Looking for patio ideas? We’re truly in the swing of summer and with more of us spending more time outdoors (that’s what months of lockdown will do to you), it’s time to give your patio a freshen up. With the rise of outdoor cooking and hosting garden parties, there’s never been a better time to transform an unloved garden into your dream space.
Whether you have an extensive sweep of paving or a small balcony, you’re bound to find an idea you love below. From beach vibes to outdoor dining, we’ve got the inspiration covered – all that’s left for you to do is to check out our buying guides for the best dining furniture and accessories to fill your new space.
1. Create an indoor outdoor link
If you’re undertaking a full-blown patio makeover, consider matching the floor tiles with those in your house for an indoor-outdoor link. This is especially key if you’ve finished a kitchen extension or renovation project that’s involved opening the house up to the garden: matching flooring either side of the glazing extends your space further and enhances the flow between outside and in. These tiles from Tile Giant are perfect for creating a seamless link.
2. Embrace summer living with on-trend accessories
Outdoor rooms are big news right now, and we love this patio living area idea from The Rug Seller. Invest in a comfortable outdoor sofa and a padded chair or two, add a coffee table (where else are you going to put those cocktails?) and decorate the space with all the usual accessories you’d find in an indoor living room, including cushions, rugs and throws. Just make sure they’re outdoor-friendly – or be prepared to bring them indoors every evening…
3. Throw some shade with a parasol
As much as we love the sun, spending all day basking in its rays can be harmful, so build in some protection in the form of a shade sail, canopy or parasol. As well as providing a cool corner in the summer heat, it’s also perfect for those days where you want to work on your laptop outside without having to squint at the screen. At £55, this standalone parasol from Ikea is a steal – and it will help you keep your cool all summer long.
4. Get creative with tiles
We’ve fallen completely in love with this raised patio area from Walls & Floors, which uses tiles to add pattern and highlight the different levels of the garden. Patterned floor tiles, usually the reserve of a kitchen or bathroom, help make this space feel like a room of its own and give it a slightly European vibe, too. A monochrome theme, set off by lush green foliage, completes the sophisticated scheme.
5. Embrace cosy corners with garden lighting and comfy cushions
To make the most of your patio, set it up for the evening as well as the day. Invest in some comfortable corner seating that doubles up as a great place to nap, string up some fairy or festoon lights, and add candles and lanterns – real or LED – for cosy mood lighting, like this design from Lights 4 Fun. As it gets cooler, have plenty of cushions and throws to hand to snuggle up into as the nights draw out.
6. Eat in style with an outdoor dining area
Outdoor dining is a trend that’s only going to get bigger, so transform your patio into a place fit for a feast with a new table and chairs set-up. A combination of chairs and a bench like this set from Habitat is multifunctional, too – the bench doubles up as extra casual seating elsewhere in the garden. Patio furniture is also a great way to add a splash of colour to a space, but if you’re feeling a little less brave, channel your inner maximalist through bold patterned dinnerware instead.
7. Stage a stylish set-up on a raised patio
If you’re undertaking a landscaping project as part of your patio redesign, consider raising part of the plot to create a feature of the space. It could be used for a dining area, like in the above image (featuring some gorgeous porcelain tiles from Tile Mountain), a lounge area, or an outdoor kitchen – any kind of outdoor room that would benefit from zoning in this way. Even a small step down to the rest of the garden is enough to make an impact.
8. Bring holiday style to your garden
Continuing the holiday line, why not theme your patio to your favourite vacation spot? This set-up from George Home gives us Ibiza vibes with its white palette and poolside-worthy lounge chairs, but we can also imagine a dreamy Moroccan-inspired space – think patterned tiles, leafy palms and terracotta pots – would go down nicely on a sunny day.
9. Invest in a permanent shaded structure
If you prefer relaxing in the shade rather than soaking in the sun, a fully covered patio area could be perfect for you. This one from John Lewis & Partners keeps things light by setting the scene against a bright wall colour. Make the most of an existing structure if you have one, or create a similar effect with a pergola or even a gazebo. Bring shade-loving plants into the scheme for added greenery – potted varieties will add to the outdoor-room feel of the space.
10. Use your wall space for vertical styling
The wall space surrounding your patio is just as useful as the floor, so make the most of it by adding screens, trellises or wall planters. They’ll make a feature of the space and mean you can fit even more greenery into your garden on a vertical scale. Wall planters in particular are great for small patios, or for gardens with little or no soil: treat them like hanging baskets with a mix of short and trailing plants.
Psst! We're also a big fan of that coffee table from Rust Collections – perfect for creating the outdoor living room of your dreams...
11. Make a statement with XXL tiles
Opt for large-format tiles, like these from Topps Tiles, for your patio and you’ll create the illusion of more space. Big tiles also add an air of luxury to a garden, and paired with sleek, stylish furniture and considered greenery – think ferns and palms – create a scheme that’s the height of sophistication.
12. Keep warm with a stylish fire pit
We’ve talked about shade, but have you thought about patio heating? As the temperatures drop in the evening towards the end of the summer, you can extend the life of your patio area and create a talking point with an architectural fire pit or fire basket, like this one from Dunelm. Think of it like the modern version of telling stories around a campfire – it’s the same cosy experience, but with a very stylish upgrade.