Dwell's Favorite 106 Outdoor Small Patio, Porch, Deck Design Photos And Ideas

Cool air from the gardens flows into the rooms through sliding doors and windows.
A maple tree grows through an ipe deck in this garden that Mary Barensfeld designed for a family in Berkeley, California. A reflecting pool separates it from a granite patio, which is furnished with a Petal dining table by Richard Schultz and chairs by Mario Bellini. The 1,150-square-foot garden serves as an elegant transition from the couple’s 1964 Japanese-style town house to a small, elevated terrace with views of San Francisco Bay. Filigreed Cor-Ten steel fence screens—perforated with a water-jet cutter to cast dappled shadows on a bench and the ground below—and zigzagging board-formed concrete retaining walls are examples.
The steel-framed doors fully open to the courtyard, maximizing indoor/outdoor living space on the small lot.
The home displays several applications of the same materials—metal, glass, and concrete—a key characteristic of most Ellwood homes.
A steel-and-glass extension hosts the main living spaces and flows into the backyard.
In the coastal town of Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia, local practice Harley Graham Architects elevates the Australian "garden studio" with this 646-square-foot granny flat. Named Marvel Street Studio, the guesthouse is an addition to a home designed by Paul Uhlmann.
A string of glass hallways connect the four pavilions, bringing a slice of the great outdoors inside.
The end of each bedroom opens up to a private brick patio connecting the two spaces. Doors along the side also open up to full expose the bedroom spaces to the pool.
A wooden picnic table is located off one end of the living room, creating a tranquil setting to enjoy alfresco dining while soaking up the sunshine.
Located in Aarhus, Denmark, Villa R is a minimalist, serene structure clad in zinc panels. "The objective was to create a house that brings the forest inside through large glass panels—and create an ever-changing seasonal backdrop for the interior living spaces," stated the architecture firm, C.F. Møller, of the 3,200-square-foot abode.
The asymmetrical, angular forms of the roofs create a dramatic interior filled with light from clerestory windows and high ceilings.
Throughout the day, light animates the limestone walls to various effects. “As the sun rotates around and is more oblique to the texture of the stone, it casts these wonderful shadows on it,” says Raike. “And you just get a real appreciation for the texture of the stone and the richness of the colors in it.”
All doors open up to the central courtyard of this single-story home.
Beyond the large pedestrian gate, “which is really the home’s front door,” says Gottschalk, “the house begins to reveal its strong indoor and outdoor relationship. Blurring the boundary between the two is a key design element.”
Expansive doors open to cozy sitting area outdoors.
Outside, a triangular saltwater pool overlooks breathtaking views.
The home’s interior plan is organized around a water feature that's open to the sky and tiled with a bold blue-and-white chevron pattern.
Negative space appears to be carved out of the dark exterior to reveal the home's bright white interiors.
A private terrace is an extension of the interior living spaces. A canopy provides protection while not interrupting the surrounding vistas.
Finished with a ceiling and dining table set, the second-floor patio is an optimal entertaining space.
The rear of the house continues the same mix of materials as the front facade and includes a long, narrow pool.
Planted with silver birch trees, a light-filled courtyard creates a visual and physical separation between the old building and new addition.
Teak surrounds a minimalist outdoor shower.
The windows are Anderson100 Fibrex Windows.
The doors are Fiberglass ThermaTru.
The 5,200-square-foot retreat is designed to look like a cluster of old barns upon first glance.
The outdoor shower situated off of the master bedroom is enclosed to offer privacy and features a courtyard garden. Michael Arp of Lanoha Nurseries designed the house's landscaping.
The SysHaus construction method reduces water and resource wastage from the traditional construction process.
The owners wanted to improve the connection between the interiors and the outdoor garden.
The outdoors are part of the cohesive design, embracing the vegetation, sites, and sunlight.
Much of the new building and interiors was constructed using natural material: cedar walls and ceiling linings, solid American oak joinery and floorboards, off-form concrete countertops and backsplashes, limestone and bluestone paving, and charred (Yakigugi) silvertop ash cladding.
The four-level, 2,690-square-foot home's oxidized copper elements almost blend into the surrounding greenery.
Surrounded by glass panels, the deck has an infinity-edge effect.
The Lai family—Mayuko, baby Shota on her lap, David, Maya, and Yumi sitting on a cushion on the deck—relaxes in their indoor-outdoor living space, made by opening the glass sliding doors to connect the living room and engawa deck.
A young Finnish designer bypasses building permits by creating an affordable tiny home under 100 square feet.
The sand-colored fascia of the roofline allows the palapa to appear more integrated in its environment, as does the stone wall facade, which blends in with the boulders.
The couple often dine on the patio off the kitchen, warmed by a fireplace from Spark Modern Fires. Photo by Coral von Zumwalt.
Kelly Milford helps son Adam out of the hot tub nestled on a wood deck in back of the house. The exterior paint is Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore.
Though the front of this 1880s home in Adelaide, Australia, maintains a traditional facade due to strict heritage laws, the rear is modern eye candy at its best. See more of the home.
While Falck built most of the tiny home himself, he hired a local carpenter to build the window frame and door.
Entry Court
Vines spill over primary-colored, glazed-brick walls, which recall Girard’s eye-popping graphics.
Durable fiber-cement HardiePlank clads the rear facade.
In some parts of the ancient city, the streets run above these subterranean cave homes.
Louvers protecting from the burning sun.
New addition and patio from outdoor garden: the concrete terrace extends into the garden, and receives daylight over the house from the southern sun.
"The border between inside and outside fades because of the perpetuation of the washed concrete flooring, reminiscent of cannon bases. Just like the shutters of the old barn, the sliding facades of the expansion offer the opportunity to seal off the guest complex entirely," explains Vanhoutte.
Planters have been placed around the pleats to create pockets of sky gardens on the perimeter of the building, with some featuring steps that lead to other outdoor terraces.
A sheltered outdoor terrace is located near the heart of the home.

Whether it's a backyard patio, an infinity pool, or a rooftop terrace, these modern outdoor spaces add to the richness of daily life. Escape into nature, or get lost in city views. Wherever you are, let these outdoor photos take you somewhere new with inspirational ideas for yards, gardens, outdoor tubs and showers, patios, porches, and decks.