Patio Design Ideas

A patio is a paved outdoor area that adjoins a house, and is a popular addition to Australian and New Zealand homes. Not only is it yet another place to enjoy the great outdoors, but it can also save you time and money on landscaping. Often seen as an extension of the indoor living space, patios and courtyards can serve multiple functions. If you add outdoor furniture such as lounge chairs and a sofa, a barbecue or outdoor kitchen and a dining table and chairs, you can use them for entertaining, cooking, dining, and relaxing. Browse the Photos on Houzz for courtyard and patio designs to see how you can best utilise your existing outdoor area.

What materials should I use to construct my patio?


Stone pavers and bricks are the most common surface materials used for patios, while concrete, tiles and gravel are also popular. Stone paving is usually at the top end of the price bracket, but is highly durable and the most natural-looking of the surface materials available. Brick patios, on the other hand, are relatively easy to lay, and provide a warm, rich colour that can complement traditional homes. Concrete patios are one of the least expensive to build and are also very durable, while gravel is quick and easy to install. You will also need to decide whether you want your patio covered or left uncovered. You can add roofing if you plan on using the space regularly, or opt for a pergola, trellis or umbrella for shade instead. Patio enclosures, usually made from glass or mesh screens, can also transform your space into an outdoor room.

What outdoor patio furniture and decor should I include?


A patio can be so much more than just a paved slab, if you add the right additions. An outdoor kitchen and bar will help make the space the life of the party, while high-quality, low-slung chairs will make you want to stay outside for longer. If you have the budget, you may even consider adding a spa or pool. To make it the ideal al fresco area even when temperatures drop, a fire pit or fireplace will be able to keep you and your company toasty warm. To entice you and your guests into the space, make some room for greenery, even if you just a place a pot plant atop a table. It will help tie in the area to the surrounding garden. Fairy lights, garden torches and citronella candles will also help set the mood and keep the mozzies at bay, while soft furnishings such as waterproof rugs, pillows and chair cushions will add personality. For something striking, consider adding a water feature or wall garden.

If you're ready to hire a landscape professional to help you with the job, browse our directory here!
Inspiration for a contemporary backyard patio in Sydney with an outdoor kitchen.

Simon Wood
Inspiration for a contemporary backyard patio in Sydney with an outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor area semi closed in - zenaya00

Inspiration for a contemporary patio in Melbourne with a fire feature and no cover.

patrick redmond
Inspiration for a contemporary patio in Melbourne with a fire feature and no cover.
Lots of greenery, comfier couch - melodyoverton19

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Photo of a mid-sized beach style backyard patio in Brisbane with tile and a roof extension.

Mark Sherwood
Photo of a mid-sized beach style backyard patio in Brisbane with tile and a roof extension.

Photo of a small contemporary patio in Sydney with a roof extension.

Photo of a small contemporary patio in Sydney with a roof extension.
The use of wood in this outdoor space! Love it! - johnjill_white

Inspiration for a mid-sized contemporary courtyard patio in Melbourne with no cover and tile.

Inspiration for a mid-sized contemporary courtyard patio in Melbourne with no cover and tile.
Black trim around the door - ondbrown

This is an example of a mid-sized industrial backyard patio in Melbourne with an outdoor kitchen and no cover.

Tim Turner Photography
This is an example of a mid-sized industrial backyard patio in Melbourne with an outdoor kitchen and no cover.
Outdoor kitchen against boundary fence - bryan_yeow

Inspiration for a mid-sized contemporary backyard patio in Brisbane with brick pavers and no cover.

Open plan living areas flowing out into a landscaped courtyard. Terracotta tiles in intricate pattern. Photo: Lara Masselos Partial House Staging: Baxter Macintosh
colour scheme for frontage - above entrance to house - catetibb

Photo of a contemporary backyard patio in Brisbane with an outdoor kitchen, tile and a roof extension.

Stonetrack Grey R11 - Laid in multisize pattern - Project by Pitch Projects
Photo of a contemporary backyard patio in Brisbane with an outdoor kitchen, tile and a roof extension.
the sliding door - webuser_732713496

Photo of a modern backyard patio in Sydney with an outdoor kitchen and a roof extension.

Photo of a modern backyard patio in Sydney with an outdoor kitchen and a roof extension.

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Beach style backyard patio in Melbourne with an outdoor kitchen, decking and a roof extension.

Brent Lukey
Beach style backyard patio in Melbourne with an outdoor kitchen, decking and a roof extension.
Outdoor kitchen linked with a servery to the indoor kitchen. - john_velardo

Photo of a contemporary patio in Melbourne.

Photo - Urban Angles
Photo of a contemporary patio in Melbourne.
Seated area in front of green wall - webuser_840757692

Design ideas for a mid-sized contemporary patio in Melbourne with a vertical garden and a roof extension.

Urban Angles
Design ideas for a mid-sized contemporary patio in Melbourne with a vertical garden and a roof extension.
Natural setting - marigail

Photo of a contemporary patio in Sydney with a container garden and decking.

Photo of a contemporary patio in Sydney with a container garden and decking.
Love the extra bit of fence - cs352

Inspiration for a contemporary backyard patio in Melbourne with an outdoor kitchen and a roof extension.

Inspiration for a contemporary backyard patio in Melbourne with an outdoor kitchen and a roof extension.
Entertaining area. Different textures, roof, western wall etc. - carly_daly

This is an example of a mid-sized beach style backyard patio in Sydney with a roof extension and an outdoor kitchen.

Hamptons Style beach house designed and built by Stritt Design and Construction on Sydney's Northern Beaches. Outdoor entertaining back yard with covered patio, sandstone pavers, pool, hedges and lawn.
white courtyard area. white screens and similar colour tiles - webuser_136367544

This is an example of a contemporary patio in Perth with an outdoor kitchen, concrete slab and a roof extension.

Putra Indrawan
This is an example of a contemporary patio in Perth with an outdoor kitchen, concrete slab and a roof extension.
Opening roof over patio would take light/ rain issues away. Will need auto closing for rain when no one home. - browm_karen

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This is an example of a small contemporary backyard patio in Melbourne with natural stone pavers.

Dylan Lark
This is an example of a small contemporary backyard patio in Melbourne with natural stone pavers.
cladding on walls for outdoor area? - alex9958

Photo of a contemporary backyard patio in Sydney with tile and a pergola.

Photo of a contemporary backyard patio in Sydney with tile and a pergola.