If you’re thinking about a patio installation in the future, one of the first decisions you will need to make is what design shape it will be.   Depending on the size of your Montgomery, Chester or Berks County outdoor area and what kinds of materials, features and patio styles you’re initially interested in, an experienced hardscape contractor will help you create a vision that is the perfect patio design for your lifestyle and budget.  

The most important step in the process is identifying how the family wants their new patio space to function.  Southeastern PA homeowners are discerning, and want creative options for their patio design, placement and materials. To get you thinking about your patio design, below are some design concepts to consider.

Patio Shapes

Gone are the days of rectangle concrete slabs outside a sliding glass door.  Today’s homeowner is looking for a unique design that creates the perfect outdoor space in which to relax and entertain.   Your patio can be a square, a rectangle, a circle, free-form design, or even a combination of shapes that flow as a whole.  Your property’s shape and size and the intended use of the space will help determine the shape.

Square or Rectangular Patio

Square and rectangular patios are quite practical and sometimes more cost effective.  The modern lines of a square patio gives a distinctive shape to the area.   One current trend now for outdoor design is to take a rectangular space and divide it into several outdoor rooms.  This can be accomplished by changing the paving material or the arrangement of furniture.    Depending on the homeowner’s preference, there could be a dining space, conversation area with a fire pit or even a hot tub.  A party on a square patio could encourage mingling more than on a narrower patio.

Round or Curved Patio

Round patios can be formal or casual but either way, are very aesthetically appealing.  Many times it’s built around a focal point, which might be a fire pit or dining table.  A full circle patio is usually separate from the home and it becomes a destination for family and friends.  A half circle patio typically adjoins another hardscape surfaces.

Round patios lend themselves to pavers because they can be laid in a circular pattern and have the ultimate flexibility in designing a circular pattern with contrasting colors. 

L-Shaped Patio

L-shaped patios are often designed to accommodate two different entry points of your house. 

Multi-Level Patio

Keeping the areas separate from one another using varying elevations, steps or low walls is another option, provided that the areas are still accessible to one another.  Even smaller properties can find opportunities to create multiple layers of outdoor living areas.  The different levels make the divisions between the spaces clear.  One level could be designated for your outdoor kitchen and a stepped down area could be for dining. 

Free-Form Patio

This type of patio is unique to your space, tends to by asymmetrical, and often flows to reflect the surrounding landscape.    Some free-form patios might have sweeping curves, while others are designed with different angles and shape changes.   This design also adapts well to multilevel concepts which allows you to create different ‘outdoor rooms’ and separate spaces for different kinds of entertaining.

Covered Patio

Obviously a covered patio lets you enjoy the outdoors even if it downpours.  A pergola will minimize the amount of sun you receive as you relax on the patio.

The Best Patio Shape for You

Your patio and how it integrates into your yard as a whole must be designed with the knowledge of how your family will use the space.  This decision will drive all other decisions made in the design process.  Once a design is chosen, more subtle techniques can be utilized, such as eye-catching borders and changes in paver laying patterns.  For additional  reading, check out our blog on How to Create a Great Hardscape Design for Your Backyard Getaway.

Why Your Patio Should Start with a 3D Design

A full-color 3D computer generated modeling is beneficial to the homeowner so he or she can visualize the finished outdoor space and be comfortable moving forward. Read why 3D Landscape Design Has So Many Benefits for Homeowners.

But the patio outline is only one element of its shape. A more subtle patio shape can also be created by the patio design.   Instead of laying them horizontally or vertically to the house, they can be arranged at an angle, which gives the patio a different look.

Even if you don’t use a round patio shape, you can still create circular designs within the patio with pavers.  This instantly creates separate areas, even in a larger, open patio.

Plus, there’s not always a need to choose only one patio shape. You can have two adjoining patios, optimally on different levels: one rectilinear and one curvilinear, perhaps leading to each other with a path or stairs.

Within any patio, you can create additional visual interest using focal points. There can be a sitting wall, a fountain, a fire pit or landscaping. You can also add visual interest by extending portions of the patio out, no matter what its shape, for planters, seating or any other focal point.


Thank you for checking out the various patio design categories and hopefully it has given you some insight into all the choices there are.  Have fun imagining your enhanced outdoor living area.   Whitehouse Landscaping is a professional design-build landscape company with 20 years experience.   We have the experience to transform your property with soothing water features, fire features, retaining walls and of course, a custom designed patio.  Browse our portfolio and our design  capabilities. 

If you would like to discuss what type of patio would work well in your Montgomery, Chester or Berks County home,  you can fill out the online form on our website  to schedule a free consultation or give us a call at 484-300-4290.