Did you know that being outside can increase your health? When you have a patio, you’re more likely to spend time outside enjoying the fresh air and getting more sunshine.
The problem is that many people don’t know how to go about designing patios. In fact, most people stop before they get started because they feel overwhelmed.
We are going to help you get started by telling you about some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid making them, so you can design a patio you’ll love. Continue reading this article for great tips on patio design.
1. Failing to Set Up Drainage
Putting in drainage is no small task. If you want to grow garden plants, you’ll need to have good drainage. Some areas don’t have a problem with drainage, and you might not even need it for your space—but if you do—it’s a big problem not to have it.
You can see if you need to put pipes in the ground for drainage by checking for surface puddling when it rains. If there is surfacing puddling, that may mean you have compacted layers beneath the surface.
Look out for natural springs as well since they will need to be piped away.
2. Clashing Color
When you design your patio, you should keep color in mind. If your pavers and patio are one color, your house is another color, and furniture and flowers are other colors, you might find you’re with a big mess on your hands.
The last thing you want to do is get your space set up perfectly, just to see that nothing goes well together.
You might even go as far as to break out a color wheel and see how the colors of your different elements will go together. There are also design apps that might allow you to see your space put together virtually to get a better idea of how things will look.
3. Not Measuring for Space Needs
You might see your backyard and think you can eye how much room your new patio needs. Trying to eyeball your measurements is sure to end up in disaster since there are too many elements that go into it.
You’ve got your grill, chairs, firepit, accessories, and other things that will all take up space. If you simply hope that everything is going to fit your requested patio size, you might be in for a big surprise.
Once you do measure for your space, if you decide you want to use pavers to create your patio, make sure you learn how to measure them properly before you get started.
Anytime you are thinking about whether you should measure something or not, just remember the old saying about measuring twice and cutting once. Yes, you should always measure.
4. Picking the Wrong Furniture & Accessories
Before you start picking out furniture and accessories, you need to know what you want it to do for you. Some people want to have big parties, and others want to have a little spot to enjoy their coffee in the mornings.
Once you know what you want to use the space for, it’s a lot easier for you to pick your furniture and accessories.
This is another time when you need to measure your space and measure what you will put in it. If you buy furniture that is too big for a little patio, it will feel overcrowded vs. feeling like a relaxing spot.
When you’re looking through great choices like these patio chairs and tables, use those measurements to see which ones will work best for your space.
Check online reviews to see what people say about each of the products you are thinking about buying. Are any of the problems people mention a dealbreaker for you, or are they something you can work around?
Another key point is that you should keep your style consistent. Your indoor space shouldn’t clash with your outdoor space.
Make sure the furniture and accessories you buy a durable and easy to maintain. Wrought iron, steel, and aluminum are very durable and don’t require a lot of maintenance, so these are often good choices. Keep in mind that you might want to go for other materials and styles if they fit the look you want more.
5. Making the Outdoors Look Like Indoors
When you set up your space, you do want it to flow nicely from indoors to outdoors and vise versa, but you don’t want them to look the same. You want it to be obvious which furniture is for outdoors and which furniture is for indoors.
Having a second living room outside isn’t usually attractive, or a look people go for. Make your patio look unique and inviting.
6. Lack of Decor or Accessories
You have everything you need for your outdoor space, but you realize it feels a little bare. You might be confused about what to do about it. You are trying not to make it look like a living room, but what do you do if you want to decorate?
You can put rugs outdoors and make the space look nice. There are special outdoor rugs that you can purchase. Just make sure something is sitting on them, so they don’t take flight if it gets windy.
Add pops of color by putting colorful pillows or a colorful footrest ottoman in your space. You can add lanterns, stools, benches, fire pits, and more to make your space look unique and enjoyable.
7. Forgetting to Design Around Trees
If you have trees in your backyard, it might be a bit of a challenge to figure out how you want to design around it. Depending on the size of the tree, it might be a bigger or smaller challenge, but there’s always an attractive solution.
If you have a large tree, you can put a swing in its branches and hang out under the tree. There are plenty of ways to make the bottom of the tree look pretty, from ferns and flowers to small shrubs.
Some people are looking for a calming space, which might make an Asian garden a great choice for you, depending on the types of trees you have in your patio area.
If you want to put a deck in your yard, you can still do it if there’s a tree there. You can simply build around it. If you’re worried about how it’s going to affect the tree—don’t—it can actually help it because of the reduction of foot traffic and soil compaction.
8. Lack of Lighting
Once you’ve created your patio paradise, you need to think about how you’ll light it. You can use lighting for more than just seeing in the dark. Use lighting to showcase your patio’s best structural features.
You may even have a special tree nearby that deserves a little extra light to make it look beautiful when you’re relaxing outside in the dark.
When you’re picking out fixtures, make sure they are unique. They can be fun, artsy, or simply task-oriented to lead the way to the door. Know what you want the light to do and find something that fits the bill.
9. Not Setting Up a Focal Point
Do you walk out to your patio, and everything hits you at the same time? Do you feel like you aren’t sure what to look at first?
You can do something as simple as choosing a beautiful outdoor rug to catch attention, or you might opt or something bigger like constructing a pergola. There are many different options for your backyard space.
10. Too Many Plants or No Plants
If your patio is too crowded with plants, you won’t have anywhere to turn. If you choose the wrong plants, you might even attract unwanted pests, so make sure you know what you’re putting in your outdoor space.
If you play it too safe and don’t put any plants in your outdoor space at all, it can look bare and won’t be as enjoyable to hang out. If you aren’t sure how to take care of plants or which plants to choose, you might consider speaking to a professional landscaper for advice on which direction to go.
Designing Patios Like a Pro
Now you know some of the biggest mistakes that happen when you start designing patios. Avoiding these mistakes can help you get one step closer to a patio that is going to be an outdoor oasis.
Do you want to learn more about outdoor design? Continue through our blog for more.