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An outdoor patio is a “Welcome Home” feature for your Northern New Jersey home. It increases your living space and provides a wonderful area for outdoor entertaining opportunities. A beautiful patio will quickly enhance the beauty of your home and landscape and add value to your property.

Whether you’re building a new patio or renovating an existing one, you can create an outdoor space where you’ll love spending your time. Designing the perfect patio for your home will be impacted by your backyard landscape, patio shape and size, patio materials and your budget. Keeping those factors in mind, take a look at some design tips for outdoor patio designs that may be perfect for your home.

Maximize Small Patios

If your landscape doesn’t allow for a large, spacious patio, you can maximize the space on a small patio with built-ins. Like banquette seating saves space in a small kitchen, a built-in bench is perfect for a small patio. It creates an easy-to-maintain permanent structure for seating and requires less space than individual chairs around a dining table.

If you have a small patio, it’s best to keep outdoor patio designs simple. Continuity and simplicity will make the patio space feel larger than it really is. A simple, soothing design that incorporates natural elements is ideal for a small patio. Elaborate materials and décor with too many colors and patterns can overwhelm the space and make the patio feel cluttered.

Consider the below design tips:

Materials

To maximize visual space, repeat the existing materials and colors on your house. If you have stone, brick or wood on your house, use the same materials on the patio for flooring, tables and built-in seating for an integrated look.

Furnishings

Choose small-scale furnishings and keep them to a minimum, so your patio doesn’t look cluttered. One L-shaped bench or sofa is better than an assortment of outdoor chairs and loungers. To maximize space, place furniture around the perimeter or in corners.

Landscaping

Layer lush greenery around the perimeter of a small patio to create the illusion of a larger patio space. Plant taller plants behind smaller ones to create depth, but keep plants at a relatively low height, three or four feet, so your patio feels open rather than closed in.

bergen-county-outdoor-patio-designsCreate a Series of Spaces

With a larger outdoor patio, you have the luxury of creating outdoor patio designs with multiple functions. You can create one area for casual conversations, another for dining and entertaining and another for quiet relaxation. If you have the landscape space, you can build multi-level patios or terraces that are adjoined with beautiful stone walkways or casual stepping stones.

Consider the below design tips:

Flooring

When creating multiple spaces on the same patio, use one flooring material for the entire patio. This will create continuity throughout the space and make the patio feel larger. If using pavers or tiles, choose a larger size to create the illusion of more space. If possible, select a material that repeats an existing material on your house, or at least enhances the style.

Conversation Areas

Create a comfortable seating area with an outdoor sectional or chairs at one end of the patio, preferably near the entrance to the house. This will give family and guests easy access to the kitchen and bathroom if needed. For warmth and comfort, place the seating around a cozy fire pit.

Entertaining Areas

Create a comfortable dining area in the middle of the patio with an outdoor table and chairs or benches. It doesn’t have to be a large area, just adequate for your entertaining needs. If you have the space, consider including an outdoor kitchen in your outdoor patio designs for entertaining areas.

Relaxation Areas

On the opposite end of your patio, create a quiet area for relaxation. A comfortable lounger, built-in bench with pillows or a cozy hammock will create the perfect place for relaxing with your favorite book or cup of tea on lazy Bergen County afternoons.

Create an Inviting Atmosphere

Nothing adds ambiance and inviting atmosphere faster than a warm, cozy fire. If you want a patio with special appeal and year-round use, consider building an outdoor fireplace on your patio. Whether your patio is small or large, you can design a beautiful outdoor fireplace that will fit the space.

An outdoor fireplace can be built as small as 3 feet wide x 2 feet deep x 4 feet tall, or as large as 15 feet wide x 4 feet deep x 15 feet tall. It’s important to assess your needs and your budget, then talk to a landscape professional, like Borst Landscape & Design, who can design, build and install your outdoor fireplace.

When selecting materials, choose something that enhances your home’s existing materials and style. Available building materials come in a variety of textures, patterns and colors. You can choose from natural stones like granite, limestone, travertine and slate, or brick, stucco and concrete. Stucco and concrete construction can be faced with beautiful materials like stacked stone, fieldstone, flagstone, slate and river rock.

Custom-built fireplaces for your outdoor patio designs can be built in various shapes and sizes with great amenities like extended hearths that provide seating, storage compartments for wood and fireplace tools and beautiful grates and fire screens.

Provide Shelter

A covered outdoor patio is not a necessity, but it will add protection from the elements. Protection from hot summer sun and winter rain and wind will make your patio more functional throughout the year. If you don’t want to include overhead protection in your outdoor patio designs, it’s important to create easy access from your patio to the house in case the weather gets bad. In Northern NJ, unexpected showers and winds can quickly ruin your outdoor gathering or dinner party.

Consider the below design tips:

Attached Covers

If your patio is adjacent to your house, consider building a permanent cover that’s attached to the roof line. It will provide sun protection and last many for years. As a solid overhead structure, you can easily add a ceiling fan and lighting for added comfort and convenience.

Pergolas

Although a pergola is not a solid structure, it will provide some sun protected and added shade. For more protection and cozy atmosphere, cover the top of the pergola with lush greenery or blooming vines for brilliant color. You can also have retractable awnings made for pergolas.

Draperies

Outdoor patios can be transformed into outdoor rooms with the help of draperies. There’s a variety of outdoor fabrics that are waterproof, stain resistant and sun resistant. When made into draperies or panels, they can be pulled shut in bad weather or hot sun.

Maximize the View

A big part of enjoying great outdoor patio designs is enjoying the view. Whether your backyard has a beautiful water view, a rustic mountain view or no view at all, you should maximize it to enjoy your surroundings. If you’re lucky enough to have a stunning view from your patio, you may not have to do much, however, most back yards face neighbors’ houses or other backyards that offer a boring view and little privacy. By adding lush landscaping and privacy features, you can create your own stunning view.

Consider the below design tips:

Vibrant Color

To make a bold, colorful statement, add a raised garden along one side of your outdoor patio to create a wall of color. Colorful annuals and perennials like nasturtium, daisies, petunias, mums, dalias and snapdragons will ensure a low-maintenance show of color throughout the year.

Soft Textures

You can soften the hard edges of materials used for outdoor patio designs with landscaping. By planting a mixture of plants like ornamental grasses, ground covers and blooming plants and flowers, you will create interesting variety and texture. Use plants in different heights to create height and depth.

Privacy

If you’re in the Bergen County suburbs, your lot most likely backs up to another property and house. To maximize your backyard view from your patio, you need to block out your neighbor’s property as much as possible. A beautiful fence will provide privacy, noise reduction and a good backdrop for landscaping.

The landscape professionals at Borst can help you with a variety of outdoor patio designs. If you’re interested in building a beautiful custom patio or renovating your existing patio, we can design and install an outdoor patio that fits your needs and enhances the beauty of your home.