The warmer weather means it’s time to head outdoors and enjoy the sights and sounds of summer from the patio. Beyond a storage and sitting space, patios have endless uses for innovative homeowners, it’s just a matter of creativity. Here’s a look at our top 15 patio ideas for this summer, with friends and family, or even for some chilled ‘me time’ al fresco. 

1. Picnic time

Don’t spend your day fighting with ants over your food, rather choose to have that picnic on your patio. Throw down an outdoor rug and get out your favourite snacks and drinks without the hassle of searching for picnic spots or fighting the crowds. This will be a definite family favourite. 

2. Grill out 

If your patio has an outdoor kitchen area or grill, then you should really invite friends and family over for a grill. If you’re still considering the design of your patio, then it’s well worth looking at installing a pizza oven or barbeque into the design, as you’ll get a lot more use out of it than you expect. With the right outdoor furniture, the patio will become the heart of the home!

3. Get out the games

Ditch the screens this summer and get out some old-time family favourites to enjoy out on the patio. Card games, board games, a fun family trivia game… there’s so much to do! And, depending on the size of your patio, you can take it up a notch with some more energetic games like frisbee or badminton. 

4. Reading nook

If you’re more of a bookworm then set up a little reading nook with an outdoor rug on the patio floor and throw pillows or a hanging chair. Put out a few potted plants for a naturally lush feel and then get lost in a good book for a few hours. 

5. Nap time 

Those lazy summer days call for a refreshing siesta, but don’t head for your bed, rather enjoy a nap outdoors on the patio. This outdoor area can be kitted out with great patio lounge furniture, or hammocks and hanging chairs to swing in the breeze. 

6. Ice-cold drinks

Turn your patio into the ideal hangout spot with an outdoor bar and seating area. Enjoy ice-cold cocktails on the patio, or even a refreshing iced tea or lemonade while enjoying the summer sun. Your outdoor bar doesn’t need to be too expensive, you can create an impressive DIY bar with cement blocks and wooden boards. It’s all about the vibe!

7. Meals under the stars

Turn your patio into an al fresco fine dining location with a dinner under the stars. With some string lights hung around this outdoor area, you can create a really welcoming ambience, and make this the place to be! You can also include a fire pit for after-dinner drinks and marshmallows. 

8. Get digging

If you’re looking to get in on the green revolution – and you really should – then turn your patio into an outdoor oasis with potted plants and flowers. If you prefer something colourful, then consider some bright flowers. For something low maintenance, go with an indigenous selection. But if you’re wanting something a bit more functional, then use your patio space to grow herbs and vegetables. 

9. Pet party 

If you love your four-legged friends, then set up part of your patio space for your pets. This way, they’re still able to hang out with the family while still enjoying their time outdoors. Just remember to set up outdoor furniture that is pet-friendly, unless you don’t mind some muddy paw prints. 

10. Chill out vibes

With the right set-up, you can create the ultimate chill-out patio where you can unwind, listen to music, and let the world go by. Alternatively, if you prefer some more volume, then put up a great sound system on the patio and turn it into the ideal party venue – just keep the neighbours in mind!

11. Artistic flair

Let the inner artist out by turning your patio into an outdoor studio. There’s something very inspiring about indulging in your art in an outside space, and the patio is the perfect solution. It’s close enough to your art equipment and you can draw on the inspiration of nature. 

12. Movie night

Movie night doesn’t need to be restricted indoors. You can arrange some extra seating, put up a sheet, and get a projector for the ultimate ‘drive-in’ movie experience. Just make sure that it’s not a windy evening and that there’s not too much exterior lighting. 

13. Camp out

Installing a fire pit is a great addition to any patio. In addition to barbeques, you can have a fun campout with tents set up on the patio and marshmallows roasted around the fire (pit). It’s also a great place to warm up with a few drinks in the winter months. 

14. Hideaway spot

Holiday times can get quite manic with the entire family over to stay, so why not convert your patio into a great hideaway spot? Turn this outdoor space into your outdoor retreat by setting up a trellis and plants for more privacy. Make sure you choose a spot along the fence line or house for extra privacy. 

15. Rinse off 

There’s nothing quite as liberating as an outdoor shower, so why not install a shower on your patio? This can be elegantly done for sufficient privacy without extending into the entire patio area. An outdoor shower is great for an after-swim rinse or a post-beach rinse if you live on the coast. 

Tips for improving your patio space

Your patio can be any space that you need, it’s just a matter of creative design and the right patio furniture. It doesn’t matter how much space you have to work with, if you work it well, you will enjoy a really gorgeous outdoor space. Here are a few ways to improve the patio space. 

  • Hanging chairs: If you’re limited in the amount of outdoor space you have available, then consider something like a hanging chair which takes limited space but adds a lot. 
  • Patterns: By incorporating patterned tiles, you’re adding a lot of personality to the space without doing too much. Just remember to go for non-slip tiles and don’t make a small space too busy. 
  • Extension: If you want to make the patio an extension of your home, be sure to consider the interior décor and bring this into the outdoors for a more fluid dining area. 
  • Zoning: You can get all you want out of your patio by using materials to create different zones. These could be tiles, gravel, fencing or more. 
  • Organic feel: Including some gravel in your patio area creates a much more organic look and feel. 
  • Raised effect: You can raise flowerbeds around the patio for a splash of colour and to create a more natural feel. 

If you’re looking to install a patio and maximise your outdoor space then get in touch with industry specialists, Advance Decking. They specialise in outdoor living that includes decks, patios, privacy screens, fencing, gates, stairs and balustrades.