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25 Inspiring Patio and Garden Design Ideas

Spring is only a few months away now! And, what better way to enjoy it than with a beautiful patio and/or yard in which you can relax after a long day or entertain guests over the weekend?

Far more than just some garden furniture set up in any available open space, a patio or garden entertainment area can be a beautifully designed haven, a retreat, the center of some wild parties, and an extension of your property. By using the right design ideas and incorporating the right elements, including furniture and umbrellas, you can create a space that can become your go-to relaxation spot and a feature to be proud of. Here are 25 patio and garden design ideas to create the outdoor entertainment area of your dreams.  At Poggei USA, umbrellas are our specialty, so we can also help you choose the right one for your design.

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1. Far Eastern Paradise

This is an idea that’s become quite popular in Western homes, following numerous trips to popular vacation destinations like Phuket and Bali. Find a shady spot in your garden, set up a couple of hanging chairs and other wicker furniture with a few handpicked exotic plants to create a far eastern paradise in your backyard. Finish it off with a Party- or Jok-style umbrella.

2. Outdoor Kitchen

When entertaining friends with a meal, it’s really great to create an al fresco experience. It allows you to converse with your friends and family while you prepare the meal. Perhaps they can even join you in cooking? And, then enjoy indulging in a meal together in the same place. You could build a patio around a grill or pizza oven with tables or bar seating for when it’s time to serve. It could be built on a patio attached to the house, on a deck covered by a pergola or it could be an outdoor area with cantilever umbrellas just perfect for providing shade on sunny days.

Outdoor kitchens

3. Separate Seating Areas

This is a trend that is becoming quite popular. You can create two or more separate seating areas in your yard, each with a different look and feel. And, even perhaps slightly different functionalities? For example, one area could have chairs around a dining table with an umbrella directly over the table, while the other has a couple of couches with a cantilever umbrella. Keep the two areas close enough to each other that they can be incorporated when you’re entertaining a large group, yet far enough apart to be used separately when necessary.

4. Maximize Seating With Benches

When building a patio, you can actually build your seating into it, with benches along the walls. Create permanent wooden, stone or brick benches that can be topped with your choice of cushions. Not only does the seating become a permanent fixture, but you can also fit in far more than you could with separate chairs.

Backyard seating area

5. Raise the Bar

An outdoor bar area is a really attractive feature. So, if you enjoy entertaining with drinks (as well as food), you should add one to your set-up alongside your kitchen/barbecue area. Or, why not even separately for that matter? You can choose a style that best suits you. For instance, a minimalist, modernist concrete and steel design, a vintage heavy wooden look or a beach bar. Choose your umbrellas accordingly.

6. At the Fireside

A fireplace is a great addition to your outside seating area. Whether you choose to create an elaborate hearth, complete with a chimney or just a firepit in the center, you will create both literal and figurative warmth in your space.

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7. Set the Mood

Don’t forget about lighting. Whether you have a roof over your patio with transparent panels to allow the daylight in or whether you install ultra-modern LED downlights or whether you hang some fairy lights and/or Chinese lanterns, you need to decide what would set the right mood for you and what goes best with your choice of furniture.

8. Make Everybody Welcome at Your Table

You can never have too much seating. Make sure that your table is big enough so that you will never be short of places when guests arrive. Rather than opting for a small, four-seater table, get a longer one around which more chairs can be placed. Take a “the more the merrier” approach. A couple of good, large cantilever umbrellas will serve you better in this instance as well, rather than one or two smaller, centrally positioned ones.

Outdoor Patio Designs Guide

9. Keep it Ergonomic

Instead of heavy furniture, rather opt for flexible and ergonomic pieces. Hanging chairs and modular furniture sets are all very popular at the moment. And, they create a lighter, more dynamic feel.

10. A Natural Haven

Make use of the surrounding greenery in your garden. You can actually make the seating area appear as if it has “grown” out of your garden. Create a stone-paved seating area and surround it with plants, especially leafy shrubs or succulents. You can also include a pergola, and let creepers grow over it for a natural green canopy.

11. Integrated Pool

A great way to set up your patio is to integrate it into your pool area. You can actually go so far as to make your patio a kind of island in the center of your pool, with a walkway leading from the house. The area should be slightly sunken or have a low wall around it to prevent falling into the water at inopportune times! Position cantilever umbrellas over your pool center patio for a great place to spend those summer days.

pool umbrellas

12. Tone it Down

You could build something ornate if you like. However, the trend is towards more minimal furnishings. Keep it simple and toned down, and not too taxing on the eye.

13. Keep it Functional

Even taking all the above ideas into account, your focus should be on a balance between style and function. In fact, this is the real key to great patio design. Spaces that can multitask between cooking, dining, having drinks, and relaxation, while also looking good, will be the most attractive.

14. Darker Colors

Darker colors help to create the illusion of more space. Charcoals and blacks are right on trend at the moment, and will add a modern look. So, why not incorporate this palette choice into your umbrellas as well?

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15. Mix it Up

The trend today is for an eclectic mix of materials and furnishings in your outdoor space. The reconditioned wooden chairs you picked up at an antique store can be placed alongside the metal garden set you bought brand-new. It’s completely fine to juxtapose oak and concrete, as another example. Don’t be afraid to mix it up!

16. Modular and Multi-Purpose Furnishings

Another trend is the use of multi-layout and modular furniture. Look for pieces that can be shifted around into different configurations and moved with the light.

17. Accessorize

Don’t forget your accessories. They are key to finishing your entertainment area. As with the world of fashion, accessories are an indispensable element in the design of your space. Be careful with your choices of cushions, rugs, throws, and umbrellas.

Centerpost Patio Umbrella

18. Go Green

While you may not wish to go with a natural look for a seating area ensconced in your garden, you can still incorporate greenery into your patio. Make good use of pot plants or built-in flower beds. You can incorporate green accessories into the look too, along with strategically placed blacks and whites to set it off.

19. All Hands on Deck

Most people who decide to build a patio these days opt for a wooden deck. This popular choice can be incorporated with stone and concrete to create clean lines and pleasant contrasts.

20. Link Separate Areas With Beautiful Walkways

Once you have set up your separate areas, link them together with stone pathways. You can choose brick or cobblestone or any other material if you like. Together with a couple of hanging lanterns or fairy lights, you can create a beautiful, magical garden featuring interconnected seating areas.

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21. Merge Indoor and Outdoor Areas

The best patio is one that can be accessed and even incorporated easily with your home. The use of glass sliding doors will make this possible. Perhaps your patio opens out from the kitchen for the perfect breakfast or dining area, or it  extends outwards from your indoor bar for an ideal entertainment area.

22. Built for Comfort

You may be tempted to go wild with ornate design ideas. But, be careful not to emphasize the look over the function. Make sure that comfort is your main aim. You want an area that is pleasing to the eye, while also providing rest and relaxation.

23. Year-Round Patios

While you plan the installation of your fireplace or fire pits, think about how you can make your patio useful throughout the year. The ability to build a fire in winter is helpful. There is a change in mindset from building patios to building outdoor rooms. The preparation of your space for use throughout the year is a perfect example of this. Cozy seating, a few rugs, even retractable covers to close up the open parts of the patio when it’s cold, all will help to create a great outdoor room.

Fireside garden patio

24. Create Space With Mirrors

Strategically placing mirrors inside your patio space can make it seem much roomier. This is a design element that needs to be used carefully, however. Once you have decided on the layout of the patio, place the mirror(s) carefully so that they reflect your design elements in just the right way.

25. Make Your Space Extendable

You may have a decent-sized patio that is attached to your house and open to the garden on two or three sides. Perhaps it’s enough for when you are entertaining a smaller group, but if you entertain often and want to cater to larger groups, why not make your patio extendable? You can create a paved area leading off the patio, which can be used for additional seating. In addition, you can shelter this area with a few, carefully placed, large umbrellas.

Poggesi Umbrellas for Home Patios

Poggesi USA can help you to maximize the comfort and shade of your patio area with the perfect umbrellas. Contact us as you plan your patio or garden entertainment area, so we can advise you on your use of umbrellas.