Last modified: 2020-07-27 | Approximate reading time 6 mins
As the spring approaches, homeowners are beginning to consider inventive ways to update the outdoor features of their property. As the entrance to your home, the driveway is an important facet as the introduction of your humble abode: it sets the mood, welcomes guests and, following a long day at work, grants you access to all your favourite things.
Also, if you've ever thought about selling, it will entice potential buyers to check out what's inside. With that said, why wouldn't you want your driveway to look its best? Through simple landscaping options that surround and emphasize the face of your property, you can easily transform the look of your home.
If a driveway is well designed, it will consider the surrounding landscape as well as the architectural style of your home. The length and width of your driveway will impact how accessible your home is, so you must take into account its relationship to the rest of the space, and construct its width accordingly. If you are accommodating 2 cars, it is worth opting for a double car driveway, which can be between 20 to 24 feet wide.
A wide driveway is welcoming, and fanning out the entrance creates a spacious and inviting first impression. A narrow driveway can complement the facade of a smaller home as well as a single car and ranges from 9 to 20 feet. Use surrounding accents to open it up, such as an intricate paver stone pattern that lines the sides of the drive and helps to make it appear wider then it is.
Choosing the right material to use for your driveway is key! Keep in mind the architecture of your home, as well as the colours you've chosen, and go from there. Your colour inspiration for your driveway should draw from the natural tones of your home's environment. Also, popular as of late is mixing a combination of both hardscaping and softscaping options.
Hardscape and softscape refer to heavy and light landscaping accents. Stones and rock as referred to as hardscape, while trees, shrubs, flowerbeds and grass compromise softscape. If you'd like to make your driveway more private or defined, you may want to surround it with a wall or fence. Then, complement this with some softscaping to, literally, soften the landscape.
Add subtle flowers baskets or tall grass accents on or between fence posts. Grasses can have a formal effect, helping to punctuate corners or line driveways minimally but elegantly. Examine whether your softscaping will be seasonal or permanent. Mix it up, be creative, but don't forget that most hardscaping is key to preventing the absorption of water and protecting the soil underneath, so plan your driveway accordingly!
source: Flickr, soscapesweb
Of course, your driveway must accompany your car, and sometimes safety should come first. With that in mind, make sure that the landscaping around your drive is functional first and foremost, while still looking good. If you're thinking about adding a footpath, do not use plants that will grow over the path or obstruct visibility for your guests. Also, make sure that planters are not too narrow or too close to the driveway or house, as they may grow out and make the surrounding area appear cramped and small.
Use flowerbeds or grasses to create an interesting border that separates the lawn from the actual drive. However, flowerbeds should be extended out and back at least one to two-thirds of the house's height. Of course, you don't want to make a wrong turn with your car and accidentally crush the flowers, so acknowledge this when designing your driveway's landscaping!
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Pavers are a popular choice for driveway landscaping, and for good reason! Pavers come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes, so creatively your options are endless. Also, remember that you don't have to spend a fortune to get the paver look you want. Budget-friendly paver placement is possible!
Use pavers in ingenious ways to add some flair to your landscape without having them completely cover the natural elements. Leave space between pavers or create a geometric pattern with them. Blend driveway and lawn together, using porous pavers instead of solid stones.
Another option is to build a border around your driveway in a different style of paver, to break the monotony of a straight asphalt driveway. Think about using a paver with a contrasting colour or texture to add depth and interest to an otherwise monotoned driveway.
Driveway pillars are a great way to create a welcoming driveway. Pillars can be placed at the entrance of the drive, and are a simple enough element that they won't overshadow the rest of your lawn or the front of your home. Use beautiful brick pillars and complement these by designing an overhanging wrought iron piece to connect the two. The columns should reflect and be inspired by the facade of your home.
For example, if you are going for a French villa-inspired look, it wouldn't suit you to use rustic regional accents. Add some unique lights or sconces atop the pillars to make it safe for guests arriving after hours. As we've stated, it is recommended you use landscaping materials to mimic the feel of your house but remember, you don't have to be rigid about it, have some fun!
source: Flickr, anonphotography.com
Permeable driveways and patios are better than large sections of concrete and asphalt for controlling runoff and erosion. Consider using materials like gravel, peastone and pebbles either surrounding or for the entirety of your driveway. Gravel is common as a driveway surface; it is affordable, particularly for homes with long driveways.
Like pavers, gravel is a diverse material and can enhance the allure of your home with its various colours, textures, shapes and styles. Although gravel is easy to maintain, it may sink due to weather conditions.
Also, during winter months, snow removal can easily disturb rocks, causing ruts or sinkholes to form. As a result, sections of the drive may need to be filled in a few times a year. However, this is a small price to pay for the countless options available with this material. If you aren't quite sold on your driveway being exclusively gravel, line asphalt paving with a contrasting coloured gravel to both control water runoff and add depth and excitement.
Your driveway and front walk designs should take both beauty and practicality into consideration, and like most homeowners know, this plays an important role in the curb appeal of your home. If your driveway is curved rather than straight, it's a great idea to add a focal point! Focal points can occur naturally or be strategically placed features and plants.
Maybe think about planting a large or medium-sized tree, but make sure to think about how this will frame the front of your house. If a tree seems like it might overwhelm things, you can use a tall, contemporary planter with a midsized bowl or stone fountain to mimic the look of a tree, but with the additional element of versatility!
To see examples of landscaping and exterior renovation projects completed by RenoQuotes.com contractors, check out "10 examples of landscaping projects".
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your driveway landscaping project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with 3 qualified professionals. Fill out the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted renovation specialists.
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