Driveway design ideas
There can be no doubt that stylish off-street parking will add value to your property. Here are some driveway design ideas that could work for your property.
Matching the style of your property
A driveway serves two purposes. First of all, it’s a safe place to park your car. But it also welcomes visitors to your home or office and adds a whole new level of kerb appeal. If ever you want to sell your property, kerb appeal will help to secure a speedy sale at the price you want.
Style is very difficult to define, but suffice to say, the look of your driveway must compliment the building and not detract from it. Yes, you can match contemporary driveway design ideas to an older property, but be very careful. It’s easy to get it wrong and create an eyesore.
Use materials and colours that pick out some aspect of the property. You could select, the brickwork, the roof tiles, even the shape and design of the windows. Be careful about using too many different ideas. For best results stick to the rule of 3. I.e. no more than 3 different surfaces, 3 shapes or 3 main colours.
Garden design is all about practicality AND looking good from all angles. The view from your front door matters just as much as the view of your property from the street.
Fitting into the neighbourhood
What’s in the wider environment that you could draw on for inspiration for your driveway design? How have your neighbours marked the boundary of their properties? I’m not suggesting that you copy them – your property should absolutely reflect your personal taste and style, but how can you ensure that your home sits comfortably in its surroundings.
Coping with a sloping driveway
Silver Birch Gardens is based in Somerset where the beautiful rolling hills treat us to some spectacular views. However, hills mean slopes and for garden designers and landscapers, that means taking extra care. We need to think about creating a level standing for your car, as well as how rainwater will drain away and how you might get from your driveway to your door. And that’s before we start thinking about plants, trees and which colour pavers to use.
This fence, designed by Silver Birch Gardens, is a nice mix of contemporary and traditional and makes good use of locally sourced, natural materials.
Security and privacy
Every property is different and so is every garden design client. But for most people, it’s important that the driveway to their building feels secure. It needs to welcome invited guests but slow down anyone who’s not supposed to be there. Will you have a hedge? A fence? A wall? Gates? And what will work best aesthetically?
Your drive should also be a safe haven on a winter’s evening. Nobody wants to trip or slip in the dark whilst unloading the shopping. A lighting plan is a must.
Getting from your driveway to your door
Will your driveway go right up to your front door? or will you bring in some different landscaping surfaces to enhance the area? I like to see paths and steps picked out in contrasting materials so that visitors are gently guided to the door.
Planning and Environment
Back in 2010, the government raised concerns that a high proportion of front gardens were being paved over to create off-street parking spaces. This was playing havoc with natural drainage systems and so new laws were introduced to manage the situation. If you are planning any major landscaping works in your front garden, ALWAYS check that your driveway design complies with local planning laws. It is mandatory to use permeable materials if you are resurfacing a driveway over 5 square metres in area. You may also need planning permission for changes to walls, fences and gates.
Don’t forget too that dropped kerbs need planning permission.
This gravel driveway leads on to paved steps and a pathway to the back of the property.
Professional front garden design and build service
If your front garden has seen better days and you’d like some driveway design ideas, Dan Richards of Silver Birch Gardens can help. Dan is an up and coming garden designer with lots of original ideas – and the skills to build them.
Take a look at Dan’s project portfolio to see the standard of his workmanship and get in touch for an informal chat about your driveway design ideas.
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