patio, originally uploaded by cmurtaugh.

Light on the Patio | Landscape Design Ideas

This is a very pleasant place even if it wasn’t so expensive to create. There are some key elements and compositional ideas that make it work for me: opportunity, encloser, level change, lights.

OPPORTUNITY
I like it because the owners took advantage of a good area in their yard even and if it isn’t huge they still made an inviting dining area. The patio is situated under a nice shade tree so in the daytime the owners can feel protected. This patio is just big enough for dinner with friends or family.

ENCLOSURE
The fence is really charming with enough detail and design interest to give this spot some character. It doesn’t overwhelm the space, just warms it up. The curved top makes the spot seem more homey and with the vines creeping over you have sense that time and nature are integrated.

LEVEL CHANGE
Even in this small intimate scale the level change of the landing to the patio is important. The level change is what seperates the dining area from the entryways. Hopefully they plan to connect the landing to the patio, but in any case you have a bit of a sunken patio feeling that is helped by the level change.

LIGHTS
The lights on this patio are really charming. They have a festive appeal whithout becoming kitschy. The incandescent bulbs warm the scene so it doesn’t seem lonely out there. But it’s also not too bright. I think you have to be careful in a small space to get it right and would be worth testing options before investing. The height of the lighting also makes a difference. Too high and too spot lit would make you feel on display and too much glare. These lights also seem to reflect a bit off the overhead tree canopy. These lights fill the space, but don’t overwhelm it.