flagstone patio with curved wall around seating area

Creating the Perfect Patio Layout: Tips and Ideas for Chicagoland Homeowners

Designing your outdoor space can be tough. You have to consider the weather, how you will want to use the patio, and the architecture of your home. Additionally,  you have to be on the hunt to find a great landscape design service in Chicagoland. 

Transforming your outdoor space into a personalized retreat starts with a well-crafted patio design. Whether you’re envisioning a cozy corner for quiet moments or an entertainment hub for gatherings, the key lies in creating the perfect patio layout. 

Designing a patio or an outdoor living space can feel overwhelming with lots of decisions to be made. Let’s explore some essential tips and creative ideas to help you design the ideal patio for your home. 

Tip 1: Deciding on the Right Size Patio

Choosing how large you would like your patio begins with thinking about how you plan to use your outdoor space. 

Think through exactly what additional landscape elements you may want to include on or near your patio such as a fire pit or outdoor kitchen. Added features require adequate space, so a well-planned patio design including everything you hope to include is important. 

The ideal patio layout makes your outdoor space an extension of your living space, so also consider how many people will be enjoying the patio. If you love to host gatherings, a larger patio with ample seating and dining areas may be ideal. Remember when designing a patio to make it large enough not just for the dining table and chairs to fit, but to allow for space to navigate around the table and for chairs to easily scoot in and out. 

At James Martin Associates, we typically recommend a patio size of 20 x 20 feet for entertaining a minimum of 8 people. 

VI. Res Outdoor Kitchen Patio Paver replacement

Tip 2: Selecting the Perfect Patio Location

To properly enjoy your new patio, it needs to be placed in the right location. Begin by envisioning your patio at least 3 to 5 feet away from your home. However, you still want to ensure easy access to your home from the patio and consider how it connects with other outdoor elements like gardens, pathways, or pool areas. For example, if you have a calming water feature, you may want your patio to be close to it so that you can hear the relaxing sounds while enjoying your space.  

Assess the sun and shade patterns in your backyard throughout the day. Position your patio to take advantage of natural light, but also provide some shade during hours of direct hot sun. 

residential landscape design fire pit on back patio 1

Tip 3: Make Decisions about Your Patio Design

After you have decided on the perfect size and location, it is time to choose the right shape. While this may seem like an overwhelming task, as there are so many options, patio shape is one of the easier decisions to make. Start with considering the architecture of your home. 

Choose a shape that complements your home’s architecture. For example, patio design ideas can include a rectangular or square patio with clean lines for a more modern home or for a cottage with lots of gardens, a curved design may be best to blend with flower beds. 

Create a cohesive look by incorporating elements from your home’s design into the patio. Try matching materials, colors, and architectural features from your home and other existing landscape features so everything ties together.

large paver patio in backyard

Tip 4: Picking Patio Material You Love

With truly thousands of choices for patio materials from natural stone to manufactured pavers, this choice when designing your patio is just about what you love. Of course, your stone selection should complement the architecture of your house, but it should also be a color and texture that is aesthetically pleasing to you. Try using a color palette that complements your existing landscape features and your home. 

Patio material choice is one area that can make or break your budget as well. If you’d like your patio a little larger or want to add extra elements, consider saving some money by choosing a more cost-effective stone. However, if the color and texture of your patio is one of the most important parts of your backyard design, then explore natural stone options as well as manufactured ones. 

paver patio surrounding pool in backyard

Tip 5: Consider Popular Patio Upgrades

If you are looking to elevate your patio experience, several landscape options can increase your fun outdoors. Explore some of these popular patio design ideas:

  • Outdoor Kitchens: Do you love to cook and entertain? Consider adding an outdoor kitchen complete with a grill, countertops, storage, and more.
  • Fire Features: Landscape design in Chicagoland should always consider our climate. Extend the usability of your patio into the cooler evenings and Fall months with a fire pit or fireplace. Not only do they provide warmth, but they also create a cozy ambiance. 
  • Landscape Lighting: Illuminate your patio with carefully placed lighting fixtures. Landscape lighting helps to improve safety and the atmosphere after the sun sets.
  • Pergolas: If your backyard gets hours of hot sun, a pergola may be a great way to enjoy your patio no matter the weather.

Partnering with a Landscape Team to Create Your Perfect Patio

Designing the perfect patio requires a thoughtful approach, considering factors like size, location, design, materials, and potential upgrades. Whether you are aiming for a relaxing retreat or a vibrant entertaining space, a well-designed patio can become the highlight of your backyard. 

But the perfect patio layout is not just a design choice; it’s a reflection of your personality and the way you want to experience outdoor living. That’s why landscape design in Chicagoland should be rooted in collaboration and begin with you sharing your inspiration and hopes for your backyard area. 

At James Martin Associates, landscape design is our specialty. With a focus on designing a one-of-a-kind patio, you are paired with a Registered landscape architect, an expert who not only helps you to design your perfect patio, but also stays with you from project conception to completion. 


Ready to learn more about how James Martin Associates can meet your landscape design needs? Get started by filling out our contact form. Our experienced Project Directors will reach out to discuss your vision for your perfect patio layout and get to work making your dream a reality. 

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Brian Jordison

Brian Jordison

Brian is a Senior Landscape Designer with James Martin Associates.