Think vertical The walls of your outdoor space can be pressed into service to maximise usability. Add wall-mounted flower beds for succulents or other hardy plants or use tall plants like bamboo as screens.
Outdoor mirrors hung on walls create an illusion of depth to your space. Choose mirrors with frames that can withstand the outdoors, such as copper, stainless steel or treated wood.
Think big It seems counter-intuitive, but filling a small patio with small objects can actually make it seem more cramped. Instead, choose one or two large pieces of furniture, an oversized sculpture and an accent plant. Any patio design should also build in some storage so that you avoid cluttering your space and making it seem smaller than it is.
Think outside the box If you don’t have the space at ground level to create a patio, look up—you may have useable space on your roof.
Urban rooftop garden areas have flourished in recent years, with townhouse dwellers taking advantage of the overlooked private space on top of their homes. Adapting patio designs for rooftops can be as simple as including a low wall around the perimeter and some plantings for shade on hot days.
Think inside the box Small spaces have to do double duty, and in some cases that means pressing the humble carport into service as an entertaining area.
Install some tall plants in the corners, a rug to cover the oil stains and a comfortable set of outdoor furniture, and you have a covered entertaining area.In a country blessed with as much good weather as Australia, it seems a shame to sit indoors.
With a clever patio design, and a bit of original thinking, you don’t have to. For more information, check out our patios page.