Do you have a driveway that you take for granted? When you come home, are you glad to see your driveway, or do you find yourself wishing it looked as cool as other driveways in the neighborhood? Here are five landscape architecture ideas to improve your Oyster Bay, NY, driveway.
The following solutions use concrete pavers instead of poured concrete or asphalt. Concrete pavers are attractive and offer design flexibility. They come in a huge variety of colors, shapes, and sizes; and they are much more durable (and therefore cost-effective) over their lifespan than poured concrete or asphalt.
Many driveways are straight but you can make them more interesting by having custom decorative inlays, borders, or aprons installed. The inlay could be a geometric, free-flowing, your family name initial, or something as intricate as a compass. Borders and aprons can be a different type of paver and/or different colors.
Create vertical interest with the installation of a low masonry wall on one side of your driveway. This is also a great way to incorporate solar-powered landscape lights.
When you notice something in a landscape, it’s because it jumps out at you. It’s the color, the size, the shape, or unique features that the surrounding objects do not possess. You can bring the same effect to your driveway. For example, if your home is white, add some drama with a dark charcoal cobblestone driveway. For a finished look, tie in this contrasting look with a paver walkway by using jointing compound that is the same color as the jointing compound in the paver walkway, and by using the same dark cobblestones as walkway borders.
A Green Solution
A driveway can feel visually large in proportion to the home, especially if it’s long. To minimize a driveway’s visual impact, install a ribbon driveway: two parallel paver tracks separated by a planted center line (usually grass). While only one car wide, a ribbon driveway can lead to a parking courtyard with enough room for cars to turn around—for a sophisticated “manor” look. This solution gives you design flexibility to create a beautiful winding drive; it’s cooler on bare feet in summer; and it’s a green solution, especially if you use permeable pavers. Wider joints between pavers and the unpaved area between “ribbons” allow water to seep into the ground below instead of running off or pooling.
Match the driveway to local features. In Oyster Bay, you can match your driveway to the color of pebble beaches, and even use light-colored cobblestones to create a driveway or driveway accents that appear to be made of beach stones.
Your Home’s Character
Finally, take cues from the materials on and around your home. Avoid trying to match your home and/or hardscape exactly, because that results in an overwhelming amount of one type of material. Instead, complement your home’s architectural style and materials using pavers that are a few shades lighter or darker than the home but are in the same color family (warm, cool, or neutral). This gives the driveway its own character while blending it in with the home and existing hardscapes.