My wife is obsessed with food and any TV shows relating to food. She was watching Barefoot Contessa the other day and I have to say, Ina Garten's house, barn (where she actually films) and grounds are all pretty amazing. Carving out a subtle arch really creates an openness within the covered space in her outdoor living area (pictured above).
She has a bluestone terrace outside her barn. Bluestone is a great option for outdoor areas. It is really durable and can withstand harsh winter temps.
(Images: Simon Upton / House Beautiful)