Your outdoor living space is part of your home, a space that is uniquely yours and should reflect the style and sense of the people who own it. That’s why many homeowners opt for a custom inlay in their patio or driveway — a striking collection of accent pavers in contrasting colors, textures, or a unique arrangement. It’s a great way for homeowners to bring out their design sense, mark their landscape as theirs, catch attention with visitors, or to simply demarcate sections in a large expanse of single-style pavers. An inlay could become the highlight of your landscape project.
What Is an Inlay?
Depending on your preferences, you may view a single-style patio as dull, particularly if it’s on the larger side. Many homeowners opt to bring more interest to their patio or driveway by using inlays, which are bands or designs made of contrasting or complementary colored and textured pavers. In contrast to their adjacent pavers, inlays can be made of the same material but in a different color or a different material to accentuate another texture type. Multiple colors can also be used.
You and your landscape contractor have full creative license with paver inlays. Depending on your vision and how you will use the space involved, inlay pavers could enhance your patio or driveway from both a visual and functional standpoint.
The Benefits of Inlays
Some inlays are used purely for decorative reasons while others serve a specific function.
Decorative inlays add custom flair and provide a dramatic focal point in a patio, but they also break up the monotony of a large patio that would otherwise be a vast expanse of monochromatic pavers. This type of inlay can be as expressive as you: Stargazers can create constellations; meditators can create a labyrinth; while family-focused homeowners can show their pride with an inlay of a family crest or monogram.
A beautiful star marks the spot in a specially designed driveway made of Unilock pavers.
The primary function of other inlays is to define spaces and guide the flow of traffic. For example, a custom inlay can effectively frame a walkway, mirror the curves of a pool or fire pit, define elevation changes (such as a single step that would otherwise be easy to miss), create a permanent welcome mat at your home’s entrance, guide visitors to your outdoor kitchen or conversation area, or visually connect separate levels of a patio on a sloped lot.
Contrasting inlays, Courtstone and Copthorne pavers, demarcate the patio made of Beacon Hill Flagstone pavers.
Individual “Freestanding” Designs
Circular or diamond shaped inlays in specific areas can serve as flat, attractive “rugs” that become conversation pieces and points of visual interest on driveways or expansive patios. Spirals are a beautiful way to provide a focal point or brighten up a dull corner. Narrow swirls turn any patio into an artist’s canvas and highlight focal points or define spaces. When Mother Nature is part of your patio decor, inlay borders work nicely to accent planters and draw the eye toward gardens or water features.
Free Form Inlays
Free form inlays help you make the most of the landscape as they mirror the undulations of countryside. Instead of being constrained by using squares or rectangles, free form inlays create the feeling of ease and flow through your outdoor space. They are especially wonderful at softening hard lines in a minimalist modern setting as they echo a meandering creek or the gentle drape of willow trees.
This is a stunning example of inlays featuring Unilock Courtstone pavers in black contrasted by Umbriano light gray pavers that create an alternative way to enter the home off the driveway.
A More Involved Process
Customized beauty has its challenges. Inlays will add to the time and labor involved in installation, depending on the level of difficulty in design and to what extent the pavers need to be cut. The more cuts that are required, the more challenging and costly the job. However, if your intention is to increase the beauty and the functionality of your outdoor space, inlays could be worth the investment. Some homeowners find the glamour of artistic inlays turning their patio into an outdoor gallery difficult to resist.
Whether you opt for simple utility or unabashed artistry, you will want a skilled expert to carry out your vision. Unilock has vetted reputable landscape contractors in your area through the Unilock Authorized Contractor program. These are contractors who know landscape products inside out, and they are committed to ensuring you are completely satisfied with a design and installation that will stand the test of time.
Inlays Let Your Personality Shine
Beautiful custom paver inlays can make your landscape features stand out from the rest. With beautiful paver options from Unilock that you won’t find anywhere else and a shape or style that’s all your own, you can turn your landscape into a memorable work of art. The choices are endless.
Find some ideas for how you want your landscape design to look in our Design Idea Catalog.