Popular outdoor spaces came from all around the country — from the California desert to the Rocky Mountains, from the suburbs of Wisconsin to a row of brownstones in Brooklyn, New York — and included stylish fences, modern furnishings, pergolas, fireplaces, fire pits and bluestone surfaces. Here’s a countdown of the most-saved patio photos so far this year.
It’s clear from the top 10 patios that some Houzz users want to elevate the look of outdoor fencing from utilitarian to chic. Several patios feature stylish fencing with horizontal boards in interesting patterns. A great example is the fence around this patio located off a modern duplex in Basalt, Colorado. The designers at AXIS Productions added a fence with horizontal boards in various sizes that increase in size from top to bottom.
Tip: If you don’t have great outdoor lighting, use lanterns and string lights to create the right ambience outdoors.
9. Modern Courtyard Vibes in Palm Springs, California
There’s no better place to go modern than Palm Springs, California. The oversize pavers, long rectilinear fire pit, gridded patio design and limited material palette of this Palm Springs courtyard patio put the focus on the desert and the vast sky overhead. Cushy cubic modern chairs and a large abstract sculpture complete the look.
Tip: Pebbles and clean-lined concrete make a compelling patio surface pairing. Here, the colors of the surrounding desert landscape inspired the selections.
8. Under a Pergola in Northern Utah
This powerful pergola crafted by Magleby Construction in Lindon, Utah, defines a comfortable patio space complete with a porch swing. The large timber posts of the pergola play off architectural details on the home’s exterior, including the front porch. And the composition of the horizontal boards on the fence create depth, shadows and interest.
Tip: Consider wiring a pergola for features like ceiling fans, lighting and speakers.
7. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains
There’s perhaps no better spot to enjoy the warmth of a fire outdoors than in the Rocky Mountains. This patio with spectacular views sits off a rustic-style home composed of reclaimed wood, stone and metal in Telluride, Colorado. Artisan Builders gave the patio primitive camp style that matched the house, while also making it comfortable. Lounge furniture crafted of rugged reclaimed timbers, irregular flagstones on the patio and the carved-stone fireplace make this the perfect place to enjoy a fire outdoors.
Tip: Consider how outdoor features and furniture will relate to the architecture of your home.
6. Hygge-Inspired Style for a Midcentury Modern Home in Virginia
Landscape firm Outdoor Dreams extended this patio off a mid century modern house in Richmond, Virginia. The inspiration for the styling of the photo was hygge, a Danish word that signifies comfort and coziness. A warm fire, loads of soft throws and mugs of hot cocoa exemplify the definition.
Tip: Consider more than one fire source on a patio. The patio here combines a wood-burning fireplace and a gas fire pit built into a rugged boulder coffee table.
5. Lush Space Outside a Converted School in Seattle
Located off a school gymnasium-turned-loft designed by Mark Ashby Design, this lush courtyard is an unexpected delight that’s viewed through the large living room windows. . The plantings are a combination of clipped shrubs and espaliered trees mixed with more free-flowing plantings left to their natural forms. Among all the green foliage, sculptural pieces of modern and contemporary white furniture stand out, including the John Dickinson table, the Kartell Bubble Club sofa and Vitra’s Panton chairs just out of view.
Tip: In a damp climate, embrace the beauty of moss.
Photo by Jill Sorensen Inc.
4. Covered in Los Angeles
This Los Angeles patio has idyllic California outdoor living covered — a pull-up bar outside the kitchen window, a second bar across from the grill and a covered dining area for al fresco meals. Not shown here is the fabulous lounge area also located under this roof.
Tip: Consider a pass through window from kitchen to patio. It will make serving an outdoor dining area easier.
Photo by Ginkgo Leaf Studio
3. Cottage Garden Style for a Wisconsin Farmhouse
Ginko Leaf Design Studio designed this Wisconsin farmhouse-style home’s backyard with colorful cottage gardens in mind. Landscape designer James Drzewiecki zoned the patio into two conversation areas and a pergola-topped dining area. Patterns of bluestone and brick help define the different areas.
Tip: Large patios can feel vast when composed of one material. Mix materials to create a comfortable human scale.
Photo by Harper Design Build
2. Backyard Fun for a Brooklyn Family
Harper Design Build partnered with Brooklyn landscape architecture firm Todd Rader + Amy Crews to turn an untamed backyard in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood into additional living space. Houzz users loved the pattern in the fence, where two different-size boards create a rhythm in stripes.
The homeowners recently added sunshades to the clear cedar pergola for privacy and shade. A ceiling fan in the pergola provides a breeze on hot summer days.
Tip: Use contrast on a patio. Here a combination of ipe decking, bluestone pavers and Cor-Ten steel accents provide an interesting view from the brownstone home.
Photo by WINN Design + Buil
1. Fireside Outdoor Lounge in Northern Virginia
This Northern Virginia backyard designed by landscape architect Joseph Richardson for the owners of design-build firm WINN Design+ Build showcases beautiful bluestone on two patios and a staggered path that connects them. And while Houzz users commented favorably on the material, they were even more taken with the beautiful outdoor fireplace. Elements like herringbone firebrick inside the firebox, the bluestone hearth and capping and the wood-storage box integrated into the fieldstone fireplace make it the most-saved patio photo of 2020 so far.
Tip: For a wood-burning fireplace, put thought into where firewood will be stored.