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Louvre pergola on a modern single-storey home.

How to Choose the Perfect Patio Design for Your Home

As a Melbourne family business specialising in patios, verandahs, pergolas and other outdoor living solutions, it’s probably no surprise that we get asked a lot about patio design. 

The biggest of the burning questions that people seem to have when it comes to patios and verandahs boils down to what the best patio design is for their home. 

We get a lot of questions like, ‘what are some patio design ideas for small backyards?’ and ‘what is the best roof option to help manage the harsh Australian sun?’. So, to answer these, we’ve put together a guide on the main patio types and design options — so you have all the information you need to answer these questions and choose the perfect patio design for your home. 

First, let’s take a quick look at what a patio is, compared to a verandah or a pergola — because the first thing you’ll need to know is whether it’s a patio or another type of outdoor living structure that you’ll need.

Covered patio with side screening

Verandahs, Patios, Pergolas — how are they different?

Patios, verandahs and pergolas, oh my! If you use these names interchangeably, or are not sure which is which when it comes to outdoor living structures in Australia, you’re not alone. 

Patios and verandahs in particular are very similar. At Discounted Patios, we also use the terms interchangeably, just because that’s how most of the general public refer to these outdoor living structures, but when we get technical, they are slightly different. 

In Australia, a patio structure is usually built at ground-level, often over a paved outdoor area. A patio can be attached to the main house or unattached (freestanding). On the other hand, a verandah is usually raised from ground level and will often wrap around the house, from the sides to the front.

Both structures serve to extend a home’s living space and offer protection from the elements. Verandahs help to connect different parts of the house, whilst patios integrate indoor and outdoor living spaces, offering extended entertaining areas.

A pergola is a bit more obvious in its differences to verandahs and patios. A pergola is a more decorative, open-roofed structure which can be freestanding or attached, and often features plenty of climbing plants, a plant canopy overhead, or shade cloth. 

Need help choosing the right type of outdoor living structure for your home?

To choose the right outdoor living structure for your home, it’s best to get the help of an expert. At Discounted Patios, we’ve been helping Melbourne families upgrade their outdoor living spaces with stunning custom patio design (and other outdoor living solutions) for more than 25 years. 

We’ve got plenty of Patio design ideas for homes in Australia and can guide you through choosing the perfect outdoor structure, and the perfect pergola, verandah or patio design for your home. Get in touch with us if you’d like our expert help

Australian patio design ideas and choices: here’s what you’ll want to consider to pick the best patio design for you

Whether you’ve selected a verandah or patio for your outdoor living structure, there are different choices to make that will determine the overall design and look of your patio.

Here are some of the top patio design choices you’ll want to consider:

  • Patio roof design options and ideas
  • Patio colour design options and ideas
  • Patio flooring design options and ideas 
  • Shade, screen, and shutter design options and ideas
  • Patio support beam design options and ideas
  • Patio shape and size layout ideas

Having a good idea of the options and your preferences for these elements will help you choose the perfect patio design for your home. 

Patio roof design ideas and choices

Patios (and verandahs) can extend your home living areas, provide a space to entertain and relax in and also add value and enjoyment to your home.

The type of roof that you choose for your patio can make a big difference in its design, style, and functionality. 

Here are some patio roof design ideas and options to consider: 

Flat roof

Sleek, modern, and great for contemporary homes. Flat roof patios work best with modern home designs, especially for homes with sleek, clean-cut lines.

Gabled Roof

A pitched roof that provides more height and airflow. Gable roof patios are classic in appearance and easily recognisable. They provide effortless style, and give an open feel.

Skillion Roof

A single, flat surface, pitched at an angle. Skillion roofs work best with trendy, chic homes that have skillion roofs in the main home design. Flat roof patios also look good with skillion roof homes, profile a flat element to the slanting features.

Curved Roof

Curved roof patio designs are another unique design option for more modern homes. These add a unique and elegant touch to your patio.

Insulated Roof

These are offered by some of the very best Patio designers and providers (like yours truly — wink wink). Insulated patio roofs are specifically designed for Australian weather conditions, and give you weather-proof weather that keeps things warmer in winter and cooler in summer. At Discounted Patios, our insulated roofs also have the stunning design benefit of removing the usual visible support beams you typically see with patio designs; so you have a sturdy, functional, insulated and comfortable structure that looks stunning with an uninterrupted ceiling finish. You can see what they look like on our insulated roof page.

Insulated roof patio area, with pool
Decked outdoor living area with swimming pool with insulated roof

Tips for choosing the perfect patio roof design for your home:

Consider your home’s existing architecture, and what roofing type you have already. You might want to consider choosing a patio roof style that mirrors what your home features, or, you might want to choose a complementary or contrasting roof style.

Patio roofing styles that closely match your main home’s roofing style helps to expand your spaces visually, making your patio look like an extension of your home and living spaces. It helps make your home overall look bigger, while a contrasting roof style draws more attention to the patio itself. 

If your home has a modern aesthetic, a flat roof may look great with your home. If your home has a more traditional style, a flat roof may look out of place. 

If you’re looking for a stunning style that makes your living areas look bigger, extends your living spaces visually into your outdoor areas and keeps things cool in the heat, an insulated roof looks stunning with almost any home. By removing the need for the visual support beams, the uninterrupted ceiling finish adds a feeling of space and elegance to your patio.

Want expert help choosing your patio roof design?

At Discounted Patios, our passionate team has been upgrading outdoor living spaces for families for over 25 years. We’ve created custom patio designs for many homes in Melbourne and can give you advice on the best roofing options to match your home’s aesthetic and your functionality preferences. We can also show you some examples of our work so you can get an idea of what the different options look like once they’re complete. 

Patio Colour Design Options and Ideas

Colour plays a big part in your patio design. Here are some patio colour choice ideas and options to consider.

Natural Wood: Rustic and timeless.
Neutral Tones: Whites, beiges, and greys for a classic look.
Bold Colours: Blues, greens, or even reds for a vibrant touch.
Metallics: Modern steel or brushed aluminium for a sleek finish.

Patio design considerations for colour:

The colour you choose for your patio design should complement your home’s exterior.
A good thing to remember is that lighter colours reflect heat, while darker ones absorb it.
The safest choice is to choose a colour that matches the rest of your home’s exterior colour scheme.

Patio Flooring Design Options and Ideas

A flat roof patio roof covering a seating and BBQ deck area with a pool in the background.

Here are some patio flooring design options and ideas for your consideration.

Decking: Wooden boards, great for a warm look.
Concrete: Durable and versatile.
Pavers: Stone or brick, for a touch of class.
Tiles: Stylish and available in many designs.

Patio floor design considerations:

While it may be tempting to pick what creates the most impactful visual effect, it’s important to also think about maintenance. Some options might require sealing or staining from time to time. If you have young children, you may find that scaping chairs damage and scratch wooden floors quickly, so you may want to consider the more durable concrete options. However, if you love the timber look and don’t mind a bit of upkeep, you can perform maintenance on these when needed.

Patio Support Beam Design Options and Ideas

Here are some design ideas and options to consider for your patio support beams:

Wooden Posts

This look is classic and warm. If you opt for wooden support beams, you’ll most likely want to pair it with a wooden flooring choice. Wooden posts look great, but may need a bit more upkeep than some of the other options.

Steel Beams

Strong and modern, steel beams are featured in many patio designs in Australia.

Brick or Stone Pillars

Rustic and sturdy, brick or stone pillars can look absolutely stunning. These look best when you have a lot of space to spare, and when your home's exterior features brick or stone.

Decorative Columns

Elegant and sophisticated, decorative columns can work well when you have plenty of space to spare and want to make a real statement.

No support beams

You don’t actually have to have support beams for some patio roof designs. For example, the Insulated Roof options we offer at Discounted Patios don’t require visual support beams and provide an open, elegant and connected look with an unbroken ceiling effect.

Design considerations for patio support beams:

It’s important to consider the weight of the roof before getting your heart set on a particular support beam style; heavy roofs need sturdier supports. Of course, your patio builder will make sure your option will pass building tests. Another important consideration is the overall look you’re wanting to achieve and the space you have available. The simplest, most minimalistic look are wooden posts and steel beams; decorative columns may be overkill for a simple patio, but can look fantastic on larger patios as statement pieces.

Added feature design ideas

There are features you can add to your patio design that can really improve your comfort and enjoyment, and the protection it provides from the elements. These features include shades, screens, and shutters. 

Some examples of these functional features you can include, are:

Louvres or shutters

Patio louvres can be installed overhead instead of a patio roof, or you can add horizontal shutters to your patio. Overhead louvres  as a patio roofing option look absolutely stunning, while giving you the ability to open and close them depending on whether you want to soak up the sunlight or get cover from the elements.  

Outdoor blinds

 Outdoor blinds are a great feature that help to block out the sun (or rain) from coming in at the sides of your patio. These can also feature an attractive design (depending on the outdoor blinds you choose). Some allow you to see through them, while others completely block out your patio. Some outdoor blinds are even remotely activated, allowing you to put them up and down with ease.

Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings provide flexible shade whenever you need it.

Privacy Screens

Aluminium privacy screens can be added to your patio design to give you a bit more privacy in your spaces. This is a great option if you want to keep prying eyes away or live in a busy area.

Decorative Screens

Decorative screens are a unique style choice that can help you section off two separate spaces within your patio. They also help to provide a bit more privacy.

Insulated flat roof patio with ceiling fans and privacy screening
Outdoor privacy screens or blinds in an outdoor living space with insulated roof
Added feature considerations for Australian patio designs:

In Australia we have some pretty versatile weather conditions, so choosing the features that are going to enhance your patio enjoyment year-round (while still looking great) are a solid choice. Choosing options that allow for versatility, like retractable outdoor blinds and adjustable louvres or shutters are a great idea. If you want to permanently add privacy, or separate two spaces, decorative screens and privacy screens are great options as well.

Think about maintenance. Some materials might need more care and cleaning than others, especially if you live in an area that’s extra dusty or that gets a lot of sea spray. 

Patio design ideas for shape, size and layout

Something that is a huge consideration for your patio design ideas are of course the size, shape and layout of your patio.

Here are some design ideas and options to consider:

Rectangle

This is most likely what comes to mind when you think “patio”. This classic and easy patio design shape suits almost every backyard and is usually the most cost-effective option.

L-Shape

Great for wrapping around a home's corner. You’ll notice this shape is used with a lot of classically-designed traditional Australian homes. A custom patio designer will be able to help you create an L-shaped patio.

Circular

While you don’t see this as much in Australia for patio design, a circular patio design can be a unique touch for standalone patios. A custom patio design can achieve this unique circular shape, for standalone patios.

Multi-level

Patios can sometimes be created as multi-level structures, for sloped yards or to add depth and interest. A custom patio design can achieve this look.

Considerations for patio design for shape, size and layout:

When you think about the patio design you want for shape, size and layout, it’s important to consider your space, budget, and purpose.

Do you want separate areas for dining and lounging? Do you want to maximise your space? Do you want to create a real statement piece? Is accessibility key?

It’s also important to consider whether your chosen shape, size and layout will complement your home and garden. 

Want a custom patio solution? We’re the custom patio design specialists in Melbourne

As the verandah, patio, carport, pergola and outdoor living specialists, we have created countless custom designs for homes right across the Melbourne and greater Melbourne region. We offer custom designs which allow you to choose different roof combinations, different custom sizes and more. You tell us your wants, needs, and patio design ideas and wishes, and we’ll create you something truly special.

If you’re in the local area, we can even come to you for an onsite measure and same-day quote and can recommend the best option – whether that’s a custom design fit-for-purpose or a standard build.

Happy brainstorming

Now that we’ve covered some of the top patio design ideas, and the different patio design considerations for you to think on, we hope that you’ve got more of an idea of how to choose the best patio design for your home.

Still not sure? We can assist

At Discounted Patios, we are passionate about helping our customers to find the outdoor living solution that perfectly matches their home, aesthetic and ideal lifestyle. With decades of experience in outdoor living structures – including their design, construction and installation – we can help you to find the perfect patio design for your home.Just get in touch with us at Discounted Patios today.

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