Among the plethora of TV shows about homebuilding and renovating, stands the icon that is Grand Designs. In its 20 years on our screens, host Kevin McCloud has followed the adventures and challenges of people determined to build the home of their dreams.
Their grand designs feature many custom elements that make the final result not only a stunning home, but also a work of art. If a grand design is the aim for your home then the exterior is just as important as the interior and a driveway that perfectly complements or sets off your dream home is essential.
Here we look at six key features that either alone or combined will create a driveway that brings the wow factor to your property before anyone has even set foot in it.
- Colour and patternWhen you’re deciding on the best surface for your driveway take into account the different colour palettes and patterns that they offer. The exterior finish of your property provides the basis from which to approach the look of your driveway. If it’s a red brick property, consider a contrasting colour in a traditional style to complement the brickwork and the classic style of your home. For a white rendered home or a New England style clad property, a mix of grey and white gravel can work well. Look for complementary shades if your home is built of flint or stone. Ultra-modern properties can often sustain a bolder look, allowing you to choose a more daring palette. Gravel is the traditional driveway finish of luxury homes and the most versatile option, with the greatest variety of sizes and colours to suit all properties.
- The shape and sweep
If your property is set back from the road by some distance and/or is sited on a plot of considerable size, you may be able to create a driveway that provides a large sweeping approach, a drive-in, drive-out style driveway or even one that features a turning circle. The shape and sweep as it approaches your property is an important consideration when designing a driveway. As with colour and pattern, some styles will be more suitable for your property than others. A driveway that goes in a straight line from and perpendicular to the road is likely to be more suited to an ultra-modern property, while a curved and meandering style driveway will be more in keeping with a traditional style home.
- Borders and edging
Driveway borders and edging provide definition but you need to consider the overall effect you wish to create. As with the shape and sweep of the driveway, angular, straight lined borders and edging are more suited to an ultra-modern property than they would be to a traditional, country cottage style property.The type of material you choose will also influence the final look. Block paving can be used to surround borders, creating a hard border with neat edges. Alternatively, larger stones and rocks can be placed and spaced to mark an edge, for a softer look. Gravel in a contrasting colour to the main surface finish is also a versatile way of edging a border. If clear definition is your goal then laying a gravel driveway grid system will ensure that the gravel stays where it is meant to be and prevents messy gravel migration.
When planning your driveway, consider your planting scheme from the outset. Plants should be part of the initial design, incorporating striking architectural style plants to create a statement or borders that edge the driveway to create softness and introduce colour and texture. Think about where your lawn will be too. Even if your driveway is small, lawns and borders help break up the solidity of a driveway and make the entrance to your home more welcoming and attractive.
- The entrance
Would your property benefit from entrance gates? Sliding or swinging, gates provide additional security for your property, especially if they’re electric. But gates also enhance your driveway and grandly reveal the entrance to your property. Think about extending your driveway so that it starts from the road edge and seamlessly flows through your entrance gates and into the driveway that leads to your property.
- Finishing touches
Bespoke homes are synonymous with bold statements. Consider incorporating a contemporary water feature or distinctive sculpture to add interest and individuality to your driveway. Finishing touches are where you can bring your personality to your driveway and help set the tone of what’s to come inside your home itself.
Grand Designs Live takes place from the 9th to the 13th October 2019 at Birmingham NEC. Full of home inspiration, this event attracts thousands of visitors looking to build their dream home or enhance their existing property.
Achieve the perfect gravel driveway with the Beauxfort Gravelrings system. Check out our website www.beauxfort.com for more information about the Beauxfort landscape systems, design inspiration and to request a free sample, or talk to our friendly team about your project by contacting us on 0330 055 2599 or firstname.lastname@example.org.