How to get the most from your patio

A patio is generally a small area with big potential, however careful thought is required before your money is spent.

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A patio is generally a small area with big potential, however careful thought is required before your money is spent.

There are two main considerations you should take into account before creating a patio area; practicality and appearance.

Firstly, assess the location. It needs to be easily accessible and weatherproof to ensure you gain maximum benefit and useage.

To look its best, the patio should tie in with your home and blend into your garden. You can achieve this by matching your patio area with the outside of your home and continuing your indoor colour theme outside.

Top tips to make the most of your patio:


 A patio’s size and shape will depend on how you intend to use it. If you want to entertain and love a child-friendly family barbeque, then you’ll need a large flat space, and preferably a base that can be easily cleaned.

If its primary use is for relaxing, there are endless options for varying heights and base shapes which bring depth and dimension to your garden, visually enhancing the space.

Fix a budget

Careful planning is the key to success – you should fix a budget and remain within it.

Materials such as sandstone and limestone are currently cheaper than ever before, so you don’t have to spend a fortune. Other surfaces worth consideration are concrete, slate, and granite. You can keep costs down with attractive gravelled or pebbled areas in different colours.

Privacy and the law

You are more likely to enjoy your garden if you are not overlooked, so choose a private area for your patio. If your favourite spot is halfway across the lawn, look into practical gravel paths or stone walkways for easy access.

Using trellis and plants is a great way to create privacy and introduce more greenery to your garden. Another popular alternative is to intall a pergola.

When deciding, be considerate of your neighbours. Don’t block their light, and ensure your drainage is adequate, otherwise water may overspill into their garden, and you may be liable for flood damage.

Garden furniture

Garden furniture can transform your patio so take your time to find the right set for you and remember to think about storage solutions for seat cushions.

Modular furniture suits most homes as it’s generally light and easy to move around the garden. Hammocks, swing-seats, and beanbags are good options for children.

When considering material, try wicker, or rattan for comfortable stylish seating. It’s an expense compared to plastic seating, but a worthwhile investment. Cheap plastic chairs will disintegrate and fade in the winter months, and you’ll need to buy them over again.

Enhance with plants

Growing vertically saves ground space, so use trellis to grow clematis, jasmine or rambling rose. You can also grow herbs and sun-loving veggies, such as tomatoes, chilli peppers, basil and strawberries in tall multi-pocketed containers.

If you have space, then a well-watered container garden with fresh carrots and runner beans is a cook’s dream. Bush roses, fuchsias and camellias are beautiful, sweet-smelling flowers that thrive on a patio if vegetables aren’t your thing.

Atmospheric lighting

Create the perfect atmosphere by investing in some soft lighting. Solar-powered is an ideal option, particularly to avoid dangerous trailing wires. Solar lights come in many different varieties to hang in branches, trellis, or around a table top. Richly coloured Moroccan lanterns are soothing on a summer’s evening, especially if you use insect-repelling citrus candles.

For brighter options, a qualified electrician can install power and down-lighters.

The finishing touches

Complete your seating area with an awning to protect against the rain, or a patio heater for warmth in unstable weather. Alternatively add a chiminea or fire pit for a stylish focal point.

To encourage wildlife into your garden, accessorise with a bird feeder or a bird-box. A container of wild meadow flowers to attract beautiful butterflies, and a tinkling, relaxing water feature will add atmosphere.

If there is space, consider a barbeque or an outdoor kitchen with storage, ideal for feeding the family and entertaining friends.  

Planning your patio to an easy to use and attractive space is worth the time and money invested.

A useable patio creates an extra room in your home, which is a great selling point should the time come, when you want to sell your property.