How To Improve The Look Of A Driveway

When it comes to exteriors, driveways tend to be a neglected area of design. Often thought of as entirely functional, driveways tend to be the least glamorous part of a home’s grounds. More focus is usually placed on a rear patio or the green elements of landscaping. However, a well designed driveway is an asset to a property. One that fits in well with the rest of the exterior can really compliment and add to a landscape design. If you are updating your driveway, or designing a new one, think about one that will fit in well with the rest of your home and enhance it.

Circular Driveways.

Ever popular, circular driveways mean that you can turn a vehicle without having to find the reverse gear of your car. If you have sufficient space for a turning circle, then a simple way of improving your driveway is to turn it into a circular one. Circular driveways create an imposing effect when they are first accessed by visitors. If you want to impress guests, then go for a round option and install a circular driveway.

Using Gravel.

There’s nothing like the crunching sound that tires make on a gravel driveway. A relatively cost effective way of making a driveway, pea shingle is often considered to be the best material to use. You can evoke an old-fashioned and classy look by just pouring the gravel into the area you want. However, remember that gravel driveways need to be maintained and that you will have to rake over the surface from time to time to prevent the gravel dispersing.

Improving A Concrete Driveway.

Just about the simplest driveway surface to maintain is one made from concrete. A poured concrete driveway is quick and easy to construct. However, they can look a little boring. If you are opting for a concrete driveway then break up the visual look of it by setting some blocks between the concrete slabs. Use some detailing to add interest. Also, consider making a feature of the edge of your concrete driveway and break up the monolithic look by using simple curves.


Improve your driveway the natural way by using grass as a design element. Using a grass strip down the center of your driveway will mean you can save hundreds of dollars on materials, for even modest driveways. Think about long stemmed grasses to the side of you drive, with a hardy grass sown in the middle. Of course you will need to mow the driveway in the summer months, but the look of a grass drive is worth the effort.

Geometric Patterns.

Large driveways can be visually unappealing because they present a large expanse of a single tone. A great way to get around this problem is to use simple geometric designs to make a feature of the surface. Consider overlaying and intersecting circles, zig zags or diagonal stripes to create a novel effect that will make your driveway stand out from the crowd.

Block Paving.

Block paved driveways are popular in many exteriors because they are relatively easy to maintain. The advantage of black paving over other driveway options is that the bricks that sit together making up the surface can be lifted out, if required. So, if you have an unsightly oil spill, you are able to simply replace the stained area. Regular block paving has a layout that is consistent over the surface, with designs ranging from simple squares to a herringbone. However, an individual style can easily be created by using a range of different sized and shaped blocks.

Architectural Planting.

Use planting to the side of you driveway that has plenty of ground cover and, above all, height. This will mean the view of your driveway is hidden to some extent when viewed from your house. By using planting to create ‘walls’ around your drive, it will give the area a sense of an external room, making it a distinct space of its own. This technique is ideal for long driveways without any other design features or private access roads.


Don’t overlook the access point to your driveway. Wrought iron gates create a classy and Old World look that is hard to beat. However, if your home is modern, there are plenty of contemporary gates that will suit you. Even if you want access to your driveway to remain open, a set of unclosed gates creates a sense theatre, when entering a property.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Published by in Outdoor, on October 31st, 2012


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