7 Ideas for Patios that Will Give You A Great Gathering Space For Your Family

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Your patio doesn’t have to be just a big rectangle by the back door. The site of your patio affects how often it will be used and how well it serves its intended purpose. Whether you are designing your own or working with a designer, here are some things to consider in the planning phase.


Function is the most important factor in patio design. Most functions fall into dining, relaxing and gardening. Envision all of the occasions and activities for how you will utilize the patio. Also think of when you anticipate being outside and what will draw people out into the yard. Will it be used for entertaining? How many people and what size dining table will you need?  Or perhaps you want a small and quiet space to relax in? Or both? Also consider other features such as a fire pit, fireplace, grill and spa.


Location is paramount to patio design. Once you have narrowed down the function, the next step is location. Do you want to be close to house or farther away? Do you prefer an intimate space or something more open? Do you currently enjoy a place in your yard to enjoy and can that space be improved and more enjoyable?  Try placing some chairs where you think you would want to have the patio. How does it feel to be there? Is it pleasant, are there views or areas that need to be obstructed? You may also want it adjacent to existing doors for continuity from the inside to the outside.

Dining and cooking

Patios are often best placed close to the kitchen for convenience and ease of bringing food and items outdoors. Place the grill away from where smoke may enter the house or irritate diners. Outdoor kitchen islands are a versatile element as you may use it not just for preparing and serving food but also for extra seating with bar stools.

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Create Outdoor Rooms

Divide one large patio into individual spaces. This creates outdoor “rooms” as you have inside your home.  A seating area a bit farther away from the main patio creates a destination and a conversational area. Select the furniture before sizing this area. It can be a great space for a pair of chaise lounges or a fire-pit.

Fire pits and fireplaces

Fire features are great as a focal point for gathering the family together in the evening.  They also will make your home a “go-to” location for your friends and neighbors to get together and relax. Consider wood burning fire features for ambiance or gas for ease of use.


Views are key to having a nice space to be in. Are there suitable views you would like to take advantage of or would screening with a fence or planting be necessary? You can create a view or visual interest in other ways. Having a focal point in the distance such as a small sculpture or bird bath.

Light and shade

Do you want to lounge in the sun or prefer a shadier spot and consider what time(s) of day the patio will be utilized the most. The addition of carefully placed trees, a shade umbrella or pergola offer more versatility.

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No matter what you’re looking for in a patio for your home in the Newton, Needham, Wellesley area, the experts at Land Design Associates can help. Whether you’re looking for a large multi-faceted outdoor patio layout or a quiet spot for coffee or to read a book, Land Design Associates has you covered. We have over 25 years experience to help. Contact us today to learn more or give us a call at 781-769-3286.

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