If your patio is small and enclosed, but equipped at one end with a garden pool, you might balance the pool with patio furniture and accent plants.
How much of the patio design and/or construction you can do yourself depends largely on your time, energy, skill, and experience you can give to the project.
If you have a knack for design, there is no reason why you cannot develop a good patio design, though its a good idea to at least go for an hour’s consultation with a professional landscape architect. He or she can give you general parameters of good design and apply them to your situation, perhaps with a few rough sketches.
If you are a skilled weekend carpenter you should have no serious problems building a simple deck or patio overhead. If you aren’t handy with a hammer, almost every remodeling project has a few easy, do-it-yourself opportunities. You can work on the parts of the job suited to your talents and temperament, leaving the difficult work for the specialists.
If you decide to tackle the entire project-- from design through construction-- be sure you have the time and energy for it. Regulations governing building and remodeling can be exasperating-- and your design must accommodate those that affect your neighborhood.
Learning new skills may seem intriguing until you run into complications that call for an expert’s judgement. Estimating and buying the exact materials and tools you’ll need can seem frustrating, especially when material prices change from week to week.
In other words, be realistic. Be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do well, and operate within that framework.