18 Outstanding Patios to Inspire Your Outdoor Setup

A well executed patio or deck can expand a home’s interior and create a peaceful, open-air oasis where residents and guests can relax.

As summer temperatures rise, at-home outdoor spaces can provide an ideal environment for entertaining, lounging, and dining alfresco. These idyllic setups—from Norway and Australia, to the coasts of California and Chile—make the case for elevating your own patio or deck design.

Ridge Mountain Residence by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

Ridge Mountain Residence was designed to blend into the existing Palm Springs landscape. Cor-Ten steel cladding provides a naturally weathering material, while the concrete structure and flagstone terrace complement the light tones of the surrounding mountains. 

This midcentury bungalow in Manhattan Beach, California, was renovated with a 1,000-square-foot addition to create a total of 1,986 square feet for a family of five. The rear patio features a kitchen and dining area, as well as an ipe deck with a fire pit and built-in lounge seats. 

Architect Mauricio Llaumett of Nüform Studio designed this coastal family getaway nearly 200 miles from Santiago, Chile. Llaumett refers to the extended, pine-clad patio as its own entity: Aluminum lines the glass windows that divide the living areas from the outdoor space.

A San Francisco–based industrial designer and mechanical engineer couple teamed up with local architect Craig Steely to design their 1,800-square-foot home overlooking the Mission District. On warm nights, the residents eat al fresco dinners perched on Eiffel side chairs by Charles and Ray Eames around a table from Room & Board. 

Architect Miguel Ángel Aragonés’s 11,000-square-foot home spans three stories in Mexico City’s Bosques de las Lomas neighborhood. The residence gets its name, Rombo III, from the sharp geometry of its angular walls, which enclose the outdoor living spaces swathed in stucco, sand, and cement, with Spanish travertine floors. 

A maple tree grows through an ipe deck in this Tadao Ando–inspired garden that architect Mary Barensfeld designed for a family in Berkeley, California. A reflecting pool separates the wooden deck from a granite patio, which is furnished with a Petal dining table by Richard Schultz and chairs by Mario Bellini.

This timber-clad Edwardian home in the beachside suburb of Sandringham in Melbourne, Australia, features a custom rear extension One of the gable roofs extends out to the deck as a timber pergola above an open-air dining area. Glazed sliding doors connect the interiors with the elevated patio.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, a heavily wooded lot saddled between two small rivers was slowly renovated for over a decade—starting with an existing 1983 ranch house. Gradually, the property was transformed into a gathering place for the owners’ extended family with a versatile outdoor space, which includes a concrete, Gloster-furnished patio that complements the changing hues of the seasons.

Designer Ezequiel Farca transformed a 1970s-style concrete home into a tranquil sanctuary in Mexico City. The temple-like retreat blends into the hilly Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood with its pale green hue and strategic plantings, which soften the boundaries between house, garden, and street. The Recinto lava stone patio, which is accessed through the living room, holds teak outdoor furniture designed by Farca himself. 

In addition to its rear deck, which features an outdoor kitchen and hot tub and capitalizes on stunning ocean views, the Surf House in Santa Cruz, California, includes a sunny front patio that’s tucked between a customized surfboard storage unit and a garage.

Global firm Perkins + Will built this home on a 10,764-square-foot plot in São Paulo to revolve around the gardens, which take up 50 percent of the site. The architects designed the sprawling property around a large tree with to create open-plan, open-air living, dining, and kitchen areas. 

At this renovated house on the outskirts of Paris, shoots of bamboo shelter the patio and create a calm and secluded area that extends from the indoor living room.  

The expansive, covered patio that extends from this home in Phoenix, Arizona, features an outdoor kitchen and adjoining pizza oven. "My favorite aspect of the project was that the clients embraced the idea that home can be more than just shelter," says architect Cavin Costello. "It can be a place that incentivizes you to socialize, think, eat, work, create, and play differently."

This 49-square-foot, one-bedroom rental in Cornwall, England, was designed by local firm Studio Arc. Originally a thatched cottage, the exterior was updated with aged concrete for a modern feel, while wood-shingle walls add a sense of nostalgia to the outdoor space.

The Hibiscus House was designed by architect Luis López, who is the homeowner’s brother-in-law. Situated ten miles north of the Mexican border in South Texas, the Rio Grande Valley home includes an overhang with concrete beams that protects the elevated patio from the area’s frequent rain.

A 15th-century Tudor vacation rental in Kent, England, gets a contemporary update with large, glass-and-steel sliding doors and windows, plus a spacious, sun-filled patio furnished with stylish outdoor furniture.

Nestled in Victoria, Australia, this 4,844-square-foot house is comprised of a series of layers with intersecting zones that frame private ocean views. To take advantage of the proximity to the beach, St. Kilda–based architectural practice Robson Rak added a spiral staircase to allow the residents to take in panoramas of the water as they ascend the stairs. Multiple outdoor terraces and expansive glazed doors fuse the interior with the landscape.

On a rocky outcrop in the Norwegian town of Larvik in Vestfold County, Oslo-based firm Lund Hagem Architects renovated an 807-square-foot summer cabin with generous patios that take advantage of dramatic coastal views.

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