Inspiration for beautiful patios and paved outdoor spaces
When it comes to creating a beautiful home, it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts, and your outdoor space has an equal role to play in achieving that luxury feel. From plants and flowers to beautiful water features, there are lots of ways to add an elegant touch, and a well-manicured lawn and perfectly trimmed hedges will create the first impression you want to.
Sometimes, though, it’s about laying the right foundations first, and often, that starts with installing a patio or paved area to make space for eating, entertaining and socialising with guests, whilst also creating an attractive centrepiece for your garden.
When planning out your patio area, you might have in mind a regular grid of square or rectangular slabs, all the same size and colour. But whilst a paved space is designed to be functional, it certainly doesn’t have to be boring, and experimenting with different colours, textures and laying patterns can make for an interesting and stylish space that adds something to the garden rather than fading into the background.
Add to that some colourful gravels, planting and subtle lighting to create a space that feels alive and blends the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, and you’ll have a statement garden that adds an air of opulence to your home, right from the first glance.
Unsure where to start? We sat down with the experts at Bristol Driveway Services to find out some simple ways to create an outdoor space to be proud of.
Shape and size
When picking out your patio slabs, don’t fall into the trap of assuming you must opt for all the same shape and size. Mixing it up a bit and combining a variation of different tiles can create a unique look that you won’t find in anyone else’s garden, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Rather than a square patio, consider creating a circular or semi-circular space, which can work particularly well when accented with a centrepiece such as a pagoda or a water feature. It’s also nicely complemented by informal planting and lush borders – a departure from the uniform flower beds and tiles of a more regimented home.
Try adding some squaring off stones to create a square paved area with curved details, or use in one or more corners to join a circular paved area to the straight edge of a house wall or path.
Tessellating offset diamond slabs can also work well, combining three different shades to create a stunning visual effect.
These days, paving slabs come in a huge range of textures that can add interest to even the simplest of outdoor spaces. Smooth and glossy porcelain slabs offer a sleek, sophisticated finish that is just perfect for creating that manicured luxury feel, while natural stone effects can work well with both period properties and more rustic garden spaces.
Simple slate is great for a more understated look that will let other features do the talking, providing a simple yet tastefully chosen accent that will allow your garden greenery to shine. And shine it will providing you keep your slabs looking smart and clean throughout the year. Don’t let the rest of your garden down, so at the beginning of each spring make sure to get the pressure washer out and tidy up your slabs for a glistening garden.
Looking for something a little bit different? Scandinavian style plan-effect paving slabs can be used to recreate the look of aged floorboards or decking, while carpet stones can make for a quaint cobble surface that oozes olde worlde charm.
Carpet stones can be laid easily, in large sheets containing many cobbles at once – much in the same way that you’d lay a set of larger paving slabs. Grout in a neutral colour to create a more authentic look.
Plank-effect slabs are available in a range of colours and finishes, and are a more durable and low-maintenance choice than real decking.
Putting together a beautiful patio involves making many important decisions, but perhaps none are as vital as choosing the right furniture. Your patio should be an extension of your interior; therefore, a simple glass table and metal chairs will not cut it.
Add opulence to your patio by seeking designer outdoor furniture. Consider pieces such as full-wood dining tables with an off-set umbrella, upholstered lounges, sofas with throw pillows, ottomans, and so on. Importantly, be sure to choose weather-resistant fabrics.
With functional yet elegant outdoor furniture you’ll look forward to entertaining guests or simply relaxing your very own oasis.
Light it up
Want to make the most of your newly laid patio? Outdoor lighting is a great way to show it off in all its glory after the sun has gone down. For a really stylish effect, try adding integrated lighting into your garden design – post lights are an effective way to achieve this and will add a subtle and atmospheric glow – creating a much nicer ambience for outdoor entertaining than harsher overhead lights.
If you’re looking to keep your energy consumption to a minimum, then opt for solar-powered stake lights instead, they are just as effective and are a greener way to create the look you want. Alternatively, a cosy fire pit will provide you with both light and warmth – this way you will kill two birds with one stone. Some of them look pretty modern and also simplify outdoor grilling like this one from Legacy Heating.
When designing a luxury garden, don’t overlook the basics – a creatively designed and well-laid patio can elevate your outdoor space in just a few hours, and is the perfect foundation for an impressive garden to be proud of.