40 ideas for patios
Design an idyllic outdoor room with these ideas for a variety of styles and budgets
Colored stones, surrounded by pavers of stained concrete, create the illusion of a stream bubbling through the center of this 12-foot patio in Berkeley.
Design: Keeyla Meadows, Keeyla Meadows Gardens & Art, Albany, CA (510/559-1026)
A fireplace is the patio's focal point. The prefab box is framed in wood and capped with stone veneer.
More: One patio, 3 looks
More: Southwest Idea House
Think of the possible uses for this circle of bricks. You can tuck it into a perennial border. Or place it in a remote corner of your garden, where you can linger at day's end over a glass of wine, or on Sunday morning with your coffee and magazines.
More: Step-by-step DIY cabana
Info: Shirley Alexandra Watts, Alameda, CA (510/521-5223)
Info: Vanessa Kuemmerle, Vee Horticulture, Berkeley, CA (510/653-7667); BlueJay Feldman, Blue Ridge Landscape Co., Orinda, CA (925/258-9233)
The table is made from the same flagstone as the slender serving counter tucked against the wall.
He wove it through rebar uprights like a ribbon, creating a glamorous shimmering privacy wall near the outdoor dining area.
This cedar garden shed in Seattle, Washington, keeps tools and garden machinery safe, dry, and out of the garage and basement.
"Before the shed, we had to bring the mower up out of the basement every time we cut the grass," says owner Leanne Rubin.
Info: Mary Rose Duffield, Duffield Ratliff Landscape Design, Tucson, AZ (520/577-1241); Rosalee Gage, formerly of Santa Rita Landscaping, Tucson, AZ (520/623-0421)
More: Front-yard family room
The nine piers of steel-reinforced concrete that support it were poured in place as an integral part of the pond bottom, as were the steps that appear to float across the water’s surface. Both the steps and piers were finished below the waterline with rough-textured black plaster.
Info: James Rowley, Naturally Beautiful Gardens, Minden, NV (775/267-5234)
More: See this artful house
A border of ferns and red-flowered Cuphea ignea creates a leafy entry.
In the back planter, a tall mallow hedge screens a vegetable garden.
More: Ultimate Sierra retreat
More: Small garden secrets
More: A slender pond
But if you lace paving stones with ribbons of native buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides), you'll achieve an eye-calming "soft patio" effect, as Downey calls it, that needs much less water than a traditional bluegrass or fescue lawn.
More: Barefoot patio