Driveway ideas – 14 winning entrances with stunning paving, lighting and edging designs

If you're on the hunt for driveway ideas, we'll steer you in the right direction, whether you have a small path or a large front garden to work with.

Looking for driveway ideas that ooze kerb appeal? We'll steer you in the right direction.

Let's be honest, driveways aren't well known for their beauty and other than getting your car off the street, it can seem like there's not much to them.

However, because they're at the front of your house, it's definitely worth checking out what can be done with a driveway and you can check out some great front garden ideas while you're at it.

Experts at Marshalls explain more, 'A driveway is much more than just a practical, off-street place to park your car. An attractive, modern driveway can create a strong first impression. It also has the potential to increase the value of your home – especially if parking space is at a premium where you live.'

From long country drives and street-view city parking spots to topiary lined pathways and border foliage, we've got design ideas that will make it easier to decide what to do with yours.

Driveway ideas

1. Gravel and slate driveway

Gravel driveway with topiary on a American style ranch home

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Create a welcoming driveway with a slate porch surround, topiary foliage and a smooth gravel driveway. Perfect for country style homes, this house with its surround porch area can be used to store chopped wood, your favourite wellies and a place to rest your legs after a ramble.

2. Herringbone driveway design

bradstone block paving driveway in a chevron design

(Image credit: Bradstone)

Love chevron wood flooring ideas? Why not extend the look on to your driveway with a classic herringbone paved design? Create a seamless look like this house and driveway by tying in the paving colour with the grey details of the house itself.

3. Minimalist driveway lighting

Lighting direct outdoor lighting on a gravel driveway

(Image credit: Lighting Direct)

Light up your drive with façade lighting that stops the glare when you park up late at night. Dot them evenly around your property and any fencing you might have. These uplighters from Lighting Direct will add a sleek finish to any driveway design.

4. Crazy paving driveway idea

Paving on the driveway of grey double story house

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Founder of The Dots, Pip Jamieson's new build property's crazy paving driveway adds a touch of character to the entrance. Well-laid crazy paving minimises the amount of mortar or jointing visible at the finished surface, so looks more natural and organic than other forms of paving.

5. Traditional cobblestone

Cobblestone driveway outside a mock tudor home

(Image credit: Marshalls)

If you have a period property with plenty of features, you might want to opt for something traditional in look like a cobble stone driveway. However, cobblestones can come with a hefty price tag. These cobble style driveway was paved using Marshalls Drivesys Original Cobbles, made from concrete.

6. Block paving

Basalt paving stones on a driveway with a parked grey car

(Image credit: Stonemarket)

Perfect for a modern driveway with smooth lines and a sophisticated feel, these realistic split stone face paving stones from Stonemarket emphasise natural variation but are actually made from concrete. Team with sleek uplighters to emphasise the polished look and perfectly pruned foliage.

7. One way roundabout

A circular driveway with a patch of lawn in the middle and a tree outside a white double story house

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you're lucky enough to have a large front garden, why not look to rambling stately homes and create a mini roundabout with a patch of lawn with a feature in the middle? Make it super swish with a decorative gravel driveway and welcoming lanterns at the door.

8. Rambling country floral border

Gravel driveway next to floral garden outside a double story white cottage

(Image credit: Future PLC/Torie Chugg)

Out in the country? Even if you have a small drive, a floral border is provides a warm welcome to visiting guests. This country cottage has a container garden set-up lining their gravel driveway which instantly add a pop of colour and is the perfect country garden idea.

9. Long and winding tarmac drive

Long winding driveway with lawn on either side tin front of double story house

(Image credit: Future PLC/Amanda Turner)

It's everyone's dream to have a sweeping drive. This long and winding tarmac driveway leads to a parking spot behind this new build home. A perfectly manicured lawn keeps this driveway looking pristine in its simplicity and is a great option as a sloping garden idea.

10. A neat and tidy city parking spot

Small paved driveway outside of a small terrace house

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Living in the city needn't mean you have to forsake a driveway of sorts. The owners of this small terrace house took away part of their small front garden to make room for a paved area for their city runabout. They've kept this front garden idea neat with a slate chipping edging feature, potted plants and a small patch of shrubbery to add colour.

11. Metro style paving

Metro style paving on a driveway in front of brown double story house

(Image credit: Marshalls)

Create an eye catching design statement by mixing four natural shades of metro style block pavers like these Driveline Metro from Marshalls. Ideal for modern build properties, they create a sharp modern look. Add potted topiary trees for a polished finish.

12. Decorative colour variation

A driveway with square paving in various tones - PorphyrySetts - Marshalls

(Image credit: Marshalls)

It's tricky to get a driveway design right, especially outside a period property. These square tiles in a variety of natural tones look right at home against the traditional brick. This ethically sourced stone from Marshalls has been split by hand on the top and bottom and cropped on four sides, adding to the inherent character and charm.

13. Mixed textures driveway

Front driveway with plants and foliage

(Image credit: Outer Spaces)

If you've got the space, adding areas of interest such as in this driveway by Outer Spaces, with plants used to add texture. Add plenty of colour and keep the plant beds well maintained with evergreen shrubbery as a garden landscaping idea.

14. Eco friendly resin surface

Resin driveway outside a brown double story house

(Image credit: Sureset)

Not only practical and functional, a resin bound driveway is also environmentally friendly, with the bulk of materials naturally sourced and the permeability of the surface offering easy drainage. This Sureset resin driveway has all the looks of a gravel driveway but with a lot more accessibility and is also low maintenance – no weeds, puddles or loose stones to be swept up.

Expert driveway design tips

Experts at Marshalls fill us in on what to consider when designing a driveway.

Driveway design

'It goes without saying that your design should reflect the space needed for the size of your property. There’s no set minimum width for a drive. However, take into account the amount of vehicles you have next to each other and make sure car doors can open easily,' explains Viki Harris at Marshalls.

'Ensure your design gives you easy access from the highway to your driveway with little or no obstructions that might get knocked or damaged. Also make sure it is wide enough to allow reversing into your drive from the road, if you need to.'

Sub base and drainage considerations

'The driveway sub-base and your approach to water management may not be the most exciting parts of your plan, but getting them right will save you time and money in the long-term. The majority of the cost of groundwork is hidden beneath the surface; the structural layers that provide the functional robustness of the installed systems,' explains Viki.

'Cost analysis on pavements, for example, demonstrates that the surfacing element makes up just 20% of the total cost of the system. If you’re inexperienced, seek professional advice and consider using a contractor to do the job. If it requires some excavation, make sure no existing tree roots or services (water pipes, TV cables etc) are going to be damaged during the process.'

Paving materials

Viki says, 'There are an abundance of options when it comes to the surface of your driveway. The colour and finish should be determined by the period and style of the property.'

'When it comes to choosing a low maintenance option, porcelain is a great choice for all garden projects, including driveways. Other low maintenance options include concrete – which is engineered to be long-lasting and durable and can be found in a range of finishes including traditional cobbles and driveway setts.'

Jenny McFarlane
Senior Digital Editor

Jenny is Senior Digital Editor and joined the team in 2021, working across Ideal Home, Real Homes, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc and Gardeningetc. Since getting on the property ladder, her passion for interior design and gardening has taken on a new lease of life. She loves collecting and salvaging unique items (much to her other half's despair) but sniffing out stylish home bargains is her one true love. When she has a spare minute, she loves to do a spot of crafting, having studied textiles at university – although she hardly gets the chance with her daughters keeping her permanently on her toes.