If your driveway isn’t actively working to improve the aesthetics and function of your home, it’s getting in the way. Whether you’re building a new home, doing a remodel of the front yard, or just want to invest in some home improvements, the driveway deserves your attention.
These five ideas reflect layout design options, material choices, and how to handle budget constraints in order to make your driveway an attractive, enjoyable part of your home.
1. Get imaginative and choose a shape that matches your home
Straight, curved or round, the shape of your driveway matters. These are the three most conventional driveway shapes, but you don’t have to stick to just one of them if your house calls for something else. Pick a shape that matches it holistically. Look at the shape of the front of your home, the position of the garage relative to the road if you have one, and the landscaping elements and themes you have or want.
A straight driveway lends itself to a modern home. A curved driveway brings to mind a classic, Mediterranean or nature-focused home. A rounded driveway works especially well with elaborate New England-style homes, as well as ranch house style homes with big, open yards.
You should also consider the elements you want to use so their shape matches the overall driveway.
2. Consider paving options other than asphalt and concrete — especially pavers and pervious concrete
Asphalt and concrete are popular because they are relatively durable and affordable. But you have other options that still won’t be prohibitively expensive. Paver stones are mass-produced stones with incredible durability and a huge range of color, shape and pattern options. They are conducive to natural looking geometric patterns and can be combined with underlayers such as gravel, shells and grass to create different types of designs.
Pervious concrete is a type of paving stone designed to be both incredibly hard and environmentally friendly. Water easily passes through it, entering the soil, instead of rolling to drains and exacerbating suburban runoff problems. It is also a flexible design element that can be ordered in interesting combinations of shapes to facilitate whatever elegant patterns and styles you want.
3. Consider an accent design or element
Something as simple as a circle at the center of the driveway to tactful strips of hearty grass or plants to an ostentatious decoration like a fountain can infuse a driveway with energy and aesthetic purpose.
The point isn’t to be gaudy or expensive, but rather to go further in making your driveway actively attractive instead of just a functional component of the house that you attempt to disguise.
4. Don’t ignore landscaping
Most people think of their yard and their driveway as separate. This is the wrong way to do it. Flowers, grass, a planter, and even a tree and hedges can help give you a driveway you love by visually connecting the yard with the driveway.
Between the vibrant colors that plants add to any space and the ability to break up a large slab of cold stone, carrying out your landscaping through into your driveway can change how you perceive it.
5. Make your driveway a natural extension of the front of your home
The driveway is an afterthought for many people during the construction of their new home, but with planning you can incorporate your driveway with the rest of your home’s front to create one cohesive environment.
Shapes, types of lines, and materials all play a part in this design. Smoothing this transition to create one unified space emphasizes the attractive elements of your home reflected and repeated in the driveway.
The driveway of your home can contribute to its aesthetic appeal and make it even more attractive and enjoyable if you put in the time to think about its design and apply these ideas.