2. Above: Possibly you don't have the time for mowing lawns and have only a small outdoor area, covering it with white chip stones or broken shells, is a great way to make it appear more spacious and form an inviting canvas in which to frame with formal planting - AMS Landscape Design Studios.
3. Above: If your home is of Mediterranean style then a small paved patio is a must. Introduce a water feature or a large decorative urn. Recently I saw a water feature made out of an old wash tub which had a rustic tap above, a constant trickle of water made gentle splashing noises as it hit the water in the tub below. Rosemary, Lavender, citrus and Bougainvillea look at home on a Mediterranean style patio - Design by Don Ziebell.
4. Think about shade for your patio, if your style is rustic Mediterranean then look at ways of using more natural materials. A Rustic wooden pergola with grapes or Bougainvillea would be one way. For more consistent shade a cover such as the one in this image of iron with thin rustic branches as the canopy suit its landscape perfectly. Design by Barnes Vanze Architects Inc - Photography, Anice Hoachlander.
5. If you don't have a lot of space for actual planting, pots or raised planters are easy options, alternatively vertical gardens or hanging baskets are simple options Design by Danes Custom Homes.
6. You have lots of walls but little room for greenery, choose climbing plants with small leaves that grow tightly to a surface. Beware of the normal ivy's that can take over like a triffid. Covering a concrete or brick house with climbers can add some detail and make a building that might lack character, look more interesting. This lovely home however, has classic character abound. The climber over the house and wall further enhances this stunning Baton Rouge patio - Design TY Larkins Interiors. Photography, Chad Chenier.
7. If your outdoor area is long and narrow, create a focal point. You could use a mirror on an end wall to create more of a sense of space or turn it into a fountain feature. Lining the area with large plants such as seen here will add instant greenery and more of a garden feel - Also by TY Larkins Interiors.
8. Above: Before and after shots of a stunning makeover from Perth Interior Designers, Million Dollar Makeovers. Retaining the foundation of a courtyard garden but giving it a general tidy up, may allow you to see its possibilities. Plaster over brick can lighten up a building or wall and make a space seem larger. Light, neutral walls allow the planting to take centre space.
You may have a large or small outdoor area, whatever size it is, creating an outdoor courtyard of some description can enhance your home and increase its value. Not to mention, form a great place to entertain in summer. I hope you feel inspired by the clever designers of the courtyards/patios above. Please take time to visit their websites and view more of their designs.
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