A terrace can be a place of relaxation. A place to sit outside with friends and enjoy being together, but not if you do not feel well on it. Creating that can be a challenge.
We want to help you with this article. In addition to a general explanation of the term terrace we answer the questions, when is the best time to design your patio, what you have to consider and what materials are suitable.
Afterwards, we will explain 5 approaches that you can use to orient yourself in the design of the terrace. We also give you current trends, as well as tips for integrating plants and designing small terraces.
Most important in brief
- The design begins when the terrace is created. But even an already finished terrace can be made cozy with a little creativity. Choosing a style can be helpful to get a harmonious picture.
- A patio is a flat, open space or platform that connects the house with the garden. Special forms of the terrace are roof terrace, veranda and esplanade.
- To get a harmonious overall picture, you should plan the terrace design carefully. Even a sketch can be helpful.
Definition: What is a terrace?
The word terrace (from the Latin “terra” = earth, ground led) describes an open, flat surface or platform, which is to connect house and garden harmoniously. The terrace is grown on the same or a lower level as the house and stably fixed.
This makes it possible to set up furniture to stay outdoors on the terrace. There are no walls, but partial privacy is possible. Also a canopy can be attached, whereby the terrace can be called a veranda.
Other special forms of the terrace are the roof terrace and the esplanade. Depending on the terrain, the garden may be raised, lowered or connected to the terrace at ground level. For larger differences in height, it is advisable to attach steps or a ramp.
Backgrounds: What you should know about the terrace design
Whether you want to completely rebuild a patio or redesign your existing patio, such a project requires careful planning. That’s why we want to give you the first tips on when is the ideal time to design your terrace, what you should consider and what materials are generally suitable.
When should you start designing the terrace?
Generally, the terrace design begins with the creation or cultivation, because even elements such as the material for the floor can be a crucial part of the overall picture. However, it is also easily possible to start with the design only at an already finished terrace.
Depending on how the terrace was built, it may also be adjusted by exchanging the floor.
As for the season, spring and summer are best. So you do not have to worry, that the project is disturbed by several days of snow or rain or by too much falling leaves.
What do you have to consider when designing a terrace?
When designing the terrace careful consideration and planning are important. If you decide spontaneously, it can quickly happen that the result looks chaotic, instead of conveying a harmonious overall picture.
Nevertheless, it is not a bad thing to do step by step when the money is lacking to finance everything at once. Depending on how much work is required and how you want to design the terrace, the project can be very expensive.
Furthermore, it should be noted that the selected furniture and items are also weather resistant. If you are unsure, you can buy for some materials, especially natural materials, a corresponding glaze and make them weatherproof later.
For decoration, textiles and other smaller items that are not weatherproof or can be made, it is convenient to set up a cupboard or storage chest on the terrace. In this way, the things are protected, if you are not on the terrace.
Which materials are suitable for the terrace design?
To make a terrace you can access many different materials. Natural materials such as wood and stone are just as well suited as metal and concrete.
Of course, it is also possible to use furniture and decoration made of plastic or aluminum, but these materials are very harmful to the environment and tend to break even when weather resistant to it quite quickly.
Wicker furniture is also ideal for terrace design. Which materials one should use depends on the one hand, on which furnishing style one can be inspired, and on the other hand on which materials harmonize with already existing or already selected ones.
Creating a terrace: 5 ideas for a cozy terrace
There are countless opportunities to live your life in a creative way and design a terrace according to your own ideas. But sometimes it’s just hard to get started with creative tasks. With the following approaches we want to make this task easier for you.
A terrace in country style
In the country house style you want to express nostalgia and the charm of flowers. This can be achieved with country house, vintage or shabby chic furniture and decoration. Natural stone, gravel, wood and pavers are suitable for the floor. If you want to integrate a privacy screen, a boxwood hedge or a wicker fence is suitable.
Particularly popular plants are lavender, blue laurels, lilacs, daylilies and sun hat. In addition to real plants, you can also use floral decorations – for example, an old bread basket or other storage containers.
These vessels can be converted into flower vases and plant pots at the same time. Even vintage decoration works well.
The urban style is all about one aspect: casual, cozy atmosphere. This can be achieved with simple furniture, DIYs, vintage objects and plants. Natural materials, lots of green and the colors gray, black, anthracite and shades of brown dominate here.
For example, you can use simple wicker furniture or make yourself a seat group of old pallets. You do not have to buy a table either – a wooden box can be easily transformed into a beautiful DIY table.
This is especially for a small budget advantage. As a simple decoration, one-colored cushions and blankets or those with geometric patterns are suitable.
Also candles, lanterns, fairy lights, lanterns and decorative flowerpots and baskets. For a privacy, wood is a material – like a wicker, a wooden fence or a wooden wall.
A terrace with an Asian look
The Asian look focuses on harmony and tranquility. The design should be rather minimalistic and straightforward. For the floor you should therefore use wood, straight stone slabs or gravel. Stone decorations can be Buddha statues and lanterns.
On an Asian terrace, the beauty is set by green instead of flowers – bonsai, bamboo and maple are possible plants. Flowering plants are rather rare, examples would be the Japanese azalea or a rhododendron.
Water is also a frequently used design element – stone wells, gargoyles and stone pools are particularly suitable for this purpose.
Mediterranean grill party
In the Mediterranean, wood is scarce and rarely used. If you already have a wooden terrace, it will be rather difficult to make the Mediterranean style authentic.
Here it would be advisable to consider whether it is worth adjusting the floor. For privacy, a metal railing, possibly overgrown with ivy, or hedge plants.
A Mediterranean designed terrace should be predominantly designed with stone and metal, this also applies to the flooring.
Seating furniture and tables should be made of metal – it does not matter if it’s plain or rather squishy. Even decorative elements on the stone furniture, designed as a mosaic, fit the Mediterranean style. In terms of color, these should be predominantly red, orange and yellow, but blue is also possible.
Herbs, as well as agaves, cycads, lemon trees, bamboo or the evergreen magnolia are especially suitable as plants. For decorating, you can use decorative terracotta flowerpots as well as fairy lights or antique statues.
A Feng Shui TERRACE
Feng-shui comes from China, about 300 AD. It is a harmonious doctrine of Daoism whose goal is to bring people and the environment into harmony – that is, to make “Qi” flow and to make you feel very well.
This is achieved by a special way of designing living spaces and living spaces. Feng Shui can be combined with all furnishing styles, because the placement of the right colors, shapes and materials in combination is important.
Habitats are set up after the Bangua – a scheme that places 8 areas of life around the “Taiji” (Tai Chi) in the center. This Bangua is placed on the floor plan of the living space to be furnished and adjusted so that the largest part fits into the scheme.
Tthe 5 elements on the Bangua an the positive effect of the Feng-Shui increases additionally.
- Wood should be applied with the help of tall, slender shapes, house plants and cut flowers in the areas of family and wealth. Wooden and wicker furniture as well as bamboo and cotton are suitable as materials.
- Metal can through glass, metals and stones (crystals, gems, ornamental stones) in the areas of children and helpful friends. Furniture and accessories in round shapes, shiny or matt, are well suited.
- Water with the help of wells, wet plants, aquariums and pictures with water motifs should be placed in the careers area. Wavy and irregular shapes should be used.
- Fire is symbolized by candles, lamps or a carmine and placed in the field of glory. Furniture with edges and pointed shapes are suitable for this element.
- Earth is symbolized by means of flat forms and natural materials (such as linen, ceramics, clay, stone, ect.). It should be applied in the areas of partnership, knowledge and Taiji.
If you want to make your patio Feng-Shui the easiest way to look at it as part of your entire apartment is how to design it based on your position in Bangua. Otherwise, the entrance to the apartment should be in one of the lower three areas.
Trivia: What else you should know about the terrace design
Finally, we want to present you the current trends in terrace design. Also, for the question of how you can start designing, if you have a very small terrace, we want to give you some tips. And some ideas on how to integrate plants well.
What are current trends in terrace design?
Just as there are living trends for almost every room in your own home, so there are also trends for patio and garden that change every year. International fairs determine these trends and for this year resulted in the following:
- The terrace as “open-air living room”
- More green and room for bees
- Wildlife, such as birds and hedgehogs, promote
- Water on the terrace with fountain and pool
- Sustainable materials
- Natural colors
- An own herb garden on the terrace
- Details of concrete
- Outdoor kitchen
- Terrace with several areas
- Colorful decoration and textiles
- Create a green oasis
- Furniture with a sophisticated design and braided look
- Gray outdoor furniture
- Hanging chairs
Of course you can not implement all trends at the same time. But it is quite possible to combine several aspects – such as sustainable materials with natural colors or an outdoor kitchen with a herb garden.
How do you design a very small terrace?
For a small terrace, it is important to use the existing space optimally without leaving the terrace overcrowded. Therefore, you should do without furniture such as deck chairs or large tables.
Instead, it is, for example, to choose chairs and tables that can be folded. On the wall you can then attach a hook on which the furniture can be hung if you do not use them.
In addition, one should resort to bright colors – not only in the furniture, but also on the floor. Dark colors can quickly be overwhelming when space is low. Even filigree metal furniture is well suited.
You can also make use of the limited space by choosing a cozy design – for example, with woven hanging chairs, soft fabrics, candles and a few simple green plants, you can create an atmosphere that invites you to cozy evenings for two.
How to integrate plants into the terrace design?
Plants can be an eye catcher everywhere and make everything look a little nicer. But sometimes it can be tricky to find the right location – especially in a small space. With a small patio this can be the case, but there are still ways to integrate plants as part of the terrace design.
For example, you can set up a privacy screen, in the above planters for plants are integrated. Also, a higher privacy in the form of a grid or a braided wall is possible on which you can plant ivy. Ivy is a climbing plant and will spread to the wall, possibly with a little help.
Another possibility would be to set up trees with long trunk whose crowns can serve as a sunscreen. Instead of placing them directly on the terrace, it would of course also be possible to plant them in the immediate vicinity in the garden. So they are not directly integrated, but give the appearance of belonging to the design.
In the same way you could set up a larger bucket, preferably rectangular, and make it a bed for, for example, herb plants. Also this bucket can stand on a cupboard. You can also attach a shelf to the wall on which the herbs can be placed.
There are many ways to make a terrace – it quickly loses the overview. However, it will be easier if you look at different styles and examples. Further inspiration can also be obtained from current trends.
Also including aspects such as the available space, your own preferences and financial options can be helpful. Above all, it is important that you plan carefully and the design results in a harmonious overall picture at the end.
So anyone with a bit of creativity in terrace design can easily create a feel-good place outdoors – without chaos and mixed-up furniture and objects.