The quintessential patio is the perfect place for a gathering or family meal on a warm summer's day. Complete with a few comfortable chairs, an intimate dining table, and perhaps a few potted plants dotted around, the traditional patio is truly the place to relax in the sun.
Patios are classically built at the back of the house, often accessible through a set of French double doors. The patio is the paved space where chairs can be placed and a dining table set to perfection, overlooking the rest of your garden. Design your garden around you patio; make sure your most beautiful flowers and best flower beds are well within sight from the patio, as you want to show them off from the best vantage point.
There are a few steps to think of before building your patio, some of which we'll be looking through here: from paving material to dining tables, accessories to lighting.
There are many different types of material on the market to pave you patio with. The effect of your patio could depend on what textures or tones you want from your material or indeed these factors could influence the general atmosphere of your patio.
Materials range from classic stone slab to limestone, sandstone to slate. Remember to think about how durable your material is too. For example, limestone tends to wear down over a long period of time, so if you desire permanent durability for your patio perhaps opt for classic stone slabs instead. All these factors—durability, colour, texture, cost—factor highly in how you make your choice of material. Look through all the options before coming to a decision, as if you make a mistake after laying the slabs it's very difficult to resolve.
The perfect dining area is essential when developing your patio space. There's nothing finer in life than al fresco dining on a sunny day; letting a cool breeze ruffle your hair as you tuck into a succulent salad. Here we see a simply gorgeous example of patio dining, complete with a lovely dining table and matching six piece set of chairs. Each chair is cushioned accordingly for comfortable seating, with the neutral beige working in harmony with the sandstone brick ground.
A wonderful addition to this dining space are the surrounding curved oak benches, supported by russet bricks on either side. These are protecting fire wood logs beneath the seat; creating a truly traditional feel to the patio. This space is really the heart of the garden, where you can sit back, relax, and admire your stunning, classic country garden.
What's the purpose in a patio if there's no comfortable place to sit quietly and admire your hard work? Comfortable seating is the ideal furniture addition to complete your perfect patio. These laid back chairs are a wonderful example of the best furniture to give you the height of comfort, with their deep cushioned seats, arm rests and slight recline. They allow you to sink down into the depths of comfort.
A great idea that's also shown here is the surrounding wind protection, taking the form of an elegant, sweeping wall of brown wicker. It encloses the chairs and matching coffee table into a cosy nest, making it the perfect place for a warming cup of coffee or chilled glass of wine. Many garden seating sets come with more chairs, so if you're often in the mood for entertaining make sure your set comes with plenty chairs for your guests.
Lighting is a huge part of designing your perfect patio, particularly now as the nights are drawing in and the sun is setting sooner. Lighting your patio with elegance and enough light to see the face's of your guests is hugely important; no one wants to be chatting to a dark space!
Here we see a lovely example of some well though out patio lighting, complete with many separate sources of light. In the timber cube you see in the middle there are a number of low-light downlighters, just shedding enough light on the timber to make it gleam. Aside from these, there are stainless steel spotlights at each corner of the cube, shedding enough light across the patio so those dining there can see around them clearly. In-ground uplighters have also been installed to light this patio, placed in particular places to highlight the planters.
Good coverage can be a really lovely addition to your patio. It's both practical and aesthetically interesting; exactly what you want when it comes to designing your garden. A decent patio cover can shield you from a light sprinkle of rain, as is most likely here in sunny Britain, or give you that small patch of shade you need in those sunnier places.
In the above example, we see a more eclectic and original source of patio coverage. This huge umbrella-like structure rises from the ground on a metal pole, and fans out its material in a Mediterranean style, circular shape. This is an inspired and elegant choice of patio coverage, shielding two contemporary style chairs beneath its shade. There are many more options to look through, though. In particular perhaps take a look at more traditional, English country covers.
Don't leave your patio to be filled with just furniture. Of course a dining table and chair set is important, as is the comfortable, cushioned seating. But remember to add the final touches to your patio, really stamp it with your personality, and accessorise the space. This can involve anything from a few potted plants, of various shapes, sizes and colours, holding whatever potted plant you think fits your garden for the season.
Here we see a few unusual accessories, for example the small pool of water which you can sit by and cool your feet in. In addition, this patio includes two wonderful looking cushion beds, looking rather inviting with their soft surfaces. A matching bean bag is also included, which really gives this patio a spa like, zen vibe; exactly where you want to relax on any day of the week.