10 Ideas to Steal from Picture-Perfect Patios

The patio, from the Spanish for "courtyard," is an open-air living space that creates a transition between your home and the great outdoors. Patios are wonderful places to relax, to gather, to socialize, to eat, to drink, to play... or perhaps do all of the above. In other words, your patio is what you choose to make of it, a canvas on which to paint your personal style and preferences. You can go for a bold, colorful statement or let nature take center stage—the choice is yours.
To help you narrow down your options, here are 10 alluring patios, from retro to rustic to refined.

  1. Fire It Up

    Backyard Fire Pit

    An outdoor fire is the perfect centerpiece to spark conversation. Whether you choose a ready-made portable fire pit or a custom built-in, your outdoor space is sure to enjoy a warm ambience.

    Related: How To Build a Basic Backyard Fire Pit


  2. Theater with a View

    Backyard Theater

    There's nothing quite like watching a movie under the stars, and if the action's happening on a high-def screen—well, all the better. The only thing missing from this patio is the popcorn.


  3. Dining Alfresco

    Dining Alfresco

    Here, it's all about the dining area. With such a welcoming environment expressly for your table and chairs, you'll be tempted to savor all your meals alfresco. Make the space more formal by anchoring it with a graphic outdoor rug.


  4. Perfect Pergola

    Backyard Pergola

    If your patio seems flat and without character, consider a freestanding pergola or gazebo to add interest. Garden structures like these come with a bonus: privacy and shade for family meals.

    Related: Pergolas – What’s Old Is New Again


  5. Living in Style

    Outdoor Room

    Re-creating your living room outside is a sure way to make you feel right at home on your patio. There's no reason an outdoor space can't have all the comforts of the indoors, such as coffee tables and end tables. 

    Related: 12 Outdoor Rugs to Fit Every Budget and Style


  6. Let the Games Begin

    Outdoor Chess Board

    Patio tiles turned game board just beg you to let the good times roll. Whether the attraction is a simple game of chalk-drawn hopscotch or a chess match played with life-size pawns, you'll always be able to say "game on" at your place.

    Related: 10 DIY Lawn Games to Bring the Amusement Park Home

    houzz.com via teretrout

  7. Garden Nook

    Outdoor Nook

    Pull up a comfortably rustic chair and surround yourself with some potted greenery—you'll be inspired to grab a great read and unplug.

    Related: 10 "Best in Class" Patio Pavers


  8. Outdoor Kitchen

    Outdoor Kitchen

    This stunning patio, which incorporates an outdoor kitchen, literally opens up the house and welcomes you in. The plumbing and electrical needs are easier to meet if you arrange the appliances against the home's exterior wall.

    Related: Planning Guide—Outdoor Kitchens


  9. Terraced Poolside

    Terraced Poolside

    This swimming pool takes full advantage of the sloped yard, offering up expansive stone patios on several levels.  The result is a seamless transition between land and water. 

    Related: 10 "Dream Worthy" Swimming Pools


  10. Salvaged Surface

    Salvaged Surface

    Aluminum letters artfully scattered among salvaged pieces of slate add to the relaxed, modern style of this circular patio.

    Related: Planning Guide—Patios


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