5 ways a patio can raise your quality of life

Landscape company Nest Outdoors designed this beautiful patio for a client in Bedford New Hampshire

Feeling a bit cooped up lately?

A patio can help.

Find yourself taking deep restorative breaths less often?

You're not alone.

And a patio can help.

If there is one thing we could all use a little more of these days is some breathing space, both literally and figuratively. This is exactly what a patio can deliver.

There has perhaps never been a better time in history to slow down, hit the reset button, and consciously rebuild a lifestyle with a little more ease. It's time to prioritize happiness, togetherness, and feelings of well-being.

One of the best ways we know to cultivate this is by adding a patio to your landscape. This guide will explore the surprising ways a patio can significantly raise your quality of life.

1. The joy of expanded living space

Well-designed patios are a natural extension of your home's living space. And who couldn't use a little more livable space when it comes down to it?

Especially of the sort that expands how we use our property, is filled with fresh air, and gives us a direct connection with nature.

Many properties have sufficient indoor space, but they often lack a patio, the true centerpiece of outdoor living, that is up to the quality of the home's interior. This tends to keep everyone inside more and doesn't make full use of the available room on the property to actually use and enjoy.

Adding a patio expands your home's utility by giving you additional functional, comfortable living space that is different in character and experience than your indoor spaces. Patios tend to be much more spacious than indoor rooms and allow you to really spread out and enjoy natural surroundings. They also have a more relaxed atmosphere than indoor rooms, which can be great for entertaining or simply relaxing after a long day.

We believe this is why patios have become one of the most popular home improvement projects for homeowners looking to gain a bit more space. This is especially the case in our hometown of Bedford, New Hampshire, and the surrounding areas we serve. They are a great way to add usable square footage to your home without the hassle (and expense) of a traditional addition.

2. More fresh air

In general, we spend significantly more time indoors than we used to. This trend was accelerated by the circumstances of the past few years.

The reality of more time indoors is that we consistently take in lower-quality air. It's pretty safe to say air quality is not a primary thought for most of us when spending time at home. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside our homes is often two to five times more polluted than the air outside.

A few benefits of getting more fresh air include better sleep, improved mood, a more robust immune system, and increased energy.

A patio is the landscape feature that makes it easier to enjoy more fresh air and sunshine in your life, which is a compelling reason to add one. A well-designed custom patio becomes an outdoor destination. After it's installed, it's always calling you to use it, making it the catalyst that gets out of your indoor comfort zone to take in all the benefits fresh air has to offer.

3. Seamless indoor/outdoor lifestyle

One of the best things about a patio is that it facilitates a seamless indoor/outdoor lifestyle.

A beautiful patio with plenty of seating can serve as an outdoor dining room. Include an outdoor kitchen, and your can grill and enjoy foods you may not be inclined to cook indoors. If you are hosting an event, it can be the primary place to entertain or serve as a quieter secondary space for a relaxing conversation while sipping a cool beverage.

Patios are flexible spaces for families for a variety of uses. It can be a retreat to relax during the weeknights or be the special place you greet the sunrise with a warm cup of coffee. If you have younger kids, a patio can provide a safe and fun place for them to play or have lunch while you keep an eye on them from the comfort of your own backyard. Indoor/outdoor living infuses our home living experience with a sense of grace, space, and the psychological ease that nature effortlessly provides.

4. Less screen time, more well-being.

New research indicates a population that's becoming nearsighted because of all the time we spend looking at screens. Human eyes evolved to take in information from various distances and lighting situations. We've upended this aspect of evolution significantly over the last few decades with TVs, computers, gaming consoles, and smartphones.

While these advances have brought many positive things to our lives, it's also overstimulated our brains and strained our vision. We need the counter-balancing element of time spent in natural light and with expansive views than what is possible indoors. A comfortable patio space gets us outside more to restore our vision, centeredness, and connection to the natural world away from our screens.

Patios also have a way of slowing us down. When we slow down, we think more clearly and feel happier. After all, we don't always have to be doing something. No awards are being given for being overly busy in our personal lives.

Giving ourselves a little more quiet space between our responsibilities can profoundly impact how we interact with the world. It provides us with room to rest, recover and rejuvenate. In this way, investing in a patio is investing in mental and physical health. It's a place to unplug, appreciate our surroundings, and give us some much-needed contact with nature to nurture our well-being. We could all use a little less screen time and a little more blue sky.

5. A natural place to make happy memories

As much as we've all gotten used to Zoom and virtual life, it will never replace what it's like to gather in person.

Your patio quickly becomes a favorite gathering spot to host small get-togethers or parties with friends and family. These gatherings set the stage to make some happy memories which can play an essential role in our lives. According to Meik Wiking (author of The Art of Making Memories), "Happy memories are essential to our mental health. They strengthen our identity, sense of purpose and our relationships". When we think back on the great memories we've made with people we care about, it feels good at the moment and can boost positivity at multiple points in our lives.

Happy memories can give a type of scaffolding throughout our lives. They provide us with something to look back on, which helps us locate ourselves in the present and helps shape our future experiences. Good memories fuel our happiness, remind us that we are loved, and pay us back in dividends by raising our quality of life.


There is something about the outdoors just makes you feel good.

We don't fully realize how much we need a livable outdoor space until we actually have one, and it becomes part of our lifestyle.

It's more important than ever to create opportunities for stillness, relaxation, and joy. A patio designed just for you can be the perfect place to experience all three. It's a welcomed extension of your home, a natural gathering place for your family and friends, and contributes to a higher quality of life.

Wayne Lamarre is the owner of the Bedford landscaping and design company Nest Outdoors

About the author of this article

Wayne Lamarre

Wayne founded Nest Outdoors to expand great home-living experiences to your backyard. He combines his formal art, landscaping, and design education with over 25 years of project construction experience.

Learn more about Wayne

It's time to up your patio game!

Contact Nest Outdoors for your landscape design

Patio FAQ:

What are common materials used for patios in New Hampshire?

Common materials used for patios in New Hampshire include:

  • Select Bluestone (formal look)
  • Irregular Bluestone (rustic look)
  • Granite
  • Clay Pavers
  • Concrete Pavers
  • Goshen Stone

How do I choose the right type of patio for my home?

The right patio for you considers how you intend to use it and the characteristics of your property. A smaller patio is great for intimate gatherings, while a large patio works best for entertaining or hosting large gatherings. The shape and material for the patio should consider the architectural style of your home, the natural surroundings, and your personal aesthetic preferences.

What other landscape features compliment a new patio?

Features that are part of our landscape designs to complement a new patio include:

  • Stone retaining/sitting walls
  • Fire Pits
  • Adjacent perennial gardens
  • Shade Trees
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Outdoor Fireplaces
  • Landscape Lighting
  • Pools
  • Outdoor saunas
  • Decks
  • Shade Structures
  • Open lawn spaces for recreation

What size should my patio be?

It should be large enough to accommodate the number of people who will regularly use it. There should be enough space to comfortably walk around tables, chairs, or other outdoor furniture without disturbing guests. You want to make sure the area does not feel cramped when in use and is laid out to facilitate movement to adjacent destinations in the home or yard.
Small patios may be as little as 100 Square Feet. In contrast, oversized patios accommodate more people and create room for features like an outdoor fireplace, fire pit, or outdoor kitchen and exceed 600-700 Square Feet.

Should my patio have straight or curved edges?

This depends on personal preference, the overall design intent, and cues taken from existing elements like the architecture and natural surroundings. Many of our landscape designs include patios that have a combination of curved and straight lines.

Is a patio better than a deck?

One way to think about this question is to consider that patios are more connected to the landscape, while decks are more connected to the architecture. Which one is better for you depends on which one suits your needs the best. It is very common for both a deck and a patio to coexist and complement each other in a landscape design.

Will a patio raise my home value?

The short answer is yes! Outdoor living spaces are in high demand these days. Having a well-designed patio can be why a buyer would choose your home over others in a competitive real estate market. It will also significantly raise your enjoyment of your property for as long as you make your current house your home sweet home.

How can I make my patio more comfortable?

The first way is to work with a landscape designer that understands how to make a comfortable space. The size, shape, material, and location are the most important choices. Ways to make your existing patio more comfortable include adding high-quality patio furniture, a well-placed shade tree, or the addition of a shade structure.

Are you ready to add a patio to your property? Contact patio design experts Nest Outdoors to learn more about our Design-Build-Enjoy process. You'll soon be drinking a cold beverage and sharing a meal outdoors with family and friends and experience general feelings of happiness.

Outdoor happiness designed just for you

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