One of the top ten outdoor patio design ideasContributed by Tim Brugger, Top 10 Guru

A well designed patio is akin to adding square footage to your home.

When done properly, a comfortable patio design should feel like another room in the house; a great place for entertaining friends and family, relaxing with a cup of coffee or herbal tea in the morning, or finishing off the day in style.

10. Long and narrow

One of the top ten outdoor patio design ideas

This patio design works in conjunction, as most good designs do, with a well landscaped backyard. Along with a trellis, arbor or other soft boundary, a narrow patio can provide a secluded, private feel to your backyard. This design makes for a nice, cool hideaway to spend a warm summer day.

9. Small and simple

dining table ar Arthur Lauer

Whether out of necessity due to the size or shape of your backyard space, or to simply capture the ambiance you want, keeping your patio design small and simple is a great choice for many homeowners. This may take nothing more than a small table and appropriately-scaled chairs placed appropriately; and is perfect for the budget-conscious if you purchase teak which will last for years outdoors.

8. Pond or fountain

One of the top ten outdoor patio design ideas

Ornate fountain or Koi pond, small rivulet or force 5 rapids, there is something physically calming about having water as a focal point of your patio design. Add a small waterfall or other trickling water producing function, and the only thing between you and nirvana will be a hammock.

7. Courtyard patio

One of the top ten outdoor patio design ideas

Enclosing either a small or large area of your backyard using brick walls or well positioned foliage provides a level of privacy as well as a home-away-from-home appeal. Courtyard patios are ideal for city dwellers with large decks or other outdoor areas. The added living space provided is great, and will keep away the eyes of prying neighbors.

6. Patio deck

One of the top ten outdoor patio design ideas

Many homes already have decks that include large spaces that with a little effort can morph into fully functional patios. Large potted plants, either with or exclusive of some lattice work, can provide you with a separate, functional area perfect for entertaining the locals.

5. Latticework

One of the top ten outdoor patio design ideas

For simplicity, and cost effectiveness, utilizing latticework in your patio design is one of the quickest ways to turn your backyard into a wonderful patio. Unlike brick or stone walls, or undergoing extensive landscaping, a bit of latticework will do wonders.

4. Enclosed patio

One of the top ten outdoor patio design ideas

Taking the courtyard patio design concept one step further, enclosing your patio is the closest thing to adding a room to your home, without knocking down the walls. To really take your patio to the next level, add furnishings (outdoor to be sure), a few throw rugs and maybe even a tapestry or two for the perfect getaway.

3. Breakfast or tea patio

One of the top ten outdoor patio design ideas

What a way to get the day started, “I think I’ll have my tea outside this morning.” If this doesn’t kick the day off in style, nothing will. The appointments are generally a bit smaller than a full-blown outdoor patio set prepared to seat 8 comfortably. Rather, this invites a more comfortable atmosphere to the proceeding. After all, no one wants to expend too much energy when their still working on their first cup of tea. A bistro table set or patio rocker and side table are all that are necessary.

2. Outdoor fireplace

One of the top ten outdoor patio design ideas

Patios utilized for outdoor living, or at least spending considerable lengths of time relaxing in the outdoors day and evening, are some of the best. Not only do outdoor fireplaces, firepits and chimineas make fantastic centerpieces for your patio design, what a great way to spend a nice, cool evening with friends, with a roaring fire and s’mores had by all.

1. Outdoor kitchen

One of the top ten outdoor patio design ideas

The only reason Patio Design #2 didn’t make the top spot is because the fully functioning kitchen takes the outdoor living concept to the nth degree. The ultimate dream of party hosts everywhere, the outdoor kitchen is the ideal place to spend a weekend day. Or better still, grab a sleeping bag and make a weekend of it.