It is a known fact that the patio concept dates from the ancient times and the Romans. But how can one exactly describe the notion of a patio? Is it something different than a terrace? How to set it up, to decorate and enhance one’s patio?
Find out all the answers in our article!
In spite of the fact that this notion is widely attributed to terraces, the term patio is much more precise. Its definition is: an open-air interior courtyard, intimate and shaded from external view.
A patio is either precisely accessible by doors via the main areas of a house, or via a covered gallery with colonnades.
Conditioned by its orientation and the climatic scenario, a patio might be set up in an open-air environment or be covered. Such a lounge zone offers one the opportunity to spend time outdoors while not exposing themselves to the hot or wet weather.
Of course, if you want your patio to be traditional, you should decorate it with elements evoking Mediterranean architecture: colonnades, palm trees, ceramics, mosaics, earthenware, azulejos, ponds. But such a lounge area has also become in vogue in cooler places, and in contemporary architecture.
It is also considered to be an additional outdoor room. Thus, the area might be sheltered with the help of a retractable cover.
The origins of this lounge area
We already talked about its Mediterranean origin, which dates back to Ancient Rome, to the atriums (or peristyles) of the villas of the patricians. The authentic Roman patio had a function of representation: one received their guests there, in a semi-private area. In the ancient world, these were clearly open spaces with plantations, sometimes flowers and small ponds.
By extension, among the Moors of Morocco, many roads (traditional Arab homes) offer the impression that their central piece is the patio, the area that hosts a fountain and fruit trees. The Spaniards then seized upon this architecture in its colonies, in particular in the villas of South America, producing the famous haciendas.
In short, the patio represents an architectonic detail rather reserved for hot countries, where it is possible to live “half inside, half outside”.
WHAT WOULD YOU NEED IT FOR?
The advantage of such a lounge area – everything is more or less permitted: one can take advantage of both worlds, the indoor and the outdoor ones! But you will also have to think about arranging everything that is necessary around it: water point, workspace, garden tools, etc.
If you plan on creating a dining place, think well about your future dining set , possibly an outdoor kitchen set (that can be found in the ashley furniture assortment ), some nice light and maybe heating. You will also need to think about this area’s canopy.
If you plan on setting up a lounge area, consider arranging a reading zone, with cushions. If it’s a small indoor garden, consider a corner for potted or soil greenery (palms or bonsai), a corner for a plant bed or maybe a rock backyard, a technical area with some tools subtly hidden in an exotic piece of furniture, a pond, or even a mini play area for the little ones.
If the climate in which you live allows it, transform this area into a real room for your needs!
Think of the future nights on your patio, spent looking at the stars, without even having to leave your place!
WHICH DESIGN SHOULD YOU OP FOR?
Such a decision is a classic one, a lounge area under the sky, open all year round. We believe it to be quite aesthetic and “magical”. Still, keep in mind that it is quite rare that one can feel comfortable on such a patio, due to different weather issues.
A covered outdoor lounge area can be permanently topped by a roof, a retractable or hinged cover. Moreover, this detail can protect one both against the rain and the cold, but also against the sun, when it is a little too strong. Several solutions exist: parasol, shade sails, reeds, vegetated pergola, etc.
The covered patio allows you to combine the best of both worlds. With one small detail: in winter, it will be much more difficult (and expensive) to maintain the heating under an uninsulated patio cover.
A closed lounge area gives one the opportunity to spend more time outdoors, in all seasons, and to create a “microclimate” that one could regulate at will with some air conditioning or a reversible heat pump!
This type of lounge area can be compared to a “bubble”, or “greenhouse”, where you can have the temperature and humidity that you need. In such cases, one can freely choose any type of sofa or dining set, even the most fragile, because it won’t ever get damaged by the UV or the rain.
Small drawback: unless you installed a hinged opening roof (and we’re talking about absolutely overpriced luxury here), you won’t enjoy that little warm breeze or the songs of birds in your lounge area. Obviously this luxury comes at a price.
The independent lounge area
This type of detached patio might work well if you are lucky enough to own a large, neatly landscaped lot with zones. It offers one the possibility to benefit from a quiet lounge zone away from the house.
Still, nothing prevents the existence of a little sheltered passageway type pergola corridor to lead from the main house.
The U-shaped design
Such a design combines the existence of a lounge area outside the main living space, when it is not possible to set it up in its center. It is organized on the widest facade of the main building, in the form of a U closed by the facade, representing a patio extension that forms the transition to the outdoor space.
The entrance patio
Same as the U-shaped one, it is simply smaller in size. It is generally laid out differently, so as to welcome guests and provide a warm atmosphere. You don’t really sit there for a meal or to relax, it’s more of a sort of “airlock”.
Appliances, light and decor tips
- favor cozyness + relaxation
- choose a lasting, qualitative material
- keep the decoration style in harmony with your interior design
- create a nighttime atmosphere with the help of lights (use an outdoor luminaire with a waterproof socket)
- the blue color is very classic for southern patios but nothing prevents you from choosing warm and woody tones
- seating furniture is essential: hammocks, chairs, armchairs, deckchairs, sofas, cushions
- if your climate allows it, add drapes and rugs (strong, UV resistant fabrics to withstand gusts of wind)
- do not forget to set up the vertical areas of the area
- if opting for wood, give preference to teak, ipe, otherwise it might not pass the winter or the rainy season
- set up your “lounge area”: reading zone with candles, some good books.
To cut a long story short, if you decide it’s time to set up a patio in your garden, try to place the main accent not on extravagant looks, but on a feeling of warmth and light, so you could truly feel relaxed in your new outdoor space!