Your driveway is one of the first things people notice about your front yard so if you want to add more curb appeal, it makes sense to think beyond boring asphalt. Making your driveway an attractive part of your landscape can be achieved with our tips on how a new landscape design can better incorporate your Naperville, IL, driveway with the rest of your front yard.
At first glance - and beyond - upgrading to a paver driveway could be one of the best ways to make your driveway feel like a deliberate part of the design and not just a purely utilitarian space to park the car. The driveway will look less like a means of getting from here to there, and more aligned with its surroundings and the home.
While the upfront cost can be higher, look long-term. Asphalt and poured concrete are a solid surface that will crack and heave over time. Patches look terrible, and the lifespan of these driveways isn’t very long. By contrast, a paver surface can last many decades with little or no repairs (should a paver get damaged, the individual paver can be replaced).
You can extend the life of your paver driveway even more by installing a driveway heating system, which virtually eliminates shoveling or plowing (and creates a drier, safer surface that won’t ice up).
Pavers can be made to resemble natural stone or clay brick so if these are part of your home’s facade, it’s a way to integrate the driveway with the home; or, if your landscape features prominent rock outcrops, your driveway can be made to match the colors and even the textures. The colors are natural, too, unlike black asphalt (and because they’re lighter in color and not a solid surface, they stay cooler on bare feet if your kids like to play in the driveway).
Finally, pavers are an opportunity to reduce runoff - which can be significant from any solid surface! The larger joints let water seep naturally into a special substrate, keeping your driveway drier and easing the load on the municipal storm drain system.
Many driveways are bordered by grass. This creates a distinct line that makes the driveway stand out. But you can take this approach to the next level by creating a strip of lawn or low groundcovers between “tire tracks” made using pavers and bordering the driveway with tall ornamental grasses. This is an incredibly elegant and formal like that will add an estate-like flair, especially to a longer driveway that is lined with trees or a low wall; and again, if you install a driveway heating system you won’t need to worry about landscape damage from snow plows.
Bordering a driveway with a living wall such as cypress also gives your front yard an exclusive feel reminiscent of luxury estates. Layering monochromatic evergreen trees and shrubs with deciduous shrubs, leafy plants and groundcovers results in a lush and inviting look that adds a touch of serenity to the landscape in summer… and glorious pops of fall color.
Vary the height of plantings along the driveway in a repeating pattern (tall deciduous tree, shrub, tall tree, shrub, and so on). It’s a formal look that can be softened by the shrubs’ natural shapes if left unpruned.
Blur the line with ground covers that spill over slightly onto the driveway, making way for a more layered landscape border before transitioning to a lawn.