Urban Road

5 outdoor materials to revamp your patio: Alfresco design inspo

Making the most of the midsummer heat in your backyard is still feasible. Whether you’re looking for a simple weekend DIY project or quick and easy styling tricks, these are 5 outdoor materials to revamp your patio. Read on for our favourite inexpensive ways to uplift your outdoor space.

Related article: 10 common landscaping mistakes and how to avoid them
Related article: How to create the perfect paved alfresco area for entertaining

1. Metal

Metal is a popular choice for outdoor patios and courtyards because it can withstand various weather conditions. From weather-resistant aluminium furniture to metal structures, decorative accents and outdoor art, metal offers ultimate versatility. That’s because it can be easily moulded and shaped into various designs, and has the strength to support substantial weight. Another benefit of metal is that it’s low maintenance and offers longevity.

Popular ways you can integrate metal into your outdoor space:

  • outdoor furniture
  • pergola structure
  • decorative metal screens for privacy (see photo below)
  • planter boxes
  • fire pit
  • lighting fixtures or lanterns
  • fencing
  • wall shelves (ideal for displaying plants)
  • metal sculptures or wall art.

However you choose to inject some metal accents into your outdoor space, you can be sure it will add timeless appeal and have the durability to last.

Entertainment space
Image via Reno Rumble

2. Concrete

Concrete is one of the most adaptable and durable materials available because it can be left raw, pressure washed to expose the aggregate, have oxides added to achieve different colours, scored, brushed and more!

Not only can it have different appearances, concrete can be poured on site to achieve almost any shape or structure you want to perfectly fit your space. From outdoor kitchens to fire pits, planter boxes to seating, there’s no shortage of ways you can use concrete to revamp your patio or alfresco space.

Concrete is also low maintenance and can be easily cleaned, or consider allowing moss to grow over some of your concrete to achieve a more organic outdoor space. Tip: you can speed up the process to grow moss on concrete by painting it with milk.

Large concrete planters with olive trees alfresco design inspo
Large concrete pots as seen on The Block | See the reveals

3. Wood

One of our favourite materials for any zone of the home — inside or out — is timber. Wood instantly injects warmth to your space and can soften a hard materials palette. Not only does wood add a hint of comfort to your backyard sanctuary, it’s another highly versatile material.

Some ways you can embrace the natural aesthetic of wood in your outdoor space:

  • decking
  • fencing
  • pergolas (just take a look at that dreamy space below!)
  • outdoor furniture, especially custom bench seating
  • planter boxes or garden edging
  • trellis
  • pathways
  • lighting fixtures
  • wall art and sculptures
  • outdoor kitchen.

Wood has many benefits, including timeless appeal and being adaptable to different weather conditions, however it does require ongoing maintenance.

Sectional outdoor sofa with black and white rug
Outdoor inspiration via The tarnished jewel blog

4. Crazy paving or flagstone

It’s hard to ignore the crazy paving trend that’s taken over outdoor spaces! Crazy paving, or flagstone as it’s also known, is the use of irregularly shaped and sized stones to create unique and interesting patterns. Take a look at how beautifully it adds interest to the outdoor space at Coolbina home we recently toured.

Although generally used as a flooring material, crazy paving can also add texture and interest to outdoor walls, around outdoor fireplaces and even outdoor kitchens.

Whether you have a bright and light outdoor colour scheme or dark and moody, you can find a flagstone or crazy paving stone mix to complement. It’s a luxury material that is sure to add serious wow-factor to your outdoor space!

Outdoor living in Coolbinia home alfresco design inspo
Outdoor living showcasing flagstone or crazy paving |Tour Coolbinia home

5. Bamboo

Finally, another material that isn’t used enough in our opinion is bamboo. Consider adding an aura of tropical tranquillity to your patio using bamboo.

Ways you can use bamboo in your outdoor space:

  • pergola
  • screens (varying from fine bamboo blinds to sturdy bamboo dividing walls)
  • decking or flooring
  • outdoor furniture
  • lighting fixtures
  • bamboo wind chime or outdoor decor
  • water feature.

As well as being highly versatile, bamboo is also an ecologically sound material. It’s the perfect choice in tropical climates or where you want to achieve an island hideaway aesthetic.

We hope this article has given you some ideas on different materials you can use to renovate your patio or alfresco area. Remember, great design is all about contrast so consider using a mix of materials to create an interesting yet balanced materials palette. Do you have any questions about these materials or want more alfresco design inspo? Tell us in the comments below.

More outdoor inspo

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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