25 Mar 2024

The Art and Function of Pavers in Landscape Design


As so many of us now live and work at home, a well-landscaped garden has become increasingly important in expanding our overall living space. Garden buildings are on the increase, and creating Instagram-worthy outdoor living areas is fast becoming the biggest home trend.


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The choice of paving materials plays a pivotal role in defining the character, durability and overall aesthetic appeal of the surroundings. Homeowners and landscape architects alike are increasingly turning their attention to a diverse range of materials, including natural stone, concrete and composites, seeking not only longevity and low maintenance but also character and a touch of luxury. John Clifford, Managing Director of Westminster Stone, delves into the attributes of these materials and offers some design ideas for gardens, driveways and patios.

Natural stone

Formed over millions of years, the appeal of natural stone lies in its unique colour and texture, with each piece being completely individual. From the elegant tones of granite to the warm, earthy hues of sandstone, each type of natural stone carries a distinctive charm that only improves with age. Durability is a key feature, with many varieties boasting resistance to the British climate, ensuring longevity with minimal maintenance.

Granite, with its dense composition and resistance to staining, stands out as an excellent choice for driveways and high-traffic areas. Whilst limestone paving is naturally non slip and is available in a huge choice of colours, textures and sizes, making it ideal for patios and paths. It’s important to note that natural stone will require annual maintenance to preserve its appearance.

Concrete reproduction

Concrete, once perceived as mundane, has undergone a renaissance in the world of high-end paving. The versatility of concrete allows for an array of textures, colours and finishes, enabling homeowners and designers to lay paving that adds instant character and maturity to their landscapes. Products such as reproduction yorkstone and slate are also a great alternative to the often price-prohibitive natural stone equivalent.

Good-quality concrete paving accurately reproduces natural stone and is fibre reinforced, providing high strength and crack resistance. Its durability and low maintenance, alongside being frost resistant and naturally non slip, make it a practical choice for both contemporary and traditional outdoor spaces. It is also possible to get complementary kerbs and cobbles.


Porcelain is a popular choice for those seeking a more contemporary appearance; it is also a very practical option as it requires very little maintenance.

Porcelain tiles are non porous, so they are ideal for use around hot tubs and swimming pools; they are also non slip and frost and algae resistant. They are resistant to fading and are available in a huge selection of colours and textures, including stone and granite effect. Porcelain tiles are very consistent from tile to tile, so they are ideal for designs requiring a uniform appearance, and they are normally available in single-size options as opposed to mixed packs.

Recycled composites

As sustainability becomes an integral consideration in luxury design, recycled composites have emerged as a compelling choice for environmentally-conscious consumers. These materials, often composed of recycled plastics and other reclaimed components, offer a blend of durability and eco-friendliness.

Recycled composite pavers and boards come in a variety of styles and colours, allowing for the creation of driveways and patios with a modern aesthetic that is resistant to weathering and fading. They offer a good alternative to traditional decking.

Design inspiration

•  Mix it up: Blend mixed sizes of flagstones and complementary setts to add visual interest. Consider introducing a paving circle to provide a unique, handcrafted touch to outdoor spaces.

•  Mediterranean vibes: Terracotta paving is really eye catching, and there are some extremely good reproduction ranges available that add instant colour. Available in different shapes and sizes, build mosaic patterns or mix with brick pavers for a rustic look.

•  Visual interest: Introduce cobbles or brick pavers for interesting driveway designs and consider stepping stones to create simple meandering paths across grass or paired with shingles.

•  Contemporary chic: For sleek and minimalist designs, use large-format concrete or porcelain slabs in neutral tones. This approach complements both modern and traditional architecture and landscaping.


When choosing paving, the selection of materials and design considerations are normally governed by both aesthetic and practical requirements. Each material offers distinct advantages, allowing homeowners and designers to tailor landscapes to their own vision. By combining durability, maintenance considerations and personal taste, the possibilities for creating stunning outdoor spaces are limited only by imagination.

Further information....

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