Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How To Avoid A Boring Grey Patio

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

Patios are such a great feature of gardens, providing a solid surface for seating and creating space for eating and socialising. But patios can sometimes end up looking a bit drab and grey, especially when it the sun isn’t shining.

So, how do you make sure your patio area stays vibrant and attractive in all

Read on for some stylish ideas, along with the lowdown on the costs involved to install a new patio.

How much to install a new patio?

First up, if you’re yet to install a patio or it’s time to lay a new one, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost.

How much prep needs doing, such as levelling the ground and extra features such as drainage and edging does affect the overall patio laying cost but the type of slabs you use are one of the biggest cost factors.

Concrete, slate and limestone all cost around £45 per m², while porcelain tiles are slightly more expensive at £55 per m².

High-end materials such as marble and certain types of granite and sandstone will cost even more. Every material has its pros and cons, so it’s worth taking time and doing your research to get the best result for your budget.

As well as cost, you might want to consider some of the ideas below, so you can avoid a boring grey patio.

Go with patterned tiles

If you’re starting from scratch with your patio, it might be an idea to consider patterned tiles instead of plain, grey slabs. Porcelain tiles come in a wide range of patterns and colours, from mosaic and Moroccan to geometric and contemporary designs.

If you’re keen to use stone slabs, you could choose materials that with natural patterning instead. Going for riven slabs will also add texture, giving you a more interesting base to your patio.

Mix it up

When you’re designing and laying a patio, you don’t actually need to stick with one type of material. You could use a mix of tiles, slabs and decking to create an altogether more unique and visually appealing patio. For instance, you might fancy combining cool slate and limestone slabs with warmer-toned sandstone or wood- effect porcelain tiles. This trick works particularly well to zone large, multipurpose patios.

Break it up

Another way to create an interesting patio is to break up your tiles and slabs with sections of water, lawn or beds. Having planting areas inside your patio gives you the opportunity to liven the space up with colourful flowers. But you could also plant a compact tree, giving you extra colour, texture, height and shade.

Alternatively, a small section or two of lawn would give you year-round pops of green.

Photo by Jan Canty on Unsplash

Try a Mediterranean-style patio

Using porcelain tiles with Moroccan or Spanish style patterning is an easy way to give your patio a Mediterranean feel. But edging your patio with rustic or embossed terracotta tiles will work just as well.

Surrounding your patio with white concrete raised beds will not only add to this theme but it will also brighten the space. So, it certainly won’t look grey. Planting some exotic-looking palms and ornamental
grasses should help round off your patio and keep it nice and colourful.

Style it with bright colours

The key to keeping a patio looking colourful rather than grey, is to style it well. Even if your existing patio is decidedly drab, there’s a lot you can do to brighten it up.

Choose seating and parasols with cheery yellows and warming reds and oranges or accessorise your furniture with coordinating cushions, outdoor rugs and tableware. If your patio butts up against a wall or fence, get your paintbrush out and lighten this up too.

Fill it with flowers and plants

A bare patio is always going to look a bit grey and flat. One of the easiest ways to change this is to add plants and flowers. Planting up a bulb lasagne is a good way to keep your patio full of colour. Simply choose a mix of flowering bulbs such as crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies and gladioli to ensure you have blooms
from early spring to early autumn in your pots. Patios are also great for growing shrubs with interesting foliage and fragrant plants such as lavender and thyme, boosting the appeal.

Paint your pots

Choosing decorative pots and tubs will enhance the colour and texture of your patio area too. So, try to pick containers that fit in with the look you’re trying to achieve.

Metal, wood, concrete and terracotta planters are all paintable. This means that if you already own a mish-mash of pots, you could give them a makeover rather than buying new ones.

Layer the lighting

Lighting is one thing that can really brighten up a grey looking patio. It certainly makes an overcast summer evening feel that much brighter and warmer. Just one central lamp isn’t going to cut it though. Really you want to layer the lighting, so you create a cosy warmth and make the space more interesting.

To do this you could place storm lanterns around the furniture, festoon lights overhead and wall lights or
staked lights dotted at intervals around the edge of your patio to achieve a pleasant ambience.

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