A welcoming front walkway is a great way to charm guests, boost curb appeal, and introduce style into your front yard. With a well-designed front walkway, you can take advantage of the layout of your landscape, protect your lawn, and enjoy an easy stroll up to your front door.
As with any other element of your landscape, the style of your walkway should be compatible with the style and theme of your home. If not, it will appear out of place and jarring. For that reason, take some time to consider what the design style of your landscape is and whether or not it fits with the architecture of your home. As an example, a modern house with its sweeping horizontal lines and structured sense of shape would be rather incompatible with a flowing, naturalistic walkway constructed from irregular flagstone, whereas a wide, evenly spaced path of Limestone Slabs would be an excellent match. If you are unsure of what style walkway is best for your home, or if your ready to begin the installation of your walkway project, be sure to reach out to a Unilock Authorized Contractor in your area.
The route your walkway takes to your front door can be direct or meander slightly to accommodate some of the features of your front lawn. Water features, trees and lawn sculpture can be placed to gently redirect the flow of your front walkway. Still, subtlety is the key. Even a free flowing path should be as direct as the style and terrain allows, so as not to increase the length of your walkway too much, as this will only encourage people to cut their own path across your lawn and disregard your walkway.
When choosing a material for your walkway, you will be faced with several options. Some common choices include poured concrete, gravel, natural stone, brick, and concrete pavers. Poured concrete has a tendency to crack and is not protected from staining. Gravel is handy, but can become scattered and while some people enjoy the sound it makes underfoot, others consider it too noisy. Brick can become brittle and chip over time. Natural stone and concrete pavers are all excellent options, offering both durability and variety. In fact, Unilock products come with a transferrable lifetime warranty!
Edging your walkways with a complementary paving stone is an excellent way to create visual impact with an attractive finish. If you’re using concrete pavers, a border is essential for a complete looking design. Borders also help prevent small cut pavers on the outside edge of the walkway—essential for the durability of your walkway. Borders are most visually different when two contrasting colors are used. A lightly colored walkway can use a dark, rich border for contrast and likewise, a walkway built from deep, richly colored materials can be brightened with the use of a light border. Visit this page for more on creating designs using pavers patterns.
Lighting for your walkway is important for maintaining its charm into the evening. A well-lit walkway is also safer and easier to navigate in the dark. Your walkways needn’t be spot lit; simple, subtle lighting that follows the outline of the path will suffice to ensure a confident next step. Avoid single large sources of light that cause glare and ruin the evening mood of your yard. Instead opt for many smaller, capped lights along the edge of your path or even upward facing, low-energy lights built into the path itself.
Offer a beautiful design element for your walkway with planting beds. While pavers and natural stone are beautiful by themselves, entrances without plantings can feel very hard and cold. Warm up the overall feel with properly designed planting beds on the sides of the stone. A great tip is to use ground cover plants like ivy’s and creeping thyme along the border of the new walkway as it will make the stone feel like it’s been there for years. No matter the exact plant varieties you select, plantings provide the perfect companion for a welcoming walkway.
With high quality materials, cleaning and maintenance of your walkway should be a breeze. An occasional hose down should be enough to keep away the normal every day dirt and keep your walkway looking as good as new. Incidental spills such as oil or paint, should be cleaned up immediately before they are able to stain. If your lawn grows alongside your walkway, be sure to have the edges regularly trimmed to prevent it from growing over and between the pavers. Over the years, it may be necessary to reapply a bit of jointing sand to keep the joints full and clean.