Backyard ideas with pavers: 10 smart ways to elevate your patios and paths
Our round-up of backyard ideas with pavers will get you inspired for a fresh new landscaping look
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When it comes to backyard ideas with pavers, there are plenty of design opportunities to explore. So, whether you want to upgrade your patio into a chic living zone or create a brand new path from A to B, they're well worth considering.
With such a range of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials available, paving is a great way to tie a scheme together and boost its style credentials. And it's practical too, with the majority of pavers being hardwearing, sturdy underfoot, and less maintenance than many other materials, such as timber decking.
You can work pavers into all kinds of backyard ideas, and we've rounded up some of our favorite looks. If you want to give your plot a makeover this season, you'll find all the inspiration you need below.
10 backyard ideas with pavers to transform your space
There's something for all styles and budgets in our edit of backyard ideas with pavers.
1. Create an indoor-outdoor flow
Consider extending elements of your backyard landscaping ideas, such as the style of your patio pavers, to the inside of your home. 'With the growing popularity of open plan living, including the garden in your interior design is right on trend,' says Jo Oliver, Director of The Stone & Ceramic Warehouse (opens in new tab). 'Bringing the outside in creates a feeling of space, almost giving the illusion of having had an extension.'
Joss Thomas, Founder and Designer at Indigenous (opens in new tab), says, 'Porcelain's become an incredibly popular choice for seamless "inside-to-outside" installations.' You can find textured stone-effect pavers which give good grip underfoot and look just like the real deal. 'Porcelain's also renowned for its practical features,' continues Joss. 'It's very hard and less porous than natural stone, so it's especially resistant to water and stains.'
Although you generally won't need to seal porcelain tiles, Joss and the team recommend using a barrier treatment before grouting; this will help prevent residues from becoming trapped in the textured surface, which can create a white haze. 'A coat after installation will also make ongoing cleaning easier.'
2. Choose dark and moody hues
When considering backyard ideas with pavers, it's always worth taking the exterior of your home into account. Using matching, or at least complementary, tones will ensure a sense of harmony is achieved throughout the scheme.
This small backyard oozes with effortless style. A big reason behind its success is the deep, charcoal tones used throughout. The patio pavers tie in with the staircase, doorframes, and even the fence beautifully, whilst giant containers of hydrangeas add balance with their organic forms.
We like the use of different-sized pavers too, which offer a rustic and relaxed look.
3. Lead the way with stepping stones
Backyard pavers aren't just for patios – they are also a fantastic choice for your garden path ideas.
For more formal schemes, you might prefer to install them close together in a seamless fashion (which can also be more practical for transporting wheelbarrows and the like). However, a stepping-stone design is a fabulous alternative and will instantly add character to a space.
You could meander them through flowerbeds for relaxed strolling or opt for smart, straight lines like this walkway above. Framed by wisterias, it makes a stunning impact.
4. Add a playful design feature with checkerboard tiles
Give your outdoor living zone a unique feel by opting for a checkerboard design underfoot.
Choosing pared-down colors with a slightly worn finish will keep the look subtle rather than overbearing. We're big fans of how this cream and blush design complements the exterior of the home, the textural furniture and rug, and the elaborate fireplace. However, there's nothing stopping you from a crisp monochrome scheme if you prefer a bold and modern look.
Whatever your preferred approach, you can find lots more stylish backyard patio ideas to complete the scene in our guide.
5. Use different pavers to define zones
A simple and stylish way to help define different spaces in your plot is to change up the materials underfoot.
Take this backyard, for example. The covered seating area is made complete by smart stone pavers interspersed by red bricks, the warm colors of which perfectly match the furniture. Outside of the seating zone, a more informal fashion of pavers is used, with bright pops of verdant green bordering each irregularly-shaped slab.
Looking for a sheltered space of your own? Our pergola ideas feature is full of fantastic styles.
6. Bring pattern to your patio
These large, patterned, porcelain pavers add a real sense of fun to this cozy patio space. Cushions aplenty in soft yellows and peach provide a wonderfully warming contrast, whilst festoons overhead will offer a welcoming glow when night falls. We like all the potted foliage, too.
If you're on the lookout for budget backyard ideas, porcelain pavers might be a little out of your price range. However, you could recreate the look with a decorative stencil and some exterior masonry paint – a great project for the weekend. Just be prepared to do a bit of upkeep now and again to keep it looking tip-top.
And, if you need to upgrade your seating or outdoor dining table to complete your stylish new scene, our best garden furniture buying guide is a good place to start.
7. Soften the look with planting
A large stretch of uninterrupted paving can feel a little unimaginative. So, to mix up the look, consider bringing in pockets of planting.
Keep the shapes of your flowerbeds organic for a wilder vibe and fill with a mix of hardy plants that will hold their form all year long. Ornamental grasses are a good choice due to their soft texture, plus they can double up as a screen between zones.
You can learn how to grow ornamental grasses in our practical guide.
8. Take your garden steps up a level
If you prefer a smarter style for your backyard, take a cue from this design.
The wide steps are given a real boost by neat rows of greenery, which make an eye-catching contrast against the pale paving. The rill of water adds yet another gorgeous design feature and will offer soothing sensory benefits too.
And can you spot the recessed lighting? The fixtures may be subtle by day, but by night they'll provide all the light needed to make the most of the space.
You can find plenty more garden steps ideas in our dedicated feature.
9. Embrace a rustic vibe around your pool
The warm tones of this natural paving make it a great pick for rustic backyard pool ideas. Note how it ties in oh-so-beautifully with the exterior brickwork and clay roof tiles.
It blends seamlessly with the hot tub too, the design of which continues the naturalistic theme with its well-placed boulders and a waterfall. Add some comfy sun loungers nearby and some potted palms and you'll have your own private oasis right on your doorstep.
10. Use natural stone for an elegant space
Although porcelain pavers have many benefits, for a real sense of country-cottage chic, it's hard to beat natural stone paving ideas.
The slightly different patina and color of each paver will result in a totally unique look for your patio space. Choose from a local supplier if possible for a more eco-friendly (and often cheaper) approach.
This patio looks beautiful alongside rattan furniture, whilst the elegant parasol will provide shelter from the sun's glare.
How big should pavers be?
'In terms of formats, larger pavers are ideal for creating a smart, contemporary look,' recommends Joss Thomas, Founder and Designer at Indigenous. 'There are also fewer grout lines for weeds and moss to gather.
'If you want to achieve a more traditional, random look, combine large and small tiles; larger stones can be strategically placed in high traffic areas and used to create a natural flow towards an entrance.'
What is the most popular choice for pavers?
Porcelain pavers have definitely had a boost in popularity recently, especially when it comes to creating a seamless link between indoor and outdoor flooring.
'Not only is porcelain easy to maintain, but it is also very hardwearing, doesn't stain, and is anti-slip,' says Jo Oliver, Director of The Stone & Ceramic Warehouse. 'Porcelain tiles and pavers are available in a vast range of colors, textures, and tile sizes. With such a huge selection available, you can achieve any look you desire, from wooden floorboards and decking to stone tiles and patios.'
Many 10mm (0.39in) porcelain tiles can also be used both internally and externally, Jo explains. However, you can also find 20mm (0.79in) porcelain garden pavers that can be laid onto virtually any outdoor substrate, including sand and cement screed, gravel, and grass. 'This makes it easy to install them in any exterior space to create either a very contemporary or traditional design that flows right through your home,' Jo adds.
Our guide on how to lay porcelain tiles outside has simple step-by-step tips if you fancy a bit of DIY.
What can you use instead of pavers?
If backyard ideas with pavers aren't for you, no problem – there are lots of other materials you can use for your outdoor space.
Decking is a lovely option and there are always composite varieties if you want to cut down on maintenance. If you fancy a stretch of soft green grass underfoot, then our lawn ideas are worth a look for some garden inspo. Or how about gravel? It's a brilliant approach if you're looking for a budget-friendly solution, and is good for drainage, too.
The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.
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