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Landscaping Videos

Gravel Patio Sizing

See how gravel patios are blended to add nice texture and work with surrounding trees to define outdoor rooms.

A video transcript featuring Joseph Huettl, Huettl Landscape Architecture

For the backyard patio area, the architect had these limestone terraces already built into the house design, and we wanted to go with that palette. This crushed rock, it's called Tuscany or sometimes called black and tan. This patio also needs a bit of enclosure, so we also installed these raised steel planters with a Swan Hill fruitless olive that won't drop any olives on their dining table, and that provides a little bit of shade eventually and a little bit of enclosure. We often like to border our patios with seat walls, raised planters, or water features, some element that helps define it as the outdoor room, which it's supposed to be.

Sizing the patio
In sizing a patio area, part of it responds to the scale of the site. A small patio in a large site sometimes feels out of scale, and a large patio in a small yard can dominate. But besides that, there's also a sort of a human scale, dimensions you can go off of. In general, a 20-foot by 20-foot patio is large enough for most things that a family needs for outdoor dining and living. Anything less than 10 feet wide gets to be quite narrow. So, in general, we recommend patios in the 14- to 20- to 25-foot range and width, and the length can vary. It's all about proportion and scale and composition.

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