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Inspirational Ideas

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Original Designs

Inspirational Ideas

Creative Transformations

Original Designs

Inspirational Ideas

Creative Transformations

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June, 2020

Patios for outdoor living

In preparing to write this blog, I decided to look up the meaning of the word patio. The word has its origins in early 19th century Spanish and is used to denote an inner courtyard. These days, the word patio mostly refers to the paved area adjoining a house. I've yet to design a garden that doesn't include a patio though not all patios have to be paved and some may be built using timber or composite decking. Either way, it's the patio that is arguably the single most important element in any new garden, not least because of its proximity to the house but also because it's likely to be the most frequently used area in the garden.


Being adjacent to the house makes it imperative to get the style of it just right. This is particularly key when seeking to create that inside-outside look using materials that are either identical or complementary in style. Whatever your design objective, it's definitely worth considering a few key questions. How big should it be: too large and it could ends up looking like a garage forecourt; too small and it becomes impractical for the use to which it was intended? After size, consider the choice materials that could be used to build it. If paving slabs, what size of slab? What laying pattern should you adopt: stretcher bond? grid pattern? random pattern of mixed sizes? Should you include a decorative course of bricks, clay pavers or setts? All are design decisions that will set the tone and style of your patio, and the rest of the garden.


The design process allows the exploration of the design choices outlined above to determine the optimal size, shape, style, layout and choice of hard landscaping materials. Unfortunately, too often we are approached after a patio has already been installed which can mean the opportunity to get the patio 'just right' has been lost. So, if you are about to embark on, or have already started, a home or garden renovation project, call in a designer at the earliest opportunity and get professional creative input to this most valuable garden element.