Colour has the almost magical ability to give an illusion of greater space, lift or subdue the atmosphere of the space it is used in and create a harmonious environment. This is as true outdoors as it is indoors, but is sometimes overlooked when choosing pavers and other landscaping "details." These are some of the things landscape architects
think about when choosing paving colours.
Think about the Sun
Before choosing paving colours, think about the area you are paving. Is it located in a predominantly sunny area or is it in the shade? As a rule, you want to use lighter pavers in shady areas and darker ones in sunny areas. If your answer is, "A little of each," then think about using a light-dark pattern. Even natural stone pavers, such as limestone, come in a range of colours and tones, all of which naturally complement each other.
Think About Space
A good way to learn about the importance of paver colours is to contrast the appearance of a long, narrow concrete patio and the same patio after light, cheerful paving has been applied. Not only does the lighter colour lift the spirits, it makes the patio appear to be much larger. In contrast to this, very pale pavers on a wide, open area can appear harsh and uninviting. Softer, warmer tones often work best on larger surfaces, such as patios, especially when they are located in sunny areas. Clay tiles, for example, can transform an ordinary patio into a Mediterranean villa.
Think About Colour
Between all the varieties of natural stone and the enormous assortment of concrete pavers that are available today, your paving colour palette is virtually unlimited. Reds, greens, blues, yellows and every shade of grey can be found - sometimes in a single paver. What should you choose? These are a few things to keep in mind:
- Pavers work best when their colours blend in with the colours of your surroundings. If your house is blue, for example, look first at pavers that include blue or grey tones. However, to avoid monotony, choose complementary colours rather than trying to find a matching colour.
- Think about using multi-coloured pavers rather than monotones, especially for large areas such as driveways. A great way to use these is to use multi-coloured pavers for the central area and monotones for the edges. The sharper coloured edging stones add definition to the paved area and enhance the beauty of the multi-coloured pavers. Multi-coloured pavers on heavy traffic areas like driveways have the added benefit of hiding minor stains.
- One of the great things about natural stone is that even contrasting colours naturally complement one another. To add a touch of sophistication to a garden path or home entry, use an earthen multi-colour for the main area and a blue-toned charcoal colour for the edging.
Of course, choosing paving colours is just part of the challenge. Patterns, textures and materials all make a difference, too. That's what your paving supplier
is there for. Between your good taste and their expertise, you're sure to find the perfect solution.