Before & After

A patio with a view to the front garden


Usually the most suitable area to develop into an outdoor space for passive recreation such as reading a book or enjoying a cup of coffee, is behind the house, away from the roadside. If, however, you have a reasonably private front yard, then you may be able to create a patio from which you can enjoy this part of your garden. As long as the circulation route to the front door can be kept separate from the patio, the latter will be sufficiently static in character to feel comfortable to sit and relax in.




Next to the front door of the house in the photo is a small patio with a view to a lovely garden. The owner would like to increase the size of this patio and is also considering the addition of a pergola.




To make the patio less cramped and more user-friendly, it is extended with a timber deck. Steps down to the lawn link the area with the rest of the garden. There is a clear division between the steps to the front door and those to the patio. In general I recommend separating areas with different purposes where possible. Here, the separation between the front door area and the outdoor sitting space is achieved with the planter between the two sets of steps, and also with the pergola that only 'covers' the patio. In other cases, for example when trying to separate a utility area with a clothesline and vegetable garden from an outdoor living space, a stronger separation such as a hedge or fence is required.

The raised planters also solve the issue related to the height levels of the patio and the roof. Without the planters, the pergola posts would dominate the front of the house due to their height. With the planters, the posts are in proportion with the rest of the house.