While we love a lawn, there is an argument that every garden should have a patio or stretch of decking. They act as an outdoor dining room when you add some sleek garden furniture, extending the feel of the house outside. If you can't go out, why not go up and add decking to make a roof terrace? Whether you have a small garden or acres, think beyond boring concrete slabs and instead opt for traditional brick paving in a herringbone or basket weave pattern or a mosaic of cobblestones. We've put all hands on deck to find you the very best ideas for a patio to suit your garden...

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    The outdoor area of this house in Padstow is quite something, featuring landscaped lawns and a swimming pool overlooking the Cornish Camel estuary. Directly outside the house is a patio, where large flagstones of various grey and brown tones mirror the bricks on the house.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    At this country cottage in Oxfordshire, sliding glass doors lead to a paved terrace outside, which Butter Wakefield has edged with nepeta, ferns, woven willow balls and a multi-stemmed crab apple, Malus hupehensis ‘Cardinal’.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    An antique plant stand holds a display of pots that bring a verdant touch to Anna Spiro's decking, outside her Brisbane home. The verandah is typical of homes in Queensland.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    The crazy paving at this townhouse in Bray was inspired by Gertrude Jekyll, and leads back to a wider outdoor dining area. Crittall windows ensure the extension is filled with light.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Diamond pattern paving leads back to a shady seating area in the garden of a timeless townhouse in Bray decorated by Christopher Howe.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    The outside of Cameron Kimber's house in New South Wales is covered in charming clapboard. Gravel, generous tubs, and a lovely white bench come together to create a welcoming entrance to the house - a charming patio idea for a smaller garden.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Grasses are planted in front of the original wisteria-hung loggia at this house designed by William Smalley, while a stone table on the patio makes a great permanent dining space.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Jinny Blom's small city garden is a neatly walled space, replanted only months before this photograph was taken. Jinny created raised beds with the same brick as the walls and used reclaimed decking to create a walkway over the long rectangular pool. The terrace was created using slate-coloured narrow Belgian bricks.

    Taken from the November 2015 issue of House & Garden.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    The tiny courtyard at the home of the interior designer Helen Green comprises of simple but elegant touches: a trellis of roses, a feature stone water plinth and plants potted in a variety of vessels, from wooden crates to wicker baskets and pewter milk pails. It is paved with traditional bricks in a basket weave pattern - the grouting is gently mossed over, softening the lines.

    Taken from the May 2012 issue of House & Garden.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    This Notting Hill townhouse has an undulating glass conversatory which leads on to a garden for entertaining. A target-shaped combination of paving slabs and bricks focuses the eye to the central dining space and from this bullseye radiates classical symmetrical planting.

    Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Use your paving to create structure as in this townhouse garden off Portobello Road. With the dining area situated on the roof terrace, the garden has been simply, symmetrically designed for pure visual pleasure; a mock Roman bust takes centre stage. Encaustic mosaic-patterned tiles delineate the beds edged with box.

    Taken from the May 2012 issue of House & Garden.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Think crazy paving is outdated? Think again! Here in the terraced garden of Jos and Annabel White's house in Manhattan's West Village it makes a super chic patio.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Traditional red brick paving brings a warmth to an exterior - here in the Notting Hill garden, belonging to Balthazar restaurant owner Keith McNally it has been laid in a herringbone pattern.

    Taken from the February 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot and Emily Tobin.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Architect Alan Higgs converted a Georgian pub building in London into a subtly modern flat for himself. He constructed this sleek roof terrace to maximise the natural light within his interiors. He has chosen simple wooden decking, in keeping with this modern space. A line of pleached trees planted in pots softens his urban rooftop view.

    Taken from the January 2015 issue of House & Garden.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    This stylish all-weather area created by Ebba Thott for her client's London home uses matchboard planks, which flow up the wall to create a bench for the table, and a planting area for the living wall.

    Taken from the February 2012 issue of House & Garden

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Designer Suzy Hoodless worked closely with Johnny Holland of Hackett Holland architects on the extensive renovation of this Victorian house in London.

    The gorgeous little garden, landscaped by Alasdair Cameron, features white cobblestones with a modern linear pattern formed by darker stones.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    The back garden of a west London house transformed by designer and architect Rabih Hage has been divided into two sections, with a sunken terrace.

    Taken from the January 2016 issue of House & Garden.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    To make the garden feel bigger and create a calm backdrop for the creative planting, Garden Club London designed the fences to be clad in western red cedar, while reclaimed timber was used for the seating.

    View Garden Club London's profile on The List

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    A relaxed patio seating area in Anne Hasley's French farmhouse retreat has been covered with gravel for the ultimate low-maintenance look. The space is contained within the shell of one of the old outbuildings and features cushions with a check design.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Rattan chairs from Century Furniture sit on the rear terrace of this beach house in the Bahamas, creating a relaxing space that is shaded from the sun and feels almost like an entire extra room.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Two houses were combined to create this modern Chelsea home. The buildings had an unusual formation in that they were each shaped around a courtyard garden in the centre.

    When the dividing fence between the two gardens was removed, the effect was to create a central courtyard in roughly the shape of a keyhole. This quirky feature has become the focus and defining element of the new layout. Inspired planning of fenestration means that, from every aspect of the house, you have glimpses and vistas of this intriguing space, as well as several points of access to it.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    The owners of this Tuscan house decided to make an outdoor sitting area out of a corner of the loggia - an idea that can be applied to any outbuilding in need of a bit of care and attention. Choose pieces made from robust materials like wood and metal, which can tolerate the elements, such as the classic bamboo chairs, wooden table and oak swill-style baskets used here.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    A sleek concrete patio divides the substantial garden room from the lawn in this south-east London home was designed by Charles Barclay. It marks the divide between the main garden and the woodland area to the rear, but the sliding glass doors ensure the full view is not interrupted.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    On the Greek island of Patmos, this bamboo-covered terrace not only provides shelter from the sun, but also creates a beautiful dappled effect on the floor and walls, and blends in well with the limestone. For director's chairs like these, try Habitat's 'Africa' design, £45 each.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    Anne-Marie Midy inherited this house in the south of France and has since lovingly restored it to refresh the interiors without losing the charm of the space. Anne-Marie Midy and her husband own the Mexican furniture company Casamidy.The barbecue terrace, with its view of the town. Furniture in sunny colours add to the vacation vibe.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    The ceiling of this loggia is painted blue to mimic the sky and make the space the perfect transitional area between indoors and out. Anne-Marie Midy inherited this house in the south of France and has since lovingly restored it to refresh the interiors without losing the charm of the space. Anne-Marie Midy and her husband own the Mexican furniture company Casamidy.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    At a new build house in the Scottish Borders belonging to artist Sue Phipps she has filled the space with interesting objets and curiosities, and this is reflected in her pretty garden too. One of the free range chickens explores the patio, which has stone planters.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    A red stone patio mirrors the exposed brick exterior of this house, and contrasts with white outdoor seating.

    This Virginia house was an impulse purchase by artist Anne Massie and her brother. Since then it has become a stylish, comfortable home with touches of old American style in its wooden features striking architecture.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    The city garden of this English garden square house includes a patio with a spiral pattern, making this small outdoor dining space a special feature.

    'My wife and I have moved a lot - 20 times! This is the longest I have ever lived in a house in my life,' says the owner, speaking about his home in one of west London's most picturesque garden squares.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    For Richard Hanlon, the plan to buy a holiday home in India with his friend Trish McFarlane led to the ambitious construction of Bujera Fort, now a spectacular palace hotel in Udaipur. Arriving today, up the rutted track that leads out of Bujera village, it is difficult to believe that this beautiful building, its outer walls frothing with white bougainvillea, was only recently finished. The tall outer gates swing open and a drive rises steeply to end in a raised turning circle. Steps lead up to a huge pair of metal-studded wooden double doors, which are closed at night but otherwise stand wide in welcome.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    In a valley on the Waddesdon Manor estate sits Flint House, an award-winning example of contemporary architecture commissioned by Jacob Rothschild, a champion of houses of the future. The outdoor seating area makes the most of a break in the building, with Thomas Heatherwick's 'Spun' chairs in the background and Frank Gehry pieces in the foreground.

  • Patio and decking ideas for gardens

    A cobbled and paved patio makes the perfect spot for outdoor dining at the family home of artist Jonathan Delafield Cook and illustrator Laura Stoddart. The pair converted the house in Somerset from a disused chapel.