23 Patio Cover Ideas That Make Outdoor Living a Breeze

“It’s a good idea to create a focal point in covered patio spaces,” McKay recommends. “Often a firepit for a casual space, or a fireplace for a more formal space, will do the trick nicely.” To give the patio space even more purpose, tie in interior design elements like a vibrant rug that echoes the focal point, as seen in this project by Stephanie Lindsey, principal interior designer for Etch Design Group in Austin.

12. Make it an alfresco dining spot

This backyard patio’s outdoor open kitchen and dining space is extra cozy and good for lounging thanks to the canopy of green leaves overhead.

“A pergola is a tried and true solution for outdoor dining area,” says Mark Cutler, cofounder of CutlersShulze in Los Angeles. Take advantage of the structure for light fixtures, or even some string lights, to further enhance the seating area.

13. Go for a domed ceiling

The arch on the Cathy Purple Cherry patio ceiling adds flair and a sense of personality.

When designing a covered patio, don’t forget to design the ceiling. “It’s a great way to introduce texture and warmth to an otherwise simple design,” Cutler says. Opt for wood or even brick to play with patterns.

14. Transform an existing space into a covered patio

Think of a covered patio as another living space, one that caters to the outdoors.

A patio doesn’t have to be just in front of a house. “The past years of quarantine inspired many to ask more from their yards,” explains Kevin Lenhart, design director at Yardzen, a custom landscape design service. “Suddenly, side yards, front yards, and even driveways became fair game for gathering spaces,” he says of gazebo-like structures and outdoor dining areas. Take advantage of design elements like an exposed-beam ceiling, especially if you’re interested in adding ambient string lights.

15. Consider a prefab cover

Sometimes the best patio cover ideas are also the simplest, and this sleek black prefab cover certainly demonstrates that.

“Prefab options abound to suit any design, ramping up embellishing details for traditional styles and eschewing them altogether for modern ones,” Lenhart says. Beyond their obvious function– creating breezy, shade-dappled outdoor spaces–pergolas are pieces of infrastructure. “Use them to mount heaters, ceiling fans, shade sails, wind screens, lights, or even televisions,” he suggests. With a solid roof provided by a freestanding prefab cover, you can quickly create an outdoor space that can be enjoyed rain or shine—no remodel needed.

16. Invite nature

A wooden structure wrapped in vines connects nature to the home, even if it is a modern patio.

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