Upgrade your Outdoor Room to a Beautiful Patio Garden

A patio garden is an attractive addition to any home with an outdoor room, front or back porch, or patio. It does not matter if you have a real garden or not. If you wish to complement your home, creating a cozy garden attached to the house has many benefits. It is also a great home enhancement idea that you will never regret making. 

Most of us love gardens and the feel of nature around us, but many people do not have much space to create one. And if you live above the ground floor, you cannot have a garden in its real sense. But you can create a beautiful garden within your patio.


Types, sizes, and forms of outdoor rooms vary. Some are open spaces that adjoin the house with one wall, separated with sliding or swing doors that lead directly indoors. Other patios are sited in yards and have nothing more than a top covering (roof) and a paved floor. And yet, there are semi-enclosed patio rooms with two or three walls/dividers. One wall may be made of brick and adjoining the house and the other(s) enclosed with decorative enclosure materials. This may range from canvas to decorative lattice wood partitions.


There are also fully enclosed ones like courtyards and piazzas. They are more secluded and specifically designed to be private. Balcony patios are found from the first floor to the top floor and/or penthouse in high-rise apartments. 


Your outdoor room is a part of your landscape. It should be set up in such a way that it serves as a comfortable and relaxing recreational area. A place where you can get-away from the indoor chatter, entertain a few friends or have candle-lit dinners.


To create this kind of area in your residence only requires you to turn you’re the outdoor room into a cozy garden, a part of nature, and aesthetically pleasing sight. It should set a perfect stage as an outdoor leisure room enhanced with potted foliage, flowers, outdoor furniture and furnishings, and appropriate lighting. And because this space forms a part of your scenery, large or small, it is best designed to complement the entire landscape.


12 Ways to Create a Patio Garden

There are numerous ways you can create a garden out of your patio and make it versatile for any activity you desire of it. So, depending on the size of its area and its volume, you can use it in many different ways. Listed below, you will find easy-to-create and budget-friendly garden patio design ideas. One or more of them can help you find inspiration, or better still, stir up your creative juices. 

  1. Flooring - Your patio garden needs a floor finish. The choice depends on the look you want. Use faux grass to create a green lawn effect. Or pave it with any patio flooring materials like stone, bricks, or oven bamboo wood flooring if your patio has a roof covering. Wood flooring is not ideal for yard patios.
  2. Enclosure - You may want to semi-enclose your outdoor leisure room. To do this, add a patio privacy screen made from natural materials that complement the outdoors. Bamboo, wood lattice, woven mats, wood slats, wrought-iron frame trellis, or an imposing hedge wall are good examples. The hedge can be natural or faux outdoor plants. These will make great backdrops for your garden.
  3. Planters - Create rectangular planting pockets around the patio perimeter to serve as a boundary. You can also have an island planter and plant a tree or flowering plants. Boundary plant can be tall growing plants while the island can have low to medium height flowering plants. Plants can be grown on the floor level or elevated using rectangular, square, or circular pots made from wood slats.
  4. Trellis - Create a focal point with a tall wood or iron trellis. Add creeping plants or flowering vines. This can serve as a patio partition. Works well with open-backyard patios.  
  5. Bench seats - Create dual-purpose bench seating around the perimeter. Can serve for seating and/or multi-sizes potted plants display. Designing the benches in varying heights adds some drama to the setup.
  6. Plant troughs - Arrange concrete plant troughs of varying heights and sizes (square or round) to create a perimeter. Grow bright and colourful annual plants like roses, violas, petunias, and pansies. If the patio adjoins the building, create this arrangement on two sides of the wall. Leave an opening to serve as the walk-through pathway.
  7. Racks and shelves - Create a vertical herb garden. Grow different herbs in small attractive pots and display them on racks or shelves. Use terracotta pots or any other types of containers of your choice. Ensure that they add colour to space. Alternatively, you can plant dwarf cacti, mini plants, and other colourful succulent floras.
  8. Hangers - For small patio floor spaces, create ceiling beams to hang planters of various sizes at varying levels. Keep the lower hanging planters away from the walk-path. You want to avoid hitting your head while passing through. Hang the higher ones above headroom height. Suitable for patios from the second floor up.
  9. Water features - Add a floor water feature with built-in lights. Fiberglass models that look like stone and rock fountains fit in well with landscapes and work well on patios. You can use a table top version if you so desire. It will still give you that garden with rushing water feel. 
  10. Dug-out planters - For large patios, you can go dramatic. Give it some character with square, triangular, or circular pockets dug out from the paved floor. They can be arranged symmetrically or asymmetrically. Plants like the African iris, Azania’s or snapdragons can be planted in each pocket. They will grow their roots directly into the soil.
  11. Lighting - Light up your patio garden creatively. Choose lights that illuminate the space, especially if you have outdoor entertaining often. Commercial grade draped string lights are great for the outdoors, just like battery-operated dancing flame torches, pendant lights, wall sconces, and down lights. Add a few mood lights like lanterns and battery-operated candle lights. 
  12. Natural shade - Accentuate the patio with a shade-producing tree planted in a large wooden tub or half-barrel. It can also serve as a screen against the wind in winter and excessive sun exposure in the summer and add a lush look to the patio. For any untidy structural elements, dead ends, or drab corners, arrange a cluster of potted plants to conceal them.


  • Add some lemongrass plant or any other insect-repelling plants on your patio garden. Grow them in a couple of decorative pots to repel mosquitoes in the summer. 
  • With outdoor lighting, remember that a little light goes a long way at night. So, complement the landscape rather than detract from it. 
  • To conform beautifully to the entire outdoor space, floor the patio with natural stone, pavers, ceramic tiles, red or brown bricks, smooth pebbles, rock or pea gravel. 
  • Natural flooring materials will blend well with the surrounding landscape.


What to Avoid

  • Plants that grow uncontrollably. It is good to be selective about the plants you choose. You do not want a patio that will eventually end up looking wild, untidy, unkempt, and cluttered.
  • Over-planting. You do not want your patio to appear unplanned and end up resembling a forest of plants. If that is the look you like, that's fine, but if you prefer a manicured, well thought out garden, you may end up finding over-planting unappealing.
  •  Using plant colours and foliage that are not in harmony with each other and the landscape surrounds.
  • Growing plants that are not adaptable to your local climate. They may die off in no time unless you tend them carefully and consistently. Planting local and adaptable foliage will guarantee that your patio looks healthy all year round.

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Downsized Living for Empty Nesters and the Sixty Plus

Why 'empty nesters’ need smaller house designs? Because as we age, we need less space to live. Now is the time to think about selling the family house and getting something smaller as there’s no point in having more space than required. Find out how to make a small house a dream home? 

Small home plans and house designs are popularly sought after by empty nesters and retirees because they have attained an age where they no longer need to live in a large family house. Children are grown up and have moved away to start their own lives. And now, unused rooms in the home have become more of a liability than a necessity.

What is the point of having more space than you need? How do you keep up with the maintenance costs of a big half-empty house? 

There is a large population of baby boomers and sixty plus citizens who appreciate the value of downsized living. Times are different, and they don’t want to hold on to more than they need. First, it is not cost-effective and secondly, living in a half-occupied house can bring on a sense of loss and emptiness. So, what better time to build or buy a moderately-sized house than now.

Now is the opportunity to start a new experience. A new chapter. Liberation and a time to explore and rediscover life. It is a time to do the things once desired but never done. A time to resume a long-forgotten hobby, go back to school, learn a craft, travel, write some books, and move into your small dream home. The children’s bedrooms, bathrooms, playroom, and workroom are now redundant. You do not need so much space anymore.

Sell the Big Family House and Buy a Smaller One


Empty nesters can benefit off the investments they made in the course of their lives. The big house can be sold off, most likely with a sizeable profit. With this disposable income, empty nesters can provide for a brighter future with a better lifestyle.

Small house designs large enough for two must be stylish, aesthetically pleasing, efficient, adaptable, and practical. The house plans must come with the following features:


  • Open-plan spaces that flow seamlessly into each other
  • A medium-sized elegant kitchen area
  • Entertainment areas (indoors and outdoors)
  • Leisure zone
  • Spacious en-suite master bedroom
  • Dressing room
  • Visitor toilet
  • Good storage facilities
  • The work-from-home station, study, or craft room

Other favorites are:

  • Combined living and dining areas with an open kitchen
  • Vaulted ceilings
  • High ceilings
  • Fireplaces 
  • Minimal walls
  • Interior ramps instead of short steps
  • Open kitchens
  • Sun porch, patio, or deck
  • Pool garden 


Small home designs must be low-maintenance and energy-efficient. Being smaller than what many empty nesters have been used to practice all their lives does not mean giving up on luxury touches. The fact is, now that you are planning to live in a more compact residence, you can afford to splash out on a bit of luxury, more than you could ever have dreamed. 


If you plan to build a new house, your architect can design a small house plan to accommodate what you truly desire. The interior layout must incorporate most, if not all the features mentioned in the list above.


While most baby boomers’ favour the open plan arrangement of contemporary and modern home designs, some prefer to opt for traditional style home designs with their typical closed-concept. 

Critical Design Challenges 

There are critical design challenges that need attention. Because they are middle-aged, empty nesters should consider living in a one-level house than a one-storey building. A house with a staircase will require going up and down the stairs several times a day. Something that is not advisable as we grow older.


Living in an apartment or condo is fine. There are elevators to take you to higher flats. However, within the apartment, there must be no stairs. So, for those boomers planning to downsize, it’s best to build (or buy) a bungalow or at most a house with a split-level interior.


If, however, a one-storey building is the preferred choice, it is not a bad idea. The master bedroom and living areas must be on the ground floor and the second bedroom sited on the upper floor. The room on the upper floor can serve as the guest suite.


It is good to remember that as we age, challenges set in for some. Age-related ailments, physical challenges, and disabilities demand that we keep all our indoor activities to one floor. And for access to the deck, patio, or pool garden, it must flow seamlessly from the inside to the exterior.


At 60+, we love to laze in the sun, do some gardening, or generally potter around outside, so, it is best to ensure that the design allows for a wide clear walkway leading to the outdoors. And with no more than a few steps leading up and down. With physical challenges, it is good to have a ramp incorporated in the house for ease of movement indoors and outdoors. 

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2021 Journaling Calendar for Interior Designers: An Interior Design Planner, Organizer, and Workbook

As a practicing interior designer, cultivating the habit of daily, weekly, or monthly journaling is a step towards doing your business in a professional manner. A niche-specific planner and organizer must not only serve for daily and monthly recordings it must give you the ability to note down appointments, record important points in meetings, and help keep track of industry related events.

This book, 2021 Journal Calendar for Interior Designers, is specifically developed for interior designers who wish to run their design business in a tidy and organized manner. With this journal, you can set goals, record achievements, plan, organize, track routine habits, write down notable events, log future concepts, create daily, weekly, and monthly task lists, list contacts, take notes, create a brain dump, and so much more.

There should be no more trying to recollect or figure out what needs to be done or not. Make this 2021 calendar planner a positive, functional, and productive tool for your business.

No achievement, goal, or task is too small to document. Writing things down not only motivates you, it will also help you work professionally, infuse you with a positive outlook, enhance your creativity, and guarantee you turn out successfully implemented projects.

Some related interior design sketchbooks, workbooks, and activity books:

Interior Design Task-Specific Workbooks, Planners, and Journals

If you are an interior designer, you will understand that even with the best software programs, we cannot do without drawing pen(cil)s and paper. It is near impossible. Paper still tends to reign supreme as a storehouse for some of our best design concepts.

Interior Design Planner and Daily Journaling Notebook

The interior design profession involves drawing, sketching, writing, presenting, managing, procuring, planning, measuring, and a lot more. The list goes on. I cannot dare to imagine losing important stuff stored on my system or in the cloud. Wading through information is at the best of times, a chore. But that’s not the point. 

Measure, Sketch, and Dimension Notebook for Interior Designers

Creative inspiration hits at the oddest of times. And at times like this,  it is easier and quicker to pick up my task-specific workbook/journal and do a quick hand sketch and write-up. Much quicker than it takes to log into a drawing software program. 

Space Planning Sketchbook for Interior Designers

What are task-specific interior design workbooks? They are journals, diaries, workbooks, logbooks, planners, activity books, mood-boards, portfolios, organizers, sketch pads, and the like. They are crafted and created specifically for interior designers by a professional interior designer who knows what is required in the industry. 

Interior Design Mood Board and Imagery Collection Journal

Interior designers tend to be selective and detail-oriented. They know what they want and whatever it is, there must be a balance between function, style, and aesthetics. It must be user-friendly and easy to reference. Working with loose sheets of paper or run-of-the-mill notebooks will not just cut it for the professional.

Interior Designing Mood Board Journal (PORTRAIT)

Task-specific interior design books are good to use by beginners, students of interior design, professionals, including freelance and veterans designers, design enthusiasts, and of course, career interior decorators. 

Doodle and Sketch Book for Interior Designers: Dot Grid Pages for Doodling and Sketching

Other Books of Interest

Interior Design Writing Journal and Sketchbook with Adult Coloring Pages

A Designer's Write and Draw Journal

This book is a designer’s writing and drawing journal. It is created for people that want to draw and write down thoughts and descriptions of what they are designing. They can sketch and write down what inspires their design concept, the reasons why, the themes used, and what motivates them to make a specific design.

Conceive an idea, draw it, and describe it. That’s what this designers journal notebook is all about. Each page comes with a distinct sketching canvas and a section for writing down notes about your sketches. 

The 154-page book also includes index pages, dot grids, and one-point perspective grids with writing sections. These features, all rolled into one book, are what every designer and other creative artists needs. 

"Draw and Write Journaling Book for Designers" makes the perfect gift for creative individuals and is also deal for:

  • Beginner designers
  • Graphic artists
  • Furniture designers
  • Design enthusiasts
  • Fashion designers
  • Interior designers
  • Architects
  • Illustrators
  • Students
...And anyone else who has a feel for design.


Other interior design journal notebooks and sketchbooks

2021 Journaling Calendar for Interior Designers: An Interior Design Planner, Organizer, and Workbook

Measure, Sketch, and Dimension Notebook for Interior Designers (Portrait Format): A Task-Specific Journal Where the Design Process Begins

Interior Design Student Portfolio and Imagery Journal

Doodle and Sketch Book for Interior Designers: 50 Dot Grid Pages for your Doodling and Sketching Delight