Our top 7 patio design trends for 2024

In no particular order, we are looking at our 7 favourite patio design trends for summer 2024…

Last month we shared Our Essential Patio Design Tips and we highlighted what we think are the principles to keep in mind when planning a new outdoor living space.

This month we want to follow that up with what we think will be the 7 essential patio design trends for 2024... 

1. Biophilic Design

1. Biophilic Design

Incorporating natural elements into patio designs, such as plants, green walls, and natural materials, is nothing new. However, Biophilic Design takes it to the next level and seeks to create a seamless connection or harmony with the surrounding environment.

Sage Glass in their Seven Principles of Biophilic Design article defines it as:

“Biophilic design is an approach to architecture that seeks to connect building occupants more closely to nature. Biophilic designed buildings incorporate things like natural lighting and ventilation, natural landscape features and other elements for creating a more productive and healthy built environment for people.” 

Designing your patio or garden to maximise views of the surrounding landscape is a great way to enhance the sense of connection to nature and create a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces.

Of course, planting is key, so look to integrate as wide a variety of plants, shrubs, and flowers as possible into your patio design. Consider using planters, hanging baskets, or our fave, vertical gardens to maximise greenery.

Use a mix of natural materials for flooring, furniture, and other decorative elements. These materials not only look beautiful but they’ll provide a tactile connection to nature and further pull the whole scheme together.

Natural light is another critical element and you can maximise it by building the patio in a location that receives the most sunlight. 

Of course, you also want the space to be functional, so consider the use of pergolas or open-slatted structures that allow sunlight to filter in. The best Biophilic designs combine a sense of enclosure or privacy but with a connection to the wider outdoors.

Good patio design should always be about creating a harmonious and sustainable relationship between you and nature in the built environment, so look to adapt these ideas based on your specific preferences, local climate, and the space you’re re-designing.

If you need a little inspiration, then the Biophilic Design Collection on Pinterest by Krysta Pesarchick is a great place to start and Homes & Gardens recently shared their latest ideas for fusing your indoor and outside spaces in their 2024 Biophilic Garden Design Trends article. 

2. Outdoor Living Rooms

2. Outdoor Living Rooms

Our patios are increasingly being designed to be extensions of our indoor living spaces. Comfortable seating, ceramic tiling, outdoor rugs, and accessories are combined to create a cosy and inviting outdoor living room feel.

Transforming your patio into an outdoor living room creates a space that’s inviting for those who love relaxation and laidback entertainment and it brings the outside inside your home too.  

Comfortable outdoor furniture such as sofas, lounge chairs, coffee tables, and ottomans are essential. Pair them with weatherproof cushions, throws, pillows, and outdoor rugs to enhance comfort and style.

If you want to utilise the space when the sun starts to set or the patio moves into the shade, then a critical part of the design is a heat source and ambient lighting to create a cosy atmosphere.

Some of our favourite patio design options include LED string lights, lanterns, and solar-powered pathway lights, paired with a fire pit or chiminea for both warmth and illumination.

The weather in the UK is changeable too, so some form of cover is essential. Install a pergola, or canopy, or pair our furniture with a parasol to provide shade during sunny days and shelter from any sudden downpours. 

Decorate your outdoor living room with outdoor-friendly accessories such as weather-resistant artwork, sculptures, and decorative planters. Choose decor that complements the overall theme and style you want to achieve and coordinates with the indoor space that accesses the out.

Install privacy screens or outdoor curtains to create that all-important sense of seclusion and intimacy. The key to a successful outdoor living room is to make it feel like a private oasis where you can kick back in comfort and relax, and if you're looking for inspiration, then Ideal Home has you covered with their 24 ways to make the most of your garden.

3. Minimalist Style

3. Minimalist Style

Clean lines, simple shapes, and a minimalist approach to furniture and decor have long been popular in the UK, but for summer 2024 a modern patio design that emphasises functionality and a sleek aesthetic is most definitely one of the styles of the season. 

Designing a minimal outdoor space needs laser-guided attention to detail and zero compromise. You must simplify every element to create a clean, uncluttered, and serene environment. It takes a healthy budget (quality of finish and materials is a must) but the results are always worth the investment.

Start your design by selecting and sticking to a neutral colour palette with clean lines. Whites, greys, beiges, and blacks are common colours utilised in minimalist design. Consider introducing natural materials such as wood and stone to add warmth without introducing a lot of colour.

Choose functional and minimalistic patio furniture with clean lines and simple shapes. You want multi-functional pieces that maximise functionality but minimise the number of pieces. 

The mantra when designing a minimalist patio is always “less is more”. Keep decor to a minimum and just select a few key pieces that will enhance the space without creating “visual clutter”. 

Remember, it is still an outdoor space, however, even your planting needs to be viewed as “natural decor”. 

Focus on simple, sculptural plants to add interest without overwhelming the space or making it look too fussy. Think succulents, grasses, and low-maintenance plants arranged deliberately to enhance the minimalist chic.

Focus on clean lines and geometric shapes in both furniture and the design elements you introduce into the space. Avoid anything too ornate or with intricate details. Use straight lines in paths, pavers, planters, and furniture to create a sense of order and simplicity.

Allow for as much open space as your patio will allow to create a sense of airiness, even in small areas such as balconies. 

You want to avoid overcrowding the area with too much “stuff”. Arrange larger items like furniture in a way that promotes easy flow and movement around the space.

Texture is another great way to add interest without complicating the overall design. Consider using different finishes, such as matte or brushed metals, and mix materials like wood and concrete to create contrast.

Invest in quality, durable furniture and materials to get that important timeless design that will enhance without shouting too loudly.  

Remember, the key to a successful minimal patio space is simplicity and the thoughtful selection and placement of each design element.

London-based interior writer, stylist and designer, Cate St Hill has selected some stunning ranges with serious minimal style credentials in her 10 of the Best Minimalist Outdoor Furniture Collections article.

4. Eco-Friendly Materials

4. Eco-Friendly Materials

Using environmentally friendly materials for furniture and accessories, as well as incorporating sustainable practices into our patio design, shouldn’t be a trend as such, but it is an area we’re keen to see grow in the UK. 

Integrating eco-friendly materials into our patio design is a fab way to create a sustainable and environmentally conscious outdoor space. 

You can opt for natural stone options like slate, granite, or limestone, which have a minimal environmental impact compared to their synthetic cousins. Try and choose locally sourced to reduce transportation-related carbon emissions. 

With timbers, go for FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified or reclaimed/salvaged, which is a great option that can be repurposed for a whole host of DIY furniture or decking projects. 

For your patio furniture also consider recycled metals, such as our cast aluminium range. These materials can be infinitely recycled without losing the properties that make them great for the UK climate. This is a subject we looked at in-depth in our Can Garden Furniture Be Recycled? article. 

If you do opt for wooden furniture, then use plant-based or water-based finishes to protect them as they have lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are more environmentally friendly. Shop around for brands that have third-party certifications for environmental standards.

One of our favourite environmentally-friendly patio design solutions is green roofs and living walls populated with native plants. They look amazing but they’re also a great way of providing insulation, filtering the air in your home and garden, and supporting local biodiversity.

The Lazy Susan team also love a spot of up-cycling, and if you want to get creative with old pallets or reclaimed bricks, then the team at Houzz have some great DIY projects in their 10 Up-cycling Ideas for the Garden & Patio post. 

5. Patio Furniture Focal Point

5. Patio Furniture Focal Point

Patio furniture is often a focal point without us even designing or planning it to be so. It is the item that we often see first and what draws us outside to use the space when the sun is shining. 

However, in the past, many garden designers have been reluctant to use it as such, preferring statement planting or dramatic garden structures. However, that is changing, and more and more we’re seeing patio furniture used as a stylish focal point. 

The key is to choose furniture pieces that are unique, eye-catching or functionally attractive to serve as your focal point. This could be a bold-coloured garden sofa, a distinctive coffee table, or a stylish outdoor dining set such as our <Insert Name> (above).

Look for interesting shapes, patterns, or finishes that stand out in your outdoor setting, and pair them with vibrant and contrasting outdoor cushions and a parasol to make the furniture stand out.

Another designer’s trick is to position an outdoor rug beneath the furniture set to define the seating or dining area and anchor the space. Choose a rug that complements the style of the furniture, enhances the overall design, and helps to draw the eye further.

If you do want the furniture to shine, then the arrangement is also critical. You want it to naturally draw attention without looking forced into eye-line. Our How to Style Your Outdoor Space with Small Balcony Furniture has some great tips on how to do this in a small space where the furniture is often the star of the show. 

Arrange the furniture in a way that creates a cosy seating arrangement or a visually appealing dining area. Consider a circular dining table or a U-shaped seating arrangement to promote conversation and create a central focal point.

When designing a patio layout where the furniture is the focal point, just remember that the key is to combine creativity with functionality. Choose elements that resonate with your style but create a welcoming and visually interesting outdoor space to spend time in. 

6. Al-Fresco Dining Spaces

6. Al-Fresco Dining Spaces

Dedicated outdoor dining areas with stylish tables and chairs, often complemented by overhead structures like a pergola or awning, are on-trend and the best way to encourage family and friends to break bread al-fresco.

Designing the perfect patio for outdoor dining involves creating a comfortable, inviting, and stylish environment. Location is critical and you want the right combination of sunlight and shade, shelter from prevailing winds, and a sense of enclosure and privacy. 

You want to clearly define the outdoor dining area to distinguish it from the rest of your patio or garden, and this is best achieved with different patio materials, raised decking, screens, planting, outdoor rugs, etc to “zone” it off.

Carefully measure the amount of free space on your patio when selecting the garden table and chairs to ensure they fit comfortably and still function (i.e. there’s space to sit down, move around, etc.) when in place.

Much like the outdoor living room, it pays to be prepared for all weather, so light, heat and shelter are a must. Incorporate large planting, a pergola, parasol, or shade sail into your design to protect diners from the wind, sun or any passing showers.

You can further enhance comfort with accessories like outdoor cushions, blankets, seat pads, fire pits, etc. You want to bring a touch of luxury to the space and encourage your guests to relax at your dining table.

Another great tip is to choose a durable and easy-to-clean flooring material such as ceramic tiles, pavers, or composite decking so spills are easy to clean.

Choose dining sets that offer flexible seating arrangements to accommodate different group sizes and configurations. Consider a mix of dining chairs, garden benches, and even lounge seating for versatility, all available and with great bundle savings in our collection. 

Add personal touches with decor that reflect your style. Consider elements like a garden table centrepiece or decorative lanterns. The perfectly designed al fresco dining spaces are the ones that reflect personal style while providing a comfortable and enjoyable environment for family meals and socialising with friends. 

If you plan on hosting friends and family in your al-fresco dining space, then setting the table is a great way to enhance the outdoor dining experience, and our How to Set Your Garden Table article has some great advice.

7. Small Patios & Balconies

7. Small Patios & Balconies

If 2024 patio design trends are all about seamlessly blending style, and function, and reflecting your personality, then one type of space in particular is getting all the social and traditional media buzz. 

Transforming a small space or balcony into an outdoor oasis is not without its challenges but think not of the lack of square feet but what you can do with it. We recently published our comprehensive Guide to Balcony Furniture and in that, we highlighted that: 

“Balcony design has also become an incredibly popular trend on social media sites such as Instagram, and people have used these visual platforms to showcase their creativity and unique ideas. Working in a limited space that is seen as difficult to make good, the transformations into stylish, comfortable, and functional outdoor living areas deliver the wow factor. Hashtags such as #BalconyDesign, #BalconyDecor and #BalconyGarden on Instagram can lead you down a rabbit hole of fab balcony design inspiration.”

The key to designing a small patio or balcony is to make it fun, enjoy the creative process, and look to maximise the use of what little space you have to create a cosy and inviting outdoor area. Consider how you want to use the space. Is it for dining, relaxing, gardening, or a combination of several activities? 

Of course, fit and function are critical, so our How to Carefully Measure for a Balcony Furniture Set focuses on balconies but much of the tips apply to any small outside space.

You want to choose functional furniture that fits with how you like or want to use the space, so opt for space-saving and multi-functional furniture such as our Bistro Sets. 

Pair with flooring that suits your style and practical needs. Outdoor rugs, deck tiles, or easy-to-install interlocking tiles are a great way to easily add comfort and visual appeal.

Always utilise any suitable walls by adding wall-mounted shelving, hanging planters, or vertical gardens to create the illusion of space. Use pots, hanging planters, or wall-mounted containers to save floor space and introduce colours and freshness.

You don’t need to go down the full minimal design route but you do want to avoid overcrowding the space, so only include items that are essential or help you get the best use from it.

Infuse your personality into the design too. Use decorative elements, garden art, or personal touches to make the space uniquely yours, and ensure that any furniture or accessories are weather-resistant or you have the space needed to store them during inclement weather.

The key to designing the perfect small patio or balcony is to maximise the use of what little you have while creating a space that combines function and style.

If you have any photos of our Garden Furniture on your new patio, we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.

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