A large expanse of concrete can look cold and boring. Gaps between sections let you add plants that create colorful breaks. Choose moss-like plants that stand up to foot traffic, such as Sagina Subulata, or a sedum.
This flagstone patio merges indoor and outdoor spaces. Set in mortar, it's easy to clean and maintain and provides an ideal segue to the dry-laid flagstone path running to the landscape beyond the house. The colors of the stone repeat the colors of the walls and the roof of the house, which ties everything together nicely.
This wrap-around porch welcomes guests and offers family and friends wide open spaces for casual entertaining. Painted wood floors can be extremely durable when you use special formulas, such as porch floor or marine paint. Although this paint comes in many colors, white and gray are traditional in most regions.
The somewhat random pattern of the stone floor emphasizes the irregular shape of this patio, making a strength from what might otherwise have been perceived to be a weakness. Bold, unstructured plantings contribute to the eclectic nature of the garden setting.
Repeating a material from the structure for the patio floor is nearly always a good choice. Here, a red brick floor echoes the red brick walls and a buff colored patio table repeats the color of the capstone.
Square or rectangular patios can be made more interesting by adding unexpected curves. Here, a planting bed rounds off one corner and a raised bed frames a wall fountain. The arms and legs of the patio furniture throw in an additional curve or two.
Cobblestone adds texture to this otherwise plain space. The understated background places the focus on the patio's unique furnishings.
Accessories extend the season for this luxurious porch. An enormous wood burning fireplace warms the space in fall and spring, and a ceiling fan creates a welcome breeze is summer. The hearth also doubles as extra seating for parties.