, with brick commonly used for the various paving designs. This gives the patio a cobblestone look, with the bricks laid out in seemingly random patterns.

Southwest Style

The Southwest style is a great patio design idea that tends to be open aired, and reminiscent of the Mexican, or adobe, style home. What usually makes the Southwest style different from Mexican style is the color palette that is used. Many Mexican themes use bright colors and traditional figures.

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This pergola and outdoor fireplace mark two of the very common features of a southwestern style patio.

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Southwest styles may incorporate the use of native wood species or rely on muted tones of stucco or Adobe walls and ceiling areas. Because the intense sun is such a concern, patio designs that incorporate shading structures are a necessary part of the overall design.  These may be pergola designs that provide both shade and an elegant way to create an outdoor living space or something more like a Ranch-style covered patio.

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This is a beautiful example of a design that is likely to be found in southern California.

The floors normally consist of large sized pavers, etched with designs reminiscent of the Southwest. The pavers, themselves, are usually made of concrete or clay in a more traditional style.  It is also very common to find a chiminea that can be used as an accent piece or as a functional way of adding some heat to a patio on a cooler desert evening.

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Landscaping features used in this particular style are more drought-resistant plant species.  Some take this to mean that these can only be cacti or other desert looking plants.  Many people are excited to learn about the variety of vibrant colors, shapes and sizes of plants that can be used in xeriscaped landscape designs.

Asian Style

The Asian style of patio design features a mix of a few bold colors, with simple furniture pieces that are often found set low to the floor.  Think minimalist.  Some of the landscape elements, in terms of spacing and size, can be similar to those found in the southwestern style patio.  However, there are also designs that incorporate many plants and elegant flowers that require a fair amount of water and tending.  The Japanese garden and similar outdoor spaces are characterized by these simple elements.

The lighting of this area should be consistent with this serene space.  Low lighting levels, overall, with a few select highlighted plants is enough to give this garden or patio space a depth at night.  Within the Asian culture, too much light is considered to be intrusive.  The flooring can be either wood or stone, gravel or other natural material.

Here are some traditional Japanese garden elements.

While many styles of patio benefit from the addition of water fountains or streambeds, an Asian style patio is a perfect match for these.  The principle of Feng Shui, an ancient design philosophy that emphasizes the flow of energy in a space.  Water carries a very symbolic meaning in this design.

Smaller fountains found in a garden area or a koi pond are very typical of these types of backyard spaces.  You can still utilize an Asian style with some of the modern conveniences like a solar fountain to provide for the water feature.

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While not necessarily limited to an Asian-themed patio, you can also utilize Japanese rain chains as a great way to divert water away from the roof of your home or patio to the landscaping surrounding your space.

Victorian Style

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This idea with the figurine atop the fountain and flower selection is a great example of a simple Victorian garden space.

In the Victorian style of design, wrought iron is frequently used in the furniture and in the accents. It is also common to have the space feel inviting, flowery and sometimes whimsical.  This playfulness can come in the form of various figurines or the designs of arches and other structural elements.

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Place planters along the paths through the area, to give it more of a garden look.  In many ways, this style is similar to the country garden style discussed in our backyard landscaping ideas story.

The paths, themselves, can be made of granite cobblestones, or flagstones. Even marble would be considered a good fit for the the Victorian style.

Another good addition to a Victorian patio is an antique porch swing or rocking chair.  A nice outdoor glider could be the modern equivalent of this.  The lighting around the seating areas should not be very bright.

When considering these outdoor patio ideas, the age of the home, as well as the decorative style that is already existing, will be an influence on the end result. However, with the right choices, a beautifully decorated patio will make a great place to relax and unwind.

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