Casual Patios: Relaxed Outdoor Living

The past 2 days I’ve been sick … the stay-in-bed-all-day kind of sick. I get horrific cabin fever when I can’t get out so when I started feeling better toward the end of the second day, I begged hubby to go for a walk down the forest preserve trail that our dead-end street empties into. The 60-degree air was good for both my body and soul and I started dreaming about our plans for the yard. I want to create a couple of casual patios this year but don’t want to spend a ton of money. I found some great ideas over at Houzz.

Brick Patio with FirepitPennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association

I love this outdoor space!  The mix of stone creates interest and the fire pit is great for cool summer evenings. Separate seating areas gives guests space to spread out in the yard. I like the circular shape of the patio too.


Cottage Patio with Vintage Patio FurnitureFrancis Dzikowski Photography Inc.

This smaller patio offers loads of style with its vintage patio furniture, brightly colored cushions, and lush plants. I’ve always had a penchant for vintage metal garden furniture. It reminds me of the furniture our neighbor had when I was kid playing in their yard.


Examples of Casual Patios for Relaxed Outdoor LivingJanet Mesic Mackie Photographer

Here’s another of today’s casual patios with curved edges. I think I’m drawn to circular or curving patios because their shapes are more in line with what you see in nature.


Ideas for Casual Patios. Create one on a grassy area.Sarah Phipps Design

I love this charming outdoor space. Besides the quaint bicycle, I love the makeshift conversational area outside the door. Who says you need brick or stone to create casual patios?  Simply define an area in the grass as a patio of sorts. It reminds me of being on vacation at a campsite.


Meadow Style Patio. See more casual patios and examples of relaxed outdoor living.Lynne Barton Bier – Home on the Range Interiors

This example of casual patios reminds me of a meadow. The flowering ground cover winding its way between the flagstones is so adorable. A pair of orange umbrellas mimic the flower colors below.


Cottage Patio Lit Up at NightJohn Kraemer & Sons

A small backyard finds ample space for a pretty little patio. A mix of metal and painted wood chairs lends an eclectic air, while a bit of outdoor lighting creates a romantic cozy glow. An added bonus is there’s less grass to mow!


Brick Patio and Adirondack ChairsPhoto by Southern Landscape Group, Inc.

Are you noticing a theme in this collection of casual patios?  If you said fire pits, you’re right!  We installed a fire pit last year and that’s one of the areas in our yard that I want to define a small seating area.


Farmhouse Gravel PatioFarmhouse Patio Design Inspiration

This grand farmhouse has a simple backyard patio of gravel and a brightly painted picnic table. A bright umbrella in a contrasting color adds fun.


Farmhouse Gravel PatioPhoto by Butler Armsden Architects

I’m becoming more attracted to gravel patios, which are a great example of casual patios. I don’t know if all those little stones would make their way inside, and I’m concerned about weeds growing up. But I supposed if you put down proper liner you should be okay.

So what do you think of these casual patios?  Do you have a favorite?


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  1. Thanks for all the beautiful inspiration, Jennifer! I think I love every one of them! We’re finally getting some warmer weather here in Michigan and I am SO looking forward to getting outside. Glad you’re feeling better – I had it too – and it really seems to be going around.
    love and blessings~
    Lynda @ Gates of Crystal

  2. I love all of these patios! I’m working on creating a patio from bluestone and gravel. Toe tapping for nicer weather…I want to be outside playing in my garden!

  3. Lovely spaces gets you in the mood for spring/ summer I love the farm house one I think, gravel and all. I hope your feeling better I have had cough and symptoms hanging on for a few weeks now. Greats post though love the feeling each one gives !!

  4. Jennifer, that’s great you had a quick recovery! I also do hate to stay in bed when my mind is working fast! I loved the grand farmhouse patio!
    One idea that I have seen in a hotel-farm I visited and I did succeeded in making in our home patio: a “redário”, in Portuguese from Brasil. As I could not find a translation to English, let me try to explain. “Redário” is an exclusive patio area just for a range of hammocks.
    In the hotel-farm they did it surrounding a huge and shadowing shroud tree. They installed multiple hooks in the tree trunk and the same amount of wood logs with hooks around this tree, with sufficient space to stretch each hammock. It was really relaxing just lay down there, reading a book (yes, I still love to read a paper book) or chatting with the others in the hammocks.
    In our home I have several trees but none of them are in the middle of the patio or could support several hooks hanging. So, we have installed a wood log in the patio centre, with four hooks, and the other hooks either in the house facades or in one tree. But they are bellow the other trees shadows and it is very nice! See in the website link what it became. 🙂
    kisses ML
    PS Sorry for “speaking” a lot!

    • I’d never heard of a redario before but love the concept! Thanks so much for sharing your photo. Now I’m wondering where I can put my own redario! 🙂

  5. Glad you’re feeling better, Jennfer. I had a nasty flu that came and went several times over the last few weeks. No fun! Take care and keep those great ideas coming!

  6. Wonderful inspiration…thanks for sharing! We are hoping to add a deck this year and I love to find new ideas.

  7. I do love a pretty outdoor space! I took have a patio in mind for my to do this this year. I have some brick I plan to use and I’d love to try a round one.
    As far as the gravel ones go, I did one at amy old house, and yes, the landscape fabric works well! On everything except nut grass. It will come right through it! That stuff is tough.
    Can’t wait to see what you choose.

  8. Hi!!

    I’m so glad you’re starting to feel better!! I’ve been in bed since Saturday and off to the doctors today and then probably the hospital…I’m diabetic.

    I love this post so very much!! Nothing compares to getting the patio ready for warm evenings to sit, relax and enjoy each other’s company!!

    I really love the small house patios!! I love small houses and the challenge of making it into a small oasis!!

    Thanks for all the ideas!!


  9. I have been that kind of sick too, must be a northern Illinois thing, and not much fun. Good to hear you are feeling better. I think I had a comment for each patio, such as, curved patios are a pain to mow around, I have one. I also don’t like having to movechairs to move, we have them around our firepit. But, I love the patio in option 6, and I am in love with the house in option3. I like a patio close to the house, easier to brING oUT refreshments.

  10. As much as I love green grass I really like the last photo with the pea gravel. What a pretty area. I sure hope you are feeling better!

  11. Nan, Odessa, DE says

    I have a lovely brick patio that we enjoy. However, I would not do it again. I think ties with pea gravel does a nice job and you aren’t forever in the brick! The brick stops lots of things we would enjoy doing in our yard. To include an addition, different direction for the driveway. Think long and hard on a permanent surface!

    But, DO, have a patio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks, Nan! You’ve given me some things to think about. I’m leaning toward the pea gravel and you’ve pushed me further in that direction. 🙂 I truly appreciate the input!

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