Learning how to design a patio is a challenge that can intimidate many people. It is best to prepare for the task in advance as opposed to simply begin purchasing furniture and supplies in hopes that it will all come together in the end.

When preparations are made for planning to design a patio, the risk of conflicting appearances and lack of comfort and style will be minimized.

One of the most common mistakes that people make when they design a patio is not properly measuring the amount of useable space they have available.

This can result in overlarge furniture that does not fit well, or furniture that is too small for the space that does not provide comfort or function.

  • Measure the Layout

The first step to design a patio to be both comfortable and beautiful is to measure the layout of the patio space. Take into account how much ground space is available and also consider what functions the patio will be used for.

If you intend to use your patio for quiet, intimate moments with just a very small handful of people, you will not need to design a patio that is overwhelmingly large.

However, if you often intend to entertain friends and guests and use the patio for outdoor dinners, pool parties, receptions and more, you will want to make sure that you design a patio with expanded ground space to accommodate your needs.

  • Natural Surroundings

The next steps to take after you have determined how much available space is needed to design a patio is to take your natural surroundings into consideration and plan the patio design to enhance those surroundings.

If your natural surroundings around your lawn are rugged wildflower backgrounds, design a patio to continue this rugged beauty theme by using bold furniture, wild flower plants, wooden tables that are built from trees native to the area, and adding plants that are also native to the area.

If your natural surroundings are meticulous lawns and pristine tree-lined streets, a well planned patio with potted plants and contemporary furniture may be the best route to take.

  • Patio Themes

design a patioDesign a patio that is built near marina areas or beach regions useing the beach theme. In this type of natural surroundings, the patio furniture could consist of relaxed wicker furniture or sleek, wooden chaise lounges and outdoor dining sets.

In addition to considering the natural surroundings of the landscape, it is also wise to take into consideration the exterior of your home when getting ready to design a patio.

If your home is a plantation style home, Victorian and vintage style gazebos and dining sets will blend with your home’s appearance.

If your home is a ranch style house, you will discover that you have numerous options to design a patio with lodge-type furniture that will nicely complement your home and existing landscape and outdoor buildings.

Being eclectic and not sticking to one particular theme is something that many people desire to do to avoid growing bored with the same visuals throughout their home, lawn, patio, and pool area. If you decide to take the eclectic route to design a patio, keep a common denominator throughout the design to ensure that in some small part it enhances the natural surroundings and your home exterior.

The common denominator can be a specific minor color theme, an emphasis put on plants, candles placed on your front porch, on the patio, and near the pool.

There are many ways to design a patio to incorporate something that continues the design flow from one section to another. The sections will be the home exterior, patio and garden area, pool or lawn area, and outdoor buildings.

Adding small touches such as throw pillows to the outdoor patio furniture can help to incorporate a specific color scheme while providing comfort and style to your patio.

Quilts tossed over the back of a lounge chair and beverage carts can also enhance the patio, make it more comfortable and more functional. Small touches and an adherence to available themes will help you to design a patio that will be perfect for you.

Kelly MarshallKelly Marshall is a writer/blogger for PatioShoppers.com