The days are getting longer, the temps are getting warmer, and soon it will be patio season in Maine! After a long winter spent mostly indoors, the spring and summer months are the perfect time to create an outdoor oasis right in your own backyard. Investing in a professionally designed and installed patio can completely transform your outdoor living space and give you a beautiful area to relax, dine, and entertain making lasting Maine summer memories.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to upgrade an existing patio, the possibilities are endless. Let’s explore everything you need to know about designing, building and styling your dream patio so you can make the most of the warmer months ahead.


Choose the Right Location


The first step in patio planning is choosing the right spot in your yard. Consider how you want to use the space and what views you want to enjoy from your patio. Think about sun exposure at various times of day so you can pick a spot that offers shade when you need it. Also factor in proximity to the home—you’ll likely want the patio within steps of the backdoor for easy access. Observe your yard throughout the day and seasonally to understand your natural patterns and determine the best placement.


Decide on a Shape and Size


Once you’ve settled on a location, it’s time to think about the patio’s parameters. Traditional rectangular or square shapes are always great options, but if you have an irregularly shaped yard, consider following the natural lines of your property for a more organic shape.


patio shapes


For size, make sure to leave enough room for furnishings, walking space, and any activities like dining al fresco. Bigger is often better when it comes to outdoor living areas, so make it as large as your yard and town permits allow. Having different zones, such as one area for dining and another for lounging, can also add functionality.


Select the Right Materials


The materials you choose for your patio are crucial in setting the overall style. Timeless classics like natural stone and brick are elegant options that also withstand the test of time. More budget-friendly choices like concrete and pavers can mimic the high-end look at a lower price point. Gravel and pea stone make great choices for a softer, more casual aesthetic. Composite decking is also growing in popularity and gives you the benefit of a wood-like look without the maintenance. Consult with a professional patio builder for advice on which materials make the most sense for your home, lifestyle, and budget.


Incorporate Special Features


Once you have the basics of size, shape and materials decided, it’s time for the fun part—picking special features that will make your patio unique! For entertaining, an outdoor kitchen with a grill, bar area, and counter space can’t be beat. A stone fire pit is wonderful for extending patio season late into fall.


outdoor cooking patio


fire pit patio


To up the ambiance, don’t forget lighting. For relaxation, a water feature like a fountain or pond adds tranquil sounds. If you need shade for hot summer days, a pergola, arbor, or market umbrella are excellent options. There are so many ways to customize your patio to match your wish list.


Choose Patio Furnishings


After putting so much thought into the structure of your patio, you’ll want furnishings to match. Select pieces that complement the style, but also withstand the elements like wind, rain and sun exposure. Teak and aluminum are great all-weather options for any type of patio. Wicker works well in covered spaces. Cast iron is a classic choice. Decorate with weather-proof cushions, throw pillows and area rugs in your favorite colors and patterns for a cozy feel. Use furnishings to create separate zones if desired. With the right patio furniture, you can curate the perfect outdoor living room tailored to your taste.


Add Special Touches


The finishing details will elevate your patio from great to gorgeous. Potted plants, trees and flowers immediately liven up the space. If planting beds are part of your design, choose low-maintenance native plants. Outdoor décor like sculpture, fountains, wind chimes and even a fire bowl with stone accents also add interest. Final touches like throw blankets, toss pillows and outdoor area rugs complete the cozy feeling. With the little touches that reflect your personal taste, you can create an outdoor space that looks and feels like an extension of your home.


Set the Mood with Lighting


Ambient lighting is key for setting the perfect mood on your patio. Classic styles like elegant lanterns lining your pathways or stairs cast a warm, welcoming glow that encourages guests to lounge a while after sunset. For added drama, uplighting placed subtly along home exterior walls highlights gorgeous architectural details and textures.

Spotlight landscape features and surfaces with accent lighting. Aim a flattering light at specimen trees or stone planters to make them pop. Attractive purpose-built fixtures like step lights enhance safety and visual appeal along pathways. It’s all about drawing attention to the special elements that make your space unique.

For the tech-savvy, dynamic lighting allows even more possibilities. With zone-controlled and dimmable LEDs, you can customize lighting presets for various functions or aesthetics. Smart home technology lets you control lighting effects right from your smartphone for the perfect party-ready bright scheme or a mellow after-hours mood. The right lighting transforms your patio from day to night beautifully!


Maintain the Space


A pristine patio doesn’t happen on its own—periodic maintenance is key. Keep materials looking their best by sweeping frequently, using outdoor cleaners and applying sealants as needed. Tend to lawns, gardens and potted plants around the perimeter. Make repairs quickly to prevent further damage. Depending on your climate, take steps to winterize when patio season ends. With proper care, your patio will stay looking fantastic year after year.


backyard patio


Maximize Use and Enjoyment


After putting time, thought and investment into your dream patio, be sure to use and enjoy it as much as possible! Eat meals outside, read in the morning sunshine, sip coffee in the garden, host family reunions and birthday parties—the opportunities are endless. Decorate seasonally with fun accents. Invest in amenities like sound systems to enhance the experience. The more you use the space, the more value you’ll gain from the addition.


Design Ideas to Inspire Your Perfect Patio


Need a spark of inspiration for your dream patio? Here are some design ideas to get those creative juices flowing:

  • A curved perimeter with a stone fire pit as the central focal point
  • A neutral color palette of gravel, stone and wood for a calming aesthetic
  • An intimate bistro setup with a small table, chairs and string lights overhead
  • An eclectic mix of ornate patio furniture, brightly colored cushions and funky accents
  • An ultra-contemporary look with sleek concrete pavers and clean lines
  • A rustic design featuring reclaimed barn wood, bluestone pavers, vintage-style furnishings and charming country accents

Browse through project photos on our patios page for more inspiration.

Let your imagination run wild and explore all the patio possibilities that spark joy. Customizing your outdoor space is an investment that will bring you satisfaction and enjoyment for years to come.


Make Your Patio Dreams A Reality


Adding or upgrading a patio is a big project, but the professionals at Stone Solutions Maine can guide you from concept to completion. With over 30 years of experience crafting hardscapes throughout Southern Maine, we are your trusted partners for creating outdoor spaces to match your unique vision.

Whether you’re looking to add a cozy fire pit, build a spacious stone dining patio or design something completely custom, our team brings the expertise and meticulous attention to detail that ensures success. Contact us today to get started. Together, we’ll explore the possibilities and bring your dream patio to life just in time to enjoy spring and summer in your beautiful new outdoor space. Let’s chat about maximizing your yard’s potential this season and for many years to come.