Backyard Patio Ideas: 100-Plus Tricks to Take Your Yard From Drab to Fab

An inviting alfresco living space can add major appeal to your home, especially if you tap into backyard patio ideas to truly transform your outdoor mojo. “The outdoor living rooms and dining rooms carry the interior style to the exterior spaces,” says Susan Skornicka, founding principal of Skornicka Designs in Ross, California.

Adding a firepit, zhuzhing up your pergola with some string lights, and swapping in new patio furniture are just a few examples of how homeowners can update an existing patio area without breaking the bank. You can likely tackle these patio design projects in an afternoon or over a long weekend. No matter your taste or design prowess, we’ve got more than one hundred patio design ideas from landscape architects and designers to take your backyard from drab to fab.

Covered patios for all types of weather

A beautiful space is wasted if you can’t enjoy it, which is where these covered backyard patio ideas come in handy. Adding an attractive cover to your backyard patio can be a smart investment to ensure you, your family, and your guests can enjoy the space year round, no matter what the elements have in store. No one wants to sit in the scorching sun, so anything that creates shades is a win when it comes to patio design. What’s more, a shady spot is what makes relaxing truly possible. Just like you have a reading nook indoors, why not create a little alfresco nook? Constructing or adding a structure that boosts the shade factor will also protect furniture, as the sun’s rays often bleach out wood and disintegrate plastics. Plus, no one wants to sit in a hot tub under the hot sun.

Designers know this, of course, and have shade solutions for any budget and space—from expansive overhangs to shade sails to whimsical outdoor umbrellas that would make Slim Aarons jealous. As with any project, you’ll need to first think of how you want to use the space. Do you want to go big with a gazebo, sunken outdoor living room, or domed ceiling, or would the addition of a few wood timbers, woven shades, or a prefab cover be enough to transform your space? Consider the following ideas for inspiration.

Choose materials based on your home’s feel

A slightly weathered covered patio matches the desert vibes of this home.

Photo: Carolin Voelker

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