According to most dictionaries a patio is a “courtyard, especially of a house, enclosed by low buildings or walls.” There is another definition for patio, however, that says a patio is a “roofless courtyard: a roofless inner courtyard typical of a Spanish-style house.” Spanish style patios can be either.
Spanish style houses can be found across the United States. You may recognize certain elements of Spanish influence in the Mission, Pueblo, and Hacienda styles. All of these house types will have certain features in common: arched doors and windows, carved doors, and patios.
Patios are great to have on Spanish or Mexican Style Houses, or on any style of house for that matter. They give homeowners a chance to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors when the evenings are cool. Patios are also wonderful places to gather with family and friends.
Modern Spanish style patios are more like having another room. They can be decorated similar to the inside of a house, have their own heating sources, and can provide privacy for the home if they are surrounded by a garden. It’s not uncommon to have comfortable seating on a patio as well.
Create your own romantic getaway right at your own home. If you don’t have a wall making your patio private, you can develop privacy with wrought iron fences and plant climbing flowers at their base. You can also purchase folding screens that will temporarily shield your patio until the plants have filled in.
Don’t forget about lighting your patio. Whether you intend to entertain guests or not, you’ll want to have lighting so you and your family can enjoy the area after dark. Lighting should provide ample illumination for safety, of course, but also so you can eat outside on the patio if you so desire.
Spanish style patios can be added onto houses that don’t have a Spanish influence. You can use elements of this type of patio to tie into a room you’ve decorated in Spanish or Mexican themes. You can also have this type of patio on a ranch house.
Ultimately, if you choose to add a Spanish style patio you’ll have to determine how it will be used. It can be a great place to relax, the location you use at your home for entertaining, or may be a hideaway for you to enjoy your morning coffee. No matter how you choose to use your patio, know that it can be a place of refuge.