By Anna Cottrell published
We're seeing the beach patio trend everywhere this summer, and no wonder. Starved of beachside holidays in warm locations, gardeners are increasingly looking to transform their backyards into staycation destinations, with elements that remind them of fun at the seaside.
Rest assured, though, these patio ideas aren't the return of the somewhat tired nautical theme. Instead, the beach patio trend has more in common with Mediterranean garden ideas, and borrows many elements from them, while also imitating that special relaxing vibe you only really get at the beach.
It's the most pinned patio trend on Pinterest, with over 19,000 pins, and we've asked garden design experts to give their top tips on bringing it to your garden this summer.
1. Go for natural, light colors
Light patio pavers and whitewashed walls are staples of beachside destinations, and you should definitely consider patio paving ideas in light, sandy hues. Brett Lockwood, Director at The Outdoor Look, advises: 'If you want the full beach-inspired look in the garden, choose warm-colored paving stones in yellow, pink, or red hues.' Avoid heavy, dark materials for garden furniture – ideally, it should match the overall light look.
2. Add a relaxation area with loungers
Nothing quite reminds us of holidays as relaxing in a nice sun lounger. The best sunloungers for a beachy vibe on your patio should come with plenty of padding. Simon Hudson, Managing Director at Oxley’s, commented: 'adding a relaxation area with comfortable loungers to recline and read a book will instantly evoke that poolside feel, even if you don’t have a pool. If possible, try to keep this area separate to your dining area to create distinct ''zones'', just like on a hotel getaway.'
3. Accessorize with colorful furnishings
Easily the least effortful way to create a beach vibe in your backyard is to fill it with brightly colored soft furnishings. Scatter cushions over your garden seating – and don't forget an umbrella. The best garden parasols for a beach patio look are not necessarily white – you can have an eclectic print with tassels for a more exotic take on the trend.
'Accessorising with soft furnishings is another simple way to recreate the feel of the Mediterranean. Scatter cushions in vibrant colors, for example, will instantly create the look of any coveted European terrace,' says Simon.
4. Remind yourself of holidays with Mediterranean plants
A staple of Greek garden ideas that became everyone's top vacation association after Mamma Mia!, bougainvillea can instantly give a patio that seaside feel, even if you don't live anywhere near the sea. Brett points that 'what usually defines a Mediterranean garden is the use of beautiful rustic garden furniture with colorful, fragrant flowers.'
Sometimes even just the one plant is enough to conjure up the right atmosphere – or you could go for a denser planting scheme with palm trees, citrus in large containers, and perhaps even a miniature pine to remind you of the seaside.
5. Consider a water feature – or a pool
Space and budget permitting, nothing will quite transform your backyard into staycation heaven as a pool. Simon said: 'If staycations are likely to be a mainstay in your calendar for years to come, you could consider investing in a swimming pool that can be enjoyed by the whole family for many years to come.'
If you're not quite ready to make your backyard pool ideas a reality, Brett recommends adding a smaller water feature: 'Water is another key feature for a beach-themed garden. You could have a rustic fountain in amongst the greenery, so you have the beautiful sound of bubbling water constantly.'
These top tips are just what you need to bring that touch of vacation magic to your patio. You can spend a little or a lot, and add a few nice touches or reinvent the garden completely – the choice is yours.
Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.
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