Patios are outdoor living areas with endless design, decoration, and structure possibilities. 

Patios are as functional as they are diverse, allowing you to use your backyard to entertain guests, socialize with friends, and show off your landscaping skills.

Whether you’re looking to extend your patio, build a new one, or simply give your backyard a makeover, we’ve got 10 patio ideas to enhance your design plan.

Common Patio Materials

Before jumping into unique patio designs, we’ll look at some common materials for your patio’s structure. 

Keep this information in mind as you consider ways to refurbish or expand your outdoor living space.


Brick patios are perfect for homeowners seeking a classic look with endless design possibilities. 

Bricks are excellent patio materials because they’re durable, low maintenance, and versatile. You can arrange them in different patterns for a unique appearance.

While pricier than other patio options, bricks will last over a century if properly maintained.

If a patio section is damaged or cracked, simply replace it with new bricks. These materials don’t fade over time, so replacements won’t be noticeable.

Concrete Pavers

Concrete patios are popular and cost-effective options for various backyard spaces.

While concrete is durable and cheap, it’s not the best option for a low-maintenance patio. Concrete slabs can crack and weather over time, leading to repair and replacement costs.

We suggest a concrete paver patio for easier maintenance and long-lasting quality.

Paver patios consist of concrete stones placed tightly together. Like brick, pavers are laid individually on the compacted ground and then adhered with a polymeric sand substance.

Pavers are generally more expensive than concrete slabs because of the cutting and shaping required to make them. However, you can replace individual slabs instead of replacing the entire patio when damage occurs.


Stone patios are low maintenance, durable, and undeniably elegant. 

Consider your budget and skill set before deciding on a stone patio. Stone is an expensive patio option, costing up to $28 per square foot. It’s also not an ideal DIY patio project – you’ll likely need professional assistance to fit the heavy, bulky stones into place.

However, stone materials are easy to care for and come in many varieties. 

Flagstone is a popular choice for patios because of its rich texture and ability to be cut into unique shapes. Bluestone is a flagstone variety known for its bluish-gray color and lightly textured surface. These stones, along with many other options, will fit beautifully in your patio space.

See our patio material guide for more information on pavers, bricks, stone, and more.

10 Backyard Patio Design Ideas

Once you’ve expanded or constructed a posh patio, increase its appeal with outdoor furniture, landscape design, and decor.

Some homeowners like to execute their own renovation projects, while others prefer to hire a professional for the grunt work. With this in mind, we’ve listed DIY backyard patio projects and ideas that might require help from a pro. 

These patio designs will revamp your backyard with comfort, style, and functionality in mind, no matter which type of homeowner you are.

Brick Courtyard

Construct a brick courtyard for a fun and functional fortress right in your backyard.

A courtyard is a patio surrounded by walls. If you’re seeking ways to enhance an existing patio space, enclose it for added dimension and privacy. Simply build up walls around the patio space in a matching or complementary material.

We suggest brick because of its classy, durable design and longtime use in historical courtyards.

Courtyards are open structures perfect for soaking up sun or gardening light-loving container plants. Build your courtyard patio around existing trees for natural beauty. Then, enhance the area with a hammock and other outdoor furniture.

Fire Pit 

A fire pit is a perfect place to sit back and relax around warm, comforting flames.

Fire pits can be simple or intricate, making them a great project for DIY lovers and beginner builders. 

Build a fire pit yourself or purchase one from a local home improvement store. There are countless designs, brands, and price ranges to explore. 

Surround your fire pit with patio furniture for a cozy outdoor seating area. Remember to keep chairs, plants, and decorations away from open flames and hot coals.

With seating, safety, and some homemade desserts, your backyard campfire will undoubtedly entertain you and your guests. 

Multi-Level Patio

A multi-level patio is a perfect solution for your uneven backyard. 

Instead of flattening your property for a traditional patio, hire a landscape architect to design a stunning multi-level patio. 

Join the patio levels with stairs or ramps that seamlessly flow one area into the next. 

Incorporate a water feature into the slope of the garden. A bubbling waterfall will impress your guests and add a tranquil ambiance to your outdoor space. 

Finish off your multi-level patio space with greenery and bold, seasonal blooms. Then, lay gravel or stones on the slope to prevent erosion and aid water drainage.

Garden Pond Patio

Garden ponds are the best patio addition for nature-loving homeowners.

A garden pond is a water feature that often incorporates water-loving plants, river stones, and fish. Border the pond with the same material as your patio for a seamless design.

Build a DIY garden pond or hire a landscape designer for the job. Home improvement stores sell pond liners, artificial rocks, and other decor items suited for the project.

A popular feature of a garden pond is the presence of plants around the water. We suggest bordering your pond with moisture-tolerant flowers and foliage. Then, fill the water with lily pads and fish for an aquatic oasis.

Bistro Patio 

A bistro patio will become the focal point of your backyard.

The word bistro often brings to mind words like “simple” and “modest.” But, neither of these definitions has to apply to your bistro patio.

Spice up your small backyard area with a bistro patio designed for chatting, dining, or enjoying a crisp glass of wine. 

Build a small patio from any material that fits your home’s aesthetic. Alternatively, section off a nook of your existing patio with plant containers, custom screens, or retaining walls. Then, furnish the space with a bistro table and chairs.

We have no doubt your bistro patio will become your go-to spot for stay-at-home dates and restful moments in the fresh air.

Poolside Patio

Cool off from the summer heat with a poolside patio.

A pool deck is an area that surrounds your swimming pool. These surfaces often consist of wood, concrete, or composite decking. Add an eye-catching patio cabana that contrasts with your pool deck for a private area of shade and relaxation. 

Create your poolside patio by laying a section of brick or stone. Then, furnish the space with lounge chairs, outdoor rugs, and tropical plants. Install a hot tub on your pool patio to continue using the area during chilly months.

Pool patios don’t have to be covered, but a simple awning or broad foliage might be nice. We suggest enhancing the space with chic umbrellas for adjustable shade on scorching days.

Covered Patio

Cover your patio for year-round, rain-or-shine enjoyment. 

Adding a cover to your outdoor patio is an excellent way to expand its functionality. The shade will keep you cool on hot days and dry during rainy ones. 

An awning is a simple, cost-effective way to cover your patio.

Awnings attach to the side of your house to provide shade to your backyard space. They come in removable and retractable styles for seasonal use. 

If you have a stand-alone patio in your backyard, consider covering it with a stylish and functional pergola.

Pergolas are shade structures built from slats of wood or other materials. They don’t provide complete protection from the sun, so you might want to cover the top of the structure with a canopy or thick vine plants.

Once you’ve decided how to cover your patio, embellish the space with hanging plant baskets, lanterns, and string lights.

Dining Patio

Transform your patio into a dining area for relaxing outdoor meals. 

Creating an outdoor dining room is excellent for turning your patio into a harbor for socialization, entertainment, and family fun. 

We suggest pairing this patio idea with other features like canopies, garden ponds, and grills for an exquisite dining experience.

Choose an outdoor dining table that fits your design goals and size needs. Next, surround the table with comfortable, weather-resistant seating

We recommend topping off your dining patio with a rolling cart that holds dishes, silverware, napkins, and condiments for easy transportation to and from your indoor kitchen.

Grill Station

Show off your cooking skills with an outdoor grilling station.

A grill station is an excellent patio feature for grill masters and home cooks alike. Cover your grilling patio with an awning to make year-round use of the space. Pair your grill station with a dining patio for even more functionality.

We suggest furnishing your grill station with other appliances like a sink, mini-refrigerator, and stovetop. Add built-in cabinets and drawers to store utensils, dishes, and cooking equipment. 

With an outdoor kitchen and grill right on your patio, you can serve delicious homemade meals right in your backyard.

Secret Garden

Create a secret garden patio for a peaceful nature retreat.

Secret gardens are excellent for homeowners seeking a private area surrounded by lush greenery and brilliant blooms.

While we don’t actually recommend keeping your garden patio a secret, we suggest designing it for peacefulness and privacy.

Surround your patio with foliage, shrubs, and flowers. Then, add more plants with containers, hanging baskets, and vine-covered trellises. 

Trellises help you section off an area without building a brick or stone wall. Cover them with creeping vines for additional privacy and greenery.

Lastly, incorporate a gazebo or pond for an added touch of magic.

Final Thoughts

A backyard patio is a perfect place to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy cheerful company. 

Now that you have some ideas for backyard design, you can start creating a patio that fits your aesthetic preferences and functionality needs. 

Remember to enhance your patio area for comfort and style. You want the finished product to foster tranquility and peace, no matter the season.

With these patio design ideas in mind, you’ll undoubtedly create a dream outdoor living space just steps from your backdoor.

Editorial Contributors
Elisabeth Beauchamp

Elisabeth Beauchamp

Senior Staff Writer

Elisabeth Beauchamp is a content producer for Today’s Homeowner’s Lawn and Windows categories. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in Journalism and Linguistics. When Elisabeth isn’t writing about flowers, foliage, and fertilizer, she’s researching landscaping trends and current events in the agricultural space. Elisabeth aims to educate and equip readers with the tools they need to create a home they love.

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Andrew Dunn

Senior Editor

Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than 15 years of experience reporting and editing for local and national publications, including The Charlotte Observer and Business North Carolina magazine. His work has been recognized numerous times by the N.C. Press Association and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. He is also a former general contractor with experience with cabinetry, finish carpentry and general home improvement and repair. Andrew earned a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a certificate in business journalism. He lives in Charlotte, N.C.

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