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Outdoor Living - Patios and Decks

Updated on May 12, 2017
Outdoor Leisure Patios
Outdoor Leisure Patios

Traditionally, patios were better known as verandas or front porches, and they generally served as vantage viewing points for the home occupants to look at the beautiful garden scenery that was designed to be admired, rather than lived in.

They were mostly limited to the front yards where everyone, including passers-by, could view them, and they served distinctly different purposes from the backyards that were either oversized play areas or yards strewn with garbage bins, cans, clothes lines, and during the 2nd World War, served as victory gardens.

Today's patio design ideas are centred around the needs and requirements of the household. They must be beautiful and inviting and they must be relaxing and comfortable, and they must be usable and functional outdoor rooms that open up and flows into attractive and enthralling gardens, whether large or small.

A bright imagination, coupled with careful planning, will transform even a tiny boring outdoor space into a distinctly personal and inviting outdoor room. And determining the perfect patio spot within an open landscape can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, especially where rising values of properties have gradually limited residential plot sizes over time.

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A Simple Patio Design
A Simple Patio Design

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  • If your plot is small, there is likely to be room for only one patio, and this will be positioned most likely, off the kitchen, dining or living rooms. If the house is small but is a U or L shape, a single patio can link and visually expand two or three indoor spaces without taking up additional outdoor space.
  • If most of the outdoor space falls within the front portion of the house, perhaps the patio belongs there, it can be well protected from the street by a vertical screen made up of potted flowering shrubs or beautiful trellis panels set in wooden frames, with creeping vines such as jasmine or bougainvillea.
  • If the lot is steep and there is no ground space for a patio, a wood deck constructed above ground will look great. It can wrap around the house to give an open feel to the whole interior, or it can relieve 'horizontal claustrophobia' by the extension of one or two rooms.
  • Homeowners with generous plot sizes will find that a number of beautiful interrelated and linked patios will work better than a large oversized one. One may be built close to the house while the other patio is constructed at the far end of the garden. And with patios placed at different positions outside, users can take advantage of their different positions and exposure to sunlight and shade, and the different patios may serve different purposes.

Giving an Old Patio Design a Makeover

If you have a patio that is wrongly positioned or one inherited from a past occupant, it can be remodeled and made into a more functional and aesthetically pleasing patio design theme.

There are numerous ways to give existing outdoor patios a new look. They can be simply repaved or resurfaced, distinctly enlarged, or they can be connected to brand new patios with beautifully lit paved garden paths.

And if you wish to change patio designs completely, it is wise to remove (or demolish) the old patios and begin with a totally new outdoor leisure room design concept.


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