A patio is an addition that adds value to both your house and your lifestyle. However, you don't want it to be a simple, utilitarian space. You want it to complement the rest of your house.
Perhaps you've already settled on concrete for the flooring because it's a good way to stay in budget and end up with a resilient, low-maintenance surface. Concrete is also a customizable material. Utilize that quality to make your patio match the rest of your house.
Know Your Home's Style
Typically, your house will be one of two general styles — traditional or contemporary. From that point, specific styles in those categories feature their own conventions.
Contemporary homes feature modern styles, including mid-century modern and industrial modern. Coastal and ranch homes fall into this category.
Traditional homes include any of the historical styles such as Queen Anne, Colonial, Tudor and Victorian. Other regional styles, such as Southwestern or Mediterranean, also fall in this category. Typically, rustic homes are more traditional.
When you're planning your patio, you'll want to adhere to the conventions of the house's style. For instance, Queen Anne homes are known for ornate detailing, which can come through in the use of pattern and color in a concrete patio. Conversely, modern styles tend to feature clean lines and a simple palette. You could leave a square concrete slab natural-colored for this style.
Start With the Color Palette
There are several ways to color concrete. The two most popular are dyeing and staining. With concrete dyes, the miniscule pigments penetrate the surface of the slab, resulting in bold coloration. With stains, the chemicals react with those in the slab. The result is natural-toned coloration with gradients.
You'll want the main body of your patio to complement or match the façade of your house. You can also utilize a border that not only emphasizes the shape of the patio but also matches or complements the trim of the house.
Pay Attention to Material Choices
Just as a house's style might dictate a color palette and detailing, the style can also drive material selection. The stamping and either staining or dyeing process can make concrete resemble another material. Therefore, you can have your concrete patio match materials found in your house.
For instance, the Concrete Network describes a house with a concrete patio that resembles the stone façade of the house. The project required a concrete overlay over an existing concrete slab, but you can achieve the same effect on a new slab with the stamping and coloring process.
Matching a material to a design style works even if your house doesn't feature that material. For example, mission-style houses are often done in adobe. Tile and warm-colored flagstone complement the style. You could have your concrete patio made over to resemble one of those materials.
Consider Some Creative Options
Because you have so many ways to customize concrete, you also have many design options to make your patio unique to your home.
For example, you can engrave concrete, which is popular for borders. You can add to the beauty of an old-world patio by having a contrasting border engraved with designs found elsewhere, like in wrought iron fencing or a stained-glass window.
Concrete pavers are another option. If you have a modern style house, you could have the contractors install big, square pavers with gravel or contrasting concrete grout in between. That way you emphasize the geometry of your patio material complementary to the modern style.
For a coastal style home, consider a pebble aggregate surface. The pebbles are reminiscent of the shore. As a bonus, the textured surface gives you traction even when it's wet.
Your new concrete patio will be a benefit to your outdoor living. When you match it to your house's style, it also adds value to your home. Consult the concrete experts at Southport Concrete Corp. for advice when you're ready for your new patio.