Perfect paving designs

Amy  Buxton Amy Buxton
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When thinking about landscaping options, horticulture and garden ornaments often seem to take precedence over anything else, but don't forget to give equal thought to potential paving designs! Not only a practical addition to any garden, thanks to the accessibility they inherently offer, paving designs can help to transform an outdoor space into cohesive, beautiful outdoor area suitable for socialising.

Take a look at these paving designs and see if you are inspired to update your garden!

Rooftop utopia

Those of you lucky enough to have a top floor apartment need not think that outdoor space inspiration doesn't apply to you! Take a look at this gorgeous example, from Cameron Landscapes and Gardens, of what can be done with a terrace and let your imagination run wild. We love the high sided foliage, adding a sense of privacy to an otherwise open plan space, but what really brings it all together is the use of a neutral floor tile. Paving designs such as this allow for an elegant finish to an extra socialisation area and while the finish may be plain and understated, the overall effect is demonstrably elegant and classic.

Rustic charm

Think of outdoor paving designs and you may have vast acres of garden with sweeping pathways in your mind's eye, but this doesn't have to be the case. We love the rural and pared back look of this terrace that is making fabulous use of traditional red bricks. As the material ages, the rustic charm of this terrace will be further highlighted and exaggerated, while always remaining timeless and chic. The inclusion of potted plants allows the space to feel secluded and welcoming and makes us feel as if we have gone back in time to the days of Romeo and Juliet!

Fantastic flagstones

What a lovely space! Aside from the fabulous garden furniture and splashes of colour, the hedges give the feel of a tucked away courtyard garden, which is further amplified by the use of lovely flagstones on the ground. Paving designs such as this are classic for a reason; they will never look dated or trite. If the furniture were to change, the flagstones would remain and work with anything new, as they are so neutral and thanks to the natural colour undulations in the material, the space takes on an organic feel rather than seeming too 'perfect'.

Jigsaw puzzle

For those of you that enjoy a little more randomness in your life and decoration, give some consideration to paving designs that feature differently-sized slabs instead of uniform concrete. The setting in this example is somewhat lovelier thanks to the inclusion of  a vine arch and a fabulous outdoor eating area, but look past that and you will see that the varying sizes of floor slabs injecting some fun and even a little more of an organic feel. Though millimetre perfect paving designs are ideal for some, if you are keen to let the moss grow and want to allow your outdoor space to flourish, relaxed designs such as this are lovely.

Dramatically dark

For a modern building such as this, it stands to reason that sharp lines, perfection and an exemplar finish will be extended out into the garden area. We love the way that the french doors open out and fold back to allow the outdoors to meet the inside space, with a sharp contrast between the light and dark floor finishes. Though at odds with each other, tone-wise, the two work well to distinguish between two areas within the same living space and help to create a garden zone that is both striking and meticulous. Paving designs such as these make a dramatic visual statement, but when well executed, look perfectly at home.

Neutral nuances

What a great theme there is at play in this space! Clearly influenced by Oriental notions, this outdoor area makes the most of combining natural materials to create a zen and harmonious garden. The water feature is perfectly complimented by natural stones, which are then used to support the foliage and topiaries and the use of light coloured planters allows for a similarly neutral tone to be used on the floor. Paving designs which have been carefully selected to work well in a theme almost disappear but they are always there, supporting the look and feel of a space from the ground up.

Traditional tiles

Paving designs can refer to something as simple as a lovely patio area and as seen here, help to create a warm and inviting space that is perfect for socialising or relaxing in. We really like the use of traditional tones here as it helps to tie the space together as a whole. The terracotta hue blends perfectly with the red brick wall and draws warmth from the natural wood of the patio furniture set, all of which combines to make for a very pretty al fresco area. 

Long and lean

If your outdoor space is less large and more long, making the right decisions about your potential paving designs can be very important. The example seen here is fantastic and shows just how important it is to take into account the type of space you have, meaning the shape of it, rather than just focussing on your metres squared! Using long tiles helps to stretch the space even more, creating more of a sense of vastness than squat or square tiles would be able to. By tricking the eye, clever paving designs allow for an outdoor area to be transformed into a palatial garden.

Neat and tidy

If there is one thing that paving designs are good at, it's making a garden appear a lot more tidy and manicured. With sleek lines, level surfaces and crisp edges, paving slabs can transform unruly swathes of green space into easy to navigate, practical access solutions. Take a look at this example which perfectly demonstrates what we mean. A lovely path extends up to a level patio, ideal for entertaining guests. Without a paving design such as this in place, this area could be, essentially, useless. Not large enough to house a decent sized lawn, it would simply be a bit redundant and less impressive to visitors.

Small and simple

If you do not have enormous amounts of outdoor space to take into consideration, paving designs that give preference to practicality and functionality over appearance could be for you. Don't misunderstand us, we don't mean that you should completely negate aesthetic appeal, just that you need to make a good compromise between the two. This example is a great demonstration of what we mean. With the red brick path dividing the garden into walkways and flowerbeds, nothing has to be left out, while at the same time, access is easily available for tending to your leafy friends. 

For more perfect paving inspiration, take a look at this ideabook: Stylishly paved courtyards.

Have you integrated paving into your garden design? Let us know in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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