Renovating and updating your patio can have a huge impact on your outdoor space, lifting a tired garden and breathing new life into how you enjoy alfresco living.
However, different households have varying ideas on what the perfect patio is. For those with young children, it could be a play area or somewhere to do messy crafts, for keen socialisers it’s a space for entertaining, and for some people a pristine patio presents the ideal space for relaxing with a good book, a cup of coffee or a well-earned glass of wine. That’s why it’s important to create exactly the type of patio to suit your individual practical preferences and personal tastes. Before you set out to design your patio, take a look at our advice below.
Material matters 
Natural stone is the classic choice for a patio that’s warmly welcoming, but even here there are options with sandstone paving, slate paving, Lazaro marble and limestone paving all vying for your attention. For affordability, a concrete-based tile that has been imprinted with an attractive pattern and dyed an appealing colour can be an excellent choice, although those who live in very frosty areas may be wise to avoid it. If you live in an area that’s particularly prone to flooding,
vitrified paving is an excellent idea as it allows water to drain away with ease.
Colour me beautiful
Almost all quality paving products on the market today come in a range of sumptuous colours that you can use to echo and complement the tones of your garden. As you decide which will work best for your new patio, think about the end result you’re hoping to achieve. Do you want a russet for depth, a cool grey for elegance, or a sandy hue for warmth? Consider how the colour will look after a downpour, whether bright sun will age it attractively and which of your favourite plants will sit nicely by it.
When deciding on the shape of your patio, consider how it will eventually be used, as well as the space that you’re starting out with. For example, if it’s going to be a family area and you’ve plenty of space, how about sectioning it off into stepped areas for dining, playing and sunbathing? Also give careful thought to how the patio will flow into the rest of your garden. Will it blend gradually with the paving reaching out to greet the lawn and beds, or will it be a strictly separate haven? Using patterns like concentric circles or geometric lines can help to make spaces feel larger or more intimate, and can encourage people to use the patio in different ways.
A well-designed patio is a fabulous starting point from which to upgrade your garden as a whole. As your planting changes and accessories are added to and taken from the garden, a good quality, carefully considered patio will act as an anchor for your outdoor creativity and gardening flair.