23 Patio Cover Ideas That Make Outdoor Living a Breeze

A patio can add additional living space to your home by creating an exterior living area. If you add patio covers as part of your design scheme, that outdoor space becomes even more functional. By providing a cover to the alfresco area, you have a leg up on the elements. A patio cover allows you to take advantage of the outdoor living room more often. Plus, depending on the homeowner’s climate, you’ll be able to enjoy the patio most—if not all—of the year. This allows you to bask in the beauty of your backyard, whether you want to spend some quiet time alone or entertain family and friends with outdoor dining or a tête-à-tête in a shady seating area. When done right, a patio cover can help to create a seamless transition between your interior and exterior spaces. Whether you’re looking to spruce up backyard ideas or add some pizzazz to concrete patio ideasAD has you covered.

What can I use to cover up my patio?

There are various types of materials that you can use to cover your patio. These range from outdoor fabrics, shade sails, wood pergolas, as well as aluminum and steel structures. You can also use awnings, canopies, retractable covers, and even create cabanas. “Retractable awnings, big market umbrellas, built-in pergolas, wrought iron patio covers, and any variety of shade structures are available and they are improving year over year,” says Los Angeles–based landscape designer Andrea Scharff. “Also, patio covers provide structure for fragrant vines that add a layer of beauty that pleases all of the senses. I love any fragrant vine like wisteria, roses, jasmine, and stephanotis.”

Here are 23 patio cover ideas from landscaping and design industry experts that’ll help you get the most out of your outdoor space.

Create a sunken living room

A sunken living room is a way to add a midcentury modern twist to an outdoor space. Ralph Choeff, founding principal of Choeff Levy Fischman Architecture + Design in Miami, praises the approach for its ability to “create a resort-like living environment,” which is enhanced with a patio cover with durable Brazilian Ipe wood and cantilevered roofs that provide shade from the sun.