Published: Jun 16, 2021 | Updated: Mar 30, 2022

Backyard Patio Ideas: Enjoy Outdoor Living Year Round

A patio offers the oasis we are looking for. A place to have a little vacation right in our backyards. We've got some must-have patio ideas just for you.

Backyard patio and garden oasis

Everyone needs a place to be able to relax and enjoy the breeze outside and get away from work and the cares of the world for a while. And we all want places outside that are comfortable, well-designed, and beautiful for entertaining guests.

Once you settle on the best flooring option for your patio — concrete, stamped concrete, flagstone, or pavers — you are ready to think about design. We’d love to share some of our favorite inspirations with you.

Decide on your living spaces

What do you want to use your outdoor space for? Be sure to design all the areas you need for living outside in comfort.

Dining area

Interested in dining al fresco? A patio is a great place for outdoor dining. There is something incredibly romantic about eating by sunset with patio string lights overhead and a fresh breeze blowing gently through the space.

Sitting area/living room

You’ll want a seating area for your family and guests to enjoy that is comfortable and stylish. If you expect to host large gatherings, you may want multiple groupings of outdoor furniture with couches, love seats, and accent chairs to make everyone feel welcome.

Outdoor kitchen

If you plan to entertain outside a lot, an outdoor kitchen can come in very handy. Be right there with your guests near the pool or enjoying the cool breezes in the evening while you man the grill and clean up at your outdoor sink.

Why not include an outdoor wine cooler, under-the-counter fridge, and some outdoor cabinets, as well? You’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips instead of having to trek in and out of the house every few moments.

Recreation area

A patio works well with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. It cozies right up to an in-ground pool very nicely. Or it can sit beside a sandbox and playground, giving you the best place to enjoy watching the kids or grandkids play beside some lovely landscaping.

If your family loves outdoor sports, your patio could be next to your sand volleyball pit, basketball court, or tennis court.

Landscaping Waterfall Feature

Pick a few fun patio ideas

For a bigger “wow” factor, include some of these luxury features.

Water features

A patio is a lot of fun by itself, but add a water feature, and it feels like paradise.

  • Water fountain
  • Bubbling rock
  • Water wall
  • Artificial stream
  • Custom waterfall feature
  • Small koi pond 
  • Larger pond with a bridge leading over it to another section 
  • Swimming pool
  • View of a nearby lake

Custom patio fire pit

A fire pit makes an amazing focal point for your backyard patio design. Plus, it’s the perfect place to gather for sharing songs, food, s’mores, and memories. For large, luxury patios, consider multiple fire pits around the pool or on different levels of the deck/patio.

You’ve got plenty of options to choose from including propane, natural gas, or wood-burning fire pits. Consider materials like brick, stone, or copper.

Outdoor patio fireplace

An outdoor fireplace makes your patio usable even in colder weather. If your patio won’t be connected to the house, consider a portable fireplace or a stand-alone outdoor fireplace. Or, if your patio is adjacent to your house, you could design a built-in fireplace along with the wall or with an overhanging roof.

Garden patio

Turn your patio into a lush garden with potted plants or a planter embedded in your patio. Or consider creating a beautiful garden beside your patio to enjoy every time you relax in your outdoor living space.

Biminitwist 8

Start drawing your patio design ideas

You may opt for a standard 10 x 10 backyard patio if you just want a small sitting area or only a dining area and a grill. Or go much bigger with a customized shape and size. When you know how many living spaces you want to fit on your patio space, you can determine how much space you need for each of those areas and have a patio designed accordingly.

Choose your patio shape 

Patio shape possibilities are endless!

  • Square
  • Rectangular
  • Round
  • Amoeba
  • Multiple shapes and sections
  • Custom

Design your landscaping to accentuate your patio’s specific style and shape and be sure to include plenty of lighting.

Consider multiple levels for your patio/deck

Can’t decide between a patio and a deck? Why not have the best of both worlds with both! Many modern patios exist in harmony with layers of decks, creating a backyard wonderland.

Patio with pavilion near a lake

Include your favorite patio shade ideas

The patio area is a lot more enjoyable in the summer if you have some shade available in the heat of the day. You can find shade in a lot of different ways. Some as simple as a piece of strategically placed cloth. Others as complicated and expensive as a roof extension or a second-story deck above the patio.

Patio sun shades

  • Fabric patio awning - These can be cute. But they get weathered and worn out rather quickly. They likely won’t help boost your home’s value.
  • Permanent
  • Freestanding
  • Attached to your house
  • Retractable
  • Attached to your house
  • Hanging from a pergola
  • Pop-up canopy
  • Large sun umbrella
  • Shade sails 
  • Use multiple shade sails and even different colors for a whimsical look that also protects from UV rays and harsh sunlight.

Covered patio ideas

If you want a more permanent shade and weather-resistant patio roof, consider one of the following options for your patio.

  • Gazebo — A round, hexagonal, or octagonal-shaped freestanding patio structure with a shingled roof. The supporting columns may be made of stone, metal, vinyl, or wood.
  • Glass canopy — a glass roof supported by part of the house and additional columns.
  • Pergola — A wooden, vinyl, or metal structure with slats to provide some shade or that may hold cloth shades or be used for growing vines.
  • Pavilion — a square or rectangular structure made of wood, vinyl, stone, or metal with a metal or shingled roof.
  • Thatched roof — made of dried grasses like you see in the tropics
  • Roof extension — like the roof you might see on a porch.

Consider patio enclosures/privacy ideas

For a luxury patio, consider shade on the sides of the patio, as well as privacy. 

  • Patio privacy screen/side awning - a stand-alone wall or frame with fabric that provides some degree of privacy. Some side awnings are retractable.
  • Curtains - outdoor patio curtains hung from a structure like a gazebo, pergola, or pavilion.
  • Blinds - outdoor blinds hung from a structure like a gazebo, roof overhang, pergola, etc… Patio blinds can be pulled up to allow for a view and light to enter or can be pulled down for privacy and sun protection.
  • Privacy fence or privacy wall - A wooden, vinyl, metal, brick, or stone fence to provide privacy for your backyard.
  • Plant wall/green wall/living wall - a moveable wall for growing vines, flowers, herbs, or other plants that also provides privacy along the edge of your patio. 
  • Living privacy wall along the border of your property that is tall enough to provide privacy by planting hedges, evergreen shrubs, trees, or other plants.
  • Screened patio - permanently screen your patio like a screened-in porch.
  • Glass patio - create a sunroom or four-season room from your patio and avoid the weather and bugs completely.
  • Solarium - turn your patio into an all-glass room including a glass roof.

For the ultimate privacy, design your patio as part of a courtyard in your home. Some people even like to create an outdoor patio courtyard area for their master bathroom/bedroom with outdoor tubs, showers, and beds.

Patio at night with patio string lights, fire pit, and movie screen and palm trees and moon and stars

Turn on to some glorious patio light ideas

Nothing creates a festive atmosphere like mood lighting on a patio. Most of these are now available as solar-powered lights, which makes it easy to hang them and then forget them. They’ll turn on automatically to light up your paradise every night.

Our favorite patio light options

Solar-powered lighting/plug-in/battery powered lights

String lights

  • Globe string lights
  • Edison string lights


  • Hanging Chinese lanterns
  • Rustic black metal lanterns for the table

Fairy lights

Accent lights

Rope lights

LED candles

Wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted lighting

  • Wall lanterns
  • Ceiling lights/ceiling fans
  • Sconces

The icing on the cake — select your patio furniture

Outdoor furniture is a must for your patio space. Of course, you’ll want outdoor couches, loveseats, and chairs. But don’t forget the fun stuff. And while you’re at it, consider a stylish outdoor rug or two, as well!

Our favorite fun patio furniture ideas

  • Swing chair
  • Porch swing
  • Outdoor bed
  • Adirondack chairs
  • Swinging bed
  • Luxury hammock
Stamped Concrete Patio With Custom Sunken Fire Pit

Ready to build your custom home and patio in Lexington, SC?

At Blythe Building Company, we know that your dream house is one of the greatest investments you will make in a lifetime. It’s not just four walls and a roof. It is a sanctuary. The place where you raise your family and make your most precious memories.

We love being a part of building people’s dreams and luxury homes.

Please contact us today!

We build in areas like Lexington, Chapin, Irmo, Pine Ridge, downtown Columbia, and Lake Carolina.


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