Stone Patio Ideas for Backyard Designs: 25 Neat Installations

Stone Patio Ideas for Backyard Designs

To help you make your stone patio ideas a reality, we’d like to explore these 25 outdoor designs complete with pictures. If you have a small backyard or if you are operating on a budget or maybe you just want to avoid messy and laborious concrete work, then you’ll want to consider building a DIY patio from stones. You can use pretty much anything that looks like rock or stone to build a stone patio – flagstones, pavers, gravel, or river rock. Some of the designs you’re about to see are quite cheap to build and easy to put together yourself.




Random Shape Large Flagstones

When I built my patio in Oregon, I picked large random flagstones. You can cement the flagstones together to create a seamed patio, but I opted to space the large stones out and place pea gravel (you can also use crushed stone) in between. Another option is to use grass or sand between the stones. I then used concrete pavers to create an outline along the border.


1. Use Loose Stone and Crushed Stone to Build a Patio on a Budget

Undoubtedly, using loose flagstones has many advantages such as you’ll need fewer stones to create the same size patio. It’s like putting together a DIY  jigsaw puzzle because you’ll use stones and rocks of varying shapes and sizes. Large flagstones come in various sizes and colors so you can really get creative when customizing your inexpensive idea.

I had a large backyard so I also decided to add a lovely fireplace in the middle of the patio.


2. Have Larger Gaps Filled with Gravel to Save Money

A great way to save money when building your patio is to space the flagstones apart at greater distances and then use gravel to fill in the gaps. This technique helps accentuate the large stones nicely and provides even greater savings to the entire project. I like to use pea gravel, but you can also pick pumice rock, white marble chips, or simple gravel to fill in the gaps.


3. Use Oversized Flagstones with Pea Gravel to Cover More Patio Area Quickly

Round stepping stones provide greater decorative detail to this patio project. Fill in the gaps between the oversized flagstones using pea gravel or include small natural stones between the larger ones to create a rustic appearance. You can make the gaps as wide or narrow as you want. I made the gaps in my patio approximately 3 to 4 inches for aesthetic reasons and to save money.


4. Cement Flagstones to Keep Them in Place

If you prefer a finished look to your patio then cemented flagstones are the way to go. It does cost more to create a smooth patio but the luxury look is definitely worth it if you are going for a high-end patio. A stone retaining wall completes this backyard design. You can even plant small plants in the crevices of the stone wall to give it a rock garden appearance. The only drawback to cementing in the flagstones is that shifting climatic conditions can cause cracking.


5. Pick the Right Flagstone Type for a Color-Matching Patio Design

Flagstones and pea gravel are a classic combination, but you can also let the grass grow in the gaps or plant moss plants between the stones for a more rustic appeal. I like to vary the color shades of the stones but you can also opt for using only stones of the same collar palette.  Also, you can even match the stones to the house shade or ensure that the flagstones blend seamlessly into the surrounding greenery, just like it is done in the photo above.


6. DIY a Large Patio on a Budget Using Large Flagstones

Many DIY patio builders lay flagstones with no filler or they fill in the spaces with natural moss. Loose stones can also form a free shape that is visually pleasing. When I built my patio, I not only built the large patio from flagstones but also created walkways out of the same material. At the time, my stone patio and walkways were the perfect idea for an easy DIY project that I could tackle alone. I even made sure to design the patio with a fire pit in the middle.


Bluestone, Greystone, and Limestone

Bluestone, greystone, and limestone give a very pre-finished appearance. These stones are commonly precut in either square or rectangular shapes. They are ideal to create uniform patio designs. You can lay stones next to each other with no gaps to create a smooth surface patio. Without a doubt, many consider these stones easier to work with than flagstones.


7. An Urban Patio Design

When I lived in the heart of the city I had a small backyard.  It was made up of pre-cut flagstones to form the perfect urban backyard. I didn’t have to worry about mowing or upkeep. All I needed to do was spray off the patio using the hose on occasion to remove any buildup of debris. The flat appearance of the patio let me easily place large pots of flowers and shrubs along its perimeter.


8. Add River Rock to Highlight Your Patio Design

Build a solid bluestone patio and outline the perimeter with river rock, for a cool contrasting design. This residential outdoor patio will quickly become the hub of your backyard entertainment. You can barbecue, and entertain on its expanse.


9. Create a Perfectly Round Patio with Stones

Are you dreaming about a perfectly round design for your patio, with a lovely fireplace in the center? If so then pre-cut limestone is a great choice to create such a design. You can also add walkways to the patio using the same type of stones. Build the sidewalks using long-shaped stones to give a feeling of spaciousness.


10. Use Rectangular Stones of the Same Size for an Easy Installation

If you are creating a large patio then using rectangular stones of the same size would be beneficiary. It’ll save you a lot of time as the identically shaped stones are easier and quicker to install. You can let grass or moss naturally grow in the small gaps between the stones. This uniform outdoor patio clad with greystones in a suburban backyard looks just perfect.


11. Greystones Create a Smooth Surface for a Raised Patio

Greystones work well for an elevated patio design. Edge the patio with raised red brick walls. The red walls stand out in stark contrast against the graystone. Cement the stones together for a finished appearance.


12. Use Gravel for Patio Edging

Create a striking bluestone patio edged with pea gravel and clay brick. The material is ideal for large stone patio designs. You can even fashion a built-in grill using pavers. Build the grill directly into the decorative garden wall.  Edge the perimeter of the bluestone in brick and gravel. The secluded design will quickly become your ideal outdoor oasis for entertaining and relaxing.


Small Flagstones


13. The Cheapest Patio Design?

If you want to build a DIY patio on a budget then the cheapest way is to use small flagstones. The stones are affordable and easy to lay out. If you are fashioning a small patio then you can easily build it in an afternoon. Pick randomly shaped small flagstones to create diversity. The stones are easy to handle and move around due to their low weight. You can play with the design and try different layouts until you find the perfect one for your landscape. Place white marble or pea gravel between the stones to finish the look. The orange stones and the white pea gravel create stunning color contrasts. This is the easiest way to build a cute DIY patio quickly with minimal expense or labor.


14. Build a DIY Circular Patio with Ease

Another easy DIY patio to build is a circular design. You can use small flagstones to form a circle. It’s much easier to create a certain shape using smaller pieces. The circle doesn’t have to be perfect. The idea is just to create a round area that is large enough to fit a small outdoor table and four chairs. You can use this approach to build a garden patio or a corner backyard patio. It will quickly become a favorite spot where you can seek solitude, and if you are like me, read a book while sipping a cup of coffee.


15. Include Boulders for Added Interest

Use cemented flagstones outlined by large boulders to add interest to the landscape. You can even match colors. This is a great nook design. If you have a small pond or creek in your backyard then this is also a good design to accentuate the natural area.


16. Create a Colorful Outdoor Retreat with Random Color Flagstones

Another small flagstone patio design to consider is the use of color. This colorful design idea (see image above) incorporates random rock colors for a more natural appearance. You can use this design in a covered patio space or on a porch. It’s also good for an irregularly shaped patio. Add an outdoor fireplace in one corner of the patio for warmth and visual interest.


17. Design a Stone Patio to Match Your House Stone Exterior

Try to pick stones that match the house’s exterior colors. If the colors of the patio stones and the exterior wall are in the same color palette then you’ll be able to create an illusion of a larger space. Just take a look at the photo above. This outdoor area looks like one continuous space. It’s a seamless transition from the wall to the floor. Now imagine that patio stones are of a totally different color. The patio would have looked much smaller.


18. Define an Outdoor Living Area with Contrasting Flagstones

Nicely presented in this photo is the idea to use irregular flagstones to create obvious contrast. The contrast is bifold – the color of the patio is totally different from the color of the driveway. And the patio stones’ shapes are totally different from the bricks in a brick-clad driveway. The flagstones clearly define the patio area in this cool design.


19. Build a Tiny Side Patio

What a neat idea is displayed in the image above. Multiple walkways join at one spot to form a tiny side patio. All was possible thanks to using small greystones, as they allow you to build free-flowing shapes, without being constrained by the rigidity of concrete forms.



If you’re looking for an affordable way to add color to your patio design then consider slate.


20. Use Slate Stones to Create a Patio Design that Blends Well with Nature

Lay large pieces of slate with cemented gaps to create a patio. You can use a multi-color idea and use two different size stones such as square and rectangular interchanged to add interest. This is an ideal design for a large backyard. Slate commonly comes with different shades of green allowing it to blend in well with the surrounding greenery.


21. Let Moss Fill in the Gaps

If you don’t want to cement the slate pieces together and just want a more rustic look then consider spacing stones with 1-2 inch gaps and letting moss or grass naturally grow in the gaps. The low growth requires very little care and is a wonderful option in areas that receive considerable rainfall.


Concrete Paver Stones

Concrete paver stones are cheap but they do take a great deal of labor to effectively build a patio. Their small size means you’ll need more of them. Also, they require a flat surface to sit upon. You’ll need to use sublayers of sand and gravel to properly install the stones in a level fashion. The added materials needed to build a concrete paver stone patio can quickly drive the cost up and offset the savings on cheap pavers. Yet, they can be perfect for some smaller-size projects. And often, they are the only choice if your goal is to design a high-end patio. Here are a few ideas.


22. Use Small Concrete Pavers to Make a Round Patio

Use square multi-colored pavers to make a beautiful round patio. After all, nothing looks better than a design formed with concentric circles of square shapes. Note how the designers carefully selected brighter color pavers to go in the center, creating a color accent. You will need to pick smaller size pavers to be able to construct such perfect circles. And your most inner circles would have to be formed from even the smallest squares, so you may have to do some stone cutting.


23. Connect Two Patio Areas with Concrete Stepping Stones

If you feel adventurous then why not build two patio areas using concrete pavers? The interesting design can be connected with stepping stones. You can place outdoor furniture on one patio and a fireplace on another. The design has many uses and can easily be tailored to meet your outdoor entertainment needs.


24. Add Interest to a Concrete Paver Patio Using Multi-Shape DIY Plastic Molds

If you are embarking on a DIY pavers patio then the first thing you’ll notice is that manufacturers use multiple molds to make different shape stones. It is a cheap DIY idea that is truly versatile.



Do you live in a Victorian home or do you just appreciate a vintage look? If so then cobbles are a greater material to use to create a patio in your backyard.  Cobbles let you achieve a vintage look with minimal effort.


25. Use Cobblestones to Re-create a Retro Patio Feel and Look

Cobblestones remind us of the past when they were the most commonly used stone pavers.  And they last forever. So if you’re experiencing nostalgia or just desire to add old charm to your backyard design then consider using cobbles.

About Kimberly Sharpe 8 Articles
Based in Florida, Kimberly Sharpe has worked as a full-time freelance writer since 2006. She writes for numerous online sites and publications in a wide array of industries such as gardening, home design, DIY, real estate, home remodeling, lighting, cultivation methods, and more. Gardening, hydroponics, and outdoor design are hobbies she is passionate about in her spare time.