[DESIGN SHOW 14] Patio shapes that improve your garden

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Does your patio look the way you want? Does it work with the rest of your garden or is it dull and boring?

The SHAPE of your patio makes such a difference to the overall look of your garden. It’s often THE most overlooked aspect of garden design.

In this episode, international garden designer, Rachel from Successful Garden Design, critiques some design layout plans and offers solutions on how to improve designs.

Find out how to design a great looking patio for your garden in this brand new Garden Design Show episode…

To view all the online garden design courses visit: http://www.successfulgardendesign.com/courses/

Learn more! Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

Patio or Deck – Which is Best?

I’m often asked by clients if they would be better off with a patio or a deck for their garden. There isn’t a definitive answer as to which is better because it depends on your location, tastes and lifestyle needs. But there are pros and cons to each which will help you decide. Here are some of the main things to consider:

Patio Benefits

  • Easy maintenance (if you’ve chosen a good quality paving)
  • Wide variety of colours, shapes and textures
  • Paving looks good with a larger selection of property styles
  • Longevity (if you’ve chosen a good quality paving)

Patio Downsides

  • More intensive construction required underneath a patio, especially in areas with a lot of ground movement where reinforcement is needed
  • Environmental impact of using concrete
  • Cost

Deck Benefits

  • Quicker, easier construction, especially if raised above ground level
  • Natural looking material
  • Slightly cheaper depending on wood used

Deck Downsides

  • Maintenance (requires regular oiling if you want to keep its brown colour)
  • Longevity (more of an issue with untreated softwood decking)
  • Can be very slippery in winter

The 1st Consideration…

Whilst the above list does have valid issues to consider, the place I like to start with is the style and type of property someone has. If you live in the middle of rural England in a beautiful old house, decking probably isn’t going to be the best material to use as it won’t be in keeping with the house style.

However, if you live in the USA with a timber clad house, decking will look great with it. So think about the type of house you have first and foremost, before taking the things in the list above into account.

Next Step

You may well have the type of house that will suit either paving or decking. In this case, the next thing to consider is personal taste. Does one material draw you more than the other? For those of you muttering “No, that’s why I’m reading this, just tell me which one to choose already!” hang on, we’re getting there…

If that doesn’t narrow it down to a definitive “I want this one” answer, the next thing to look at is the style of garden that draws you. Are you more of a traditional or modern garden type of person?

What Garden Style Are You Trying to Create?

Do you like simple, clean lines or lots of interesting details and textures? If you want lots of detail and interesting features then paving will be a better choice for you. It’s much easier to create interesting patterns and different textures with paving than it is with decking.

If you like clean lines and minimal detail, then decking is great for this. Minimal detail can of course be achieved with one size of paving but because the individual paving slabs are much shorter than deck boards, paving will always look slightly ‘fussier’ than decking.

You can create more intricate patterns with paving and cleaner, simpler lines with decking

Have It All!

Photo credit N. Townley

If you really can’t make up your mind, another option is to just have both. A combination of  paving and decking looks great in modern gardens, the contrast is really effective.
I hope this article has helped you on the road to making a decision on which option to go for. We have just scratched the surface of the process, though.

It’s Important You Design Your Deck or Patio Properly…

There’s a lot more that goes into creating a great looking patio or deck than we’ve discussed here. The design shapes you use play an even more critical role than which materials you use. So it’s really important to spend a little bit of time deciding which shapes will suite your home and work with the rest of your garden.

If you’d like to learn exactly how to create a stunning patio or deck, then check out the online garden design courses we do here at Successful Garden Design.

Learn more, attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

How to Plan the Perfect Patio for Your Garden

Last week we looked at how to plan the perfect deck. This week it’s the turn of planning the perfect patio. Just like with a designing a deck, a little bit of planning goes a long way when it comes to creating a great looking patio. Putting your ideas down on paper will save you a lot of time and, potentially, money, and will ensure you get your dream patio.

Planning on paper first allows you to see if your ideas will work. It’s also much easier to change your mind and make adjustments on paper than it is during construction.

If the thought of plotting your patio onto paper seems like a daunting task, don’t worry; it’s actually much easier than you think.

It will give you the opportunity to make sure your patio works with the rest of your garden. You don’t want to build your masterpiece only to have it looking like it fell out the sky and landed in your garden!

Critical Patio Design Details to Get Right

It’s important to get the right shape, size and materials. The patio needs to be in proportion not only to your house but the rest of the garden. Too big or too small will always look wrong, no matter how hard you try to disguise it after it’s built.

Getting the right shape for your patio is one of the most critical parts of successful garden design. Shapes can create interest. They can make an area look and feel larger or smaller. It’s vital you choose a shape that enhances your home and garden and helps you get the most from your outside space. But avoid shapes that are too complicated.

Patio Design Software

To begin with, it’s better to grab a sheet of paper to try out your ideas. Resist the lure of the complex online design software. Useful as these free tools can be for working out the quantity of materials you will need, their prime purpose is often to help sell more paving. So keep that in mind, as the software’s suggestions may not be the best design for your property.

Patio design software can often come up with unnecessarily complicated schemes. Complex designs can look good on the computer screen but in reality they don’t usually make the best use of the available space and will often make areas feel awkward. This is especially true if there are lots of unnecessary level changes and angles in the design. Good design is usually very simple in concept.

How to Incorporate Changes in Level in Your Patio

Changes of level need to be handled with particular care, as these will have an enormous impact on how you use your garden. A level change will create exciting opportunities to make a stunning use of the space.

Done correctly, a change in height from one part of your patio to the surrounding areas of garden will enable you to add interesting features like built-in seating, planting beds, lighting effects and water features.

The main thing to make sure you do with a level change is incorporate it in a way that flows naturally so that it is instinctive and easy to get from one area to another. You don’t want your friends and family tripping up on an unexpected level change.

Building on a Budget

It can cost virtually the same amount of money to build a well-designed patio that enhances your home, linking it beautifully with the rest of the garden to one that’s boring and badly designed. So plan carefully before you build.

Once you’ve planned the size and shape of patio you want, you will need to consider the cost of the building materials. There are many options available to you, from natural stone,concrete and reclaimed stone paving. Research what’s available in your local area that works with your tastes, budget and design.

Learn more, attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

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