Concrete Driveway Ideas – Simple Design Elements with Big Impact
Let's admit it right up front... few people get excited when they hear the words 'concrete' and 'driveway' used in the same sentence. Sure, it is a great choice when it comes to overall cost, lack of maintenance and longevity but when you walk through these reasons with your neighbor after your new driveway has been poured it quickly starts to sound like your feeling the need to defend your driveway decision.
The key to concrete driveways is that you have to assume you're going to be looking at a vast area of white and its important to find some ways to dress-up the vastness by adding a little character through design elements. These design elements usually work best when they're understated and inline with the style of your home and landscaping. Below we've included a number of concrete driveway designs and ideas that address this 'vastness' dilemma.
The concrete driveway in the above photo has two design elements including the brick border as well as the placement of grass running down the middle of the driveway. The brick border is more of a traditional option but when included with the grass runner makes this driveway much more engaging.
Another approach to address the uniform plane of the concrete driveway is to focus on the surface itself. In the above photo the aggregate that usually resides below the concrete surface has been exposed, creating a nuanced texture. The driveway ending before the garage and the pea gravel border perfectly reflect the modern and eco-friendly feel of the home.
The stone patterns with the grass borders in front of the garage doors breaks up the vast white area of the concrete driveway as it approaches the garage and adds a great design element that is right inline with the style of the home.
In the above image, notice the smaller concrete slabs on either side of the brick herringbone center. This driveway was also really calling for a more defined edge to balance the brick design and so the borders were raised a bit and not sectioned off at the same lengths as the concrete slabs of the driveway.
The concrete driveway in the picture above makes use of three unusual and high-impact design elements, 1) saw-cut markings and control joints that create an interesting grid pattern across the concrete plane, 2) the organic edge of the driveway that mirrors the shape of the tree trunks, 3) the stone borders which also add additional interest to the long concrete driveway.
We love this approach of mixing the modern design of the smaller concrete slabs with the traditional grass runner down the middle of the driveway. The owners also opted for repeating the pattern from the driveway to the walkway running along the front of the house. Once again, the driveway design is right inline with the style and character of the home.
The driveway in the photo above also has the exposed aggregate surface along with a traditional concrete border. You can notice that control joints (deeper horizontal lines that run the width of the driveway) have the concrete border as well. This is a great way to add interest and character that would have been lost if the owners had opted for a traditional concrete driveway.
Usually the horizontal and vertical lines you see on concrete driveways are more structurally focused than design-oriented. The lines are called control joints and they are designed to receive any cracking that could start to form in the driveway. The control joints accept the cracks and thus the concrete's surface remains uniform and undamaged. In the above photograph these control joints (or in some cases just shallow saw-cut lines) are used to create a visual element that adds interest as well as perceived width to a rather narrow concrete driveway.
Thanks so much for stopping by! We hope that the photos and images included with this post introduce you to some design options and ideas when you start to think about your next concrete driveway. It is amazing how a few small design elements can add so much character and interest.