I don’t know about you, but some days I dream of living in a small cottage by the sea. On others I yearn for an adobe house in the desert one minute and a Victorian in the middle of town the next.

So it’s no surprise that my decorating style is “eclectic,” a little of this and a little of that.

Some people, however, are more certain. They know what they like and surround themselves with décor that reflects their style.

The patio design ideas below are like that. All have a particular point of view and evoke a specific time or place.

Patio Design Ideas: Mid-century Modern

If Mad Men is your favorite TV show, Mid-Century Modern may be your favorite style.

Spanning a period from the mid-1940s to 1970, its streamlined, bold aesthetic emphasizes simple forms, contemporary patterns, and a seamless flow between indoors and outdoors. The end result mixes the practical and the chic.

Detroit, Michigan, patio design ideas

Patio Design Idea from Detroit  (Houzz | Zaremba & Company)

modern porch, Austin, Texas, patio design ideas

Mid-Century Modern Porch in Austin, Texas  (Houzz | Tom Hurt Architecture)

contemporary porch, Atlanta, Georgia, patio design ideas

Mid-Century Modern in Atlanta  (Houzz | Becky Harris)

Patio Design Ideas: Rustic

Maybe instead of being inspired by the present, you’d prefer to have had the opportunity to dine with the Ingalls family on the prairie.

As you can see from the patio design ideas below, you can capture that old-fashioned rustic style with lots of natural, rough-hewn wood and stone, earthy colors and repurposed items. (Even better, you can still have all the modern amenities!)

This first photo, of a rustic porch, was taken by the photographer Corynne Pless of Corynne Pless Designs.

contemporary porch, Atlanta, Georgia, patio design ideas

Rustic Porch in Alabama  (Houzz | Corynne Pless)

rustic porch, Atlanta, Georgia, patio design ideas

Rustic Porch: Atlanta  (Houzz | William T. Baker)

rustic patio, Phoenix, Arizona, patio design ideas

Rustic Patio: Phoenix, Arizona  (Houzz | Carson Poetzl, Inc.)

Patio Design Ideas: Contemporary

If you just said to yourself, “Whoa! I need patio design ideas that don’t take me back to the farm. I’m a city slicker and proud of it,” then you might prefer a patio with a contemporary style.

Technically, contemporary style is opposite “traditional” décor. If you consider yourself a minimalist, this is probably your style. It’s got a “less is more” aesthetic with smooth profiles, solid or subtly patterned fabrics, and minimal accessories. Unlike Mid-Century Modern, the Contemporary style is more flexible and doesn’t adhere to strict design “rules.”

Though made of different materials, the next three patio design ideas are all considered contemporary.

contemporary deck, rooftop garden, Dallas, Texas, patio design ideas

Contemporary Rooftop Garden in Dallas  (Houzz | Harold Leidner Landscape Architects)

contemporary patio, Orange County, patio design ideas

Contemporary Patio in Orange County  (Houzz | Creative Atmospheres, Inc.)

contemporary patio, pool, patio design ideas

Contemporary Pool & Patio  (Houzz | Elad Gonen Photographers)

Patio Design Ideas: Desert

If you live in a desert, you’re not going to have a cottage garden growing in your backyard.

Instead, you’ll have bright blue sky with the subtle colors of sand and sage. You’ll also definitely need to incorporate shade into your patio design so that you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

desert patio, Arizona, patio design ideas

Desert Patio in Arizona  (Houzz | Landscape Design West, LLC)

desert patio, Phoenix, Arizona, patio design ideas

Desert Patio in Phoenix  (Houzz | Boxhill Design)

contemporary patio with cushions, Phoenix, patio design ideas

Desert Patio in Phoenix  (Houzz | www.KarlGercens.com Photographers)

What patio design ideas appeal to you? Does your patio evoke a particular time and place or do you have more eclectic tastes? Upload a picture to our Bombay Outdoors Facebook page so we can see!