Patio Ideas

Invigorating Focal Points
©Association of Pool & Spa Professionals Modern forms and materials characterize this in exposed aggregate, while stairways carry Mexican terracotta tiles

Without a doubt, swimming pools are one of the most popular and dominant patio ideas. Their presence adds value to the home, gives focus to the patio and nearby areas, and provides hours of enjoyment for both serious swimmers and casual bathers. The neat, orderly shape of rectangular pools usually lends a formality to patio settings that suits both traditional and contemporary house styles. When contoured into free-form shapes, pools have a more casual look, especially when surrounded by natural landscaping.

Poolside paving materials can be as varied as the patio designs themselves. Brick, flagstone, and textured concrete -- aggregate and imprinted concrete in particular -- are among the favorites. Though highly attractive, ceramic tile is usually too slippery a surface to use around water.

In perfect balance with the size and scale of the house and patio, this lap pool carries a crisp elegance that suits the traditional setting.

Because of their visual dominance, swimming pools and their patio surrounds should be sized to harmonize with the scale and proportions of the house, especially if they lie in close proximity. It's also a good idea to situate the pool where it can get plenty of sun, a little shade, and some protection from the wind.

©Bomanite Corporation A sculptural free-form pool serves as the dramatic focal point of this multi-terraced patio design. The textured concrete floor is colored and imprinted to resemble tile.

For more decorating ideas outside the home, see:

For more decorating ideas outside the home, see: