Take Your Landscape Design to the Next Level With These Creative Paver Ideas

Pave your way to the patio of your dreams. #sorrynotsorry

When planning your patio, there are many elements to consider: the landscape, climate, budget and how you and your family will use the space. But there’s one workhorse material that manages to find its way into almost every outdoor patio design project: pavers.

With the variety of paver materials, sizes, styles, colors and textures, they truly are one of the most versatile materials out there. Pavers can likely work for your home no matter your style or budget. Check out these creative ways to use them:

Random Placement

Patio with Rectilinear Stone Pavers

Patio with Rectilinear Stone Pavers

This idyllic backyard hideaway in Brooklyn by Statile & Todd combines nature and contemporary design in a patio that utilizes rectilinear stone (Mica Schist pavers) and an infill of barn red dust with a stabilizing agent.

Photo by: Statile & Todd Inc., design by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

Statile & Todd Inc., design by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

While symmetrical placement is more typical when it comes to pavers, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and use them in a random pattern. While the placement of these pavers might seem haphazard, the look is casual with lots of visual interest. This technique is also good to use if you have some leftover pavers from another project.

Out-of-the-Way Spot

Round Fire Pit in the Woods

Round Fire Pit in the Woods

A round fire pit made of crab orchard stone works best here because the whole landscape design is more curvilinear, according to King Landscaping in Atlanta. One of the curved, stacked stone walls was existing before they implemented the design. Marrying straight lines into the space would have been awkward.

Photo by: King Landscaping

King Landscaping

Pavers also work really well when you need to define a space. In this case, pavers arranged in a circular pattern leading out to a pathway, create a quiet refuge with a comfy hammock and a couple of iron chairs.

Cozy Hang-Out

Patio Fireplace

Patio Fireplace

This outdoor patio features a custom stone fireplace and rustic pergolas with lush landscaping.

If you’re lucky enough to have a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, consider using pavers to define the space around it. In this case, the corner of a yard was turned into a beautiful garden patio. Concrete benches and a rustic trellis add to the charm of this little outdoor oasis.

Incorporate Into Your Lawn

Beautiful Covered Patio

Beautiful Covered Patio

This beautiful covered patio features a plenty of seating for ultimate outdoor entertaining.

Photo by: Intero Real Estate Services, Inc., a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Intero Real Estate Services, Inc., a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Pavers can also be used to define spaces where you might typically expect to see a lawn. In this case, the pavers were used with grass to define a larger outdoor patio area around a pool. To ease up on lawn care, consider using faux grass for a treatment like this and you won’t need to ever worry about mowing.

Outdoor Living Room

15 Ways to Bring Indoor Comfort Outdoors

15 Ways to Bring Indoor Comfort Outdoors

In its original state, this long and narrow yard was wasted space. To give it new life as an outdoor living room, it was grounded by a 10-foot-by-10-foot square of pavers, made more secluded from neighbors with planted palm trees, furnished with hardy seating and anchored by an interactive coffee table.

Photo by: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

© Rustic White Photography, LLC

If you live in a warmer climate and don’t need to worry about the change of seasons, you could create a true outdoor living room using pavers to define the area. Try to stick with outdoor fabrics, and come up with a game plan for storing cushions and pillows. While outdoor fabrics are durable enough to take the rain, you will ensure your pillows last a lot longer if you can keep them dry as much as possible.

Mark a Path

Stone Paver Garden Path

Stone Paver Garden Path

A stone paver pathway with grass accommodates relaxing morning and afternoon walks through the garden. Hydrangea bushes and flowering hedges line the walkway.

Photo by: Sommer Armstrong

Sommer Armstrong

For larger properties, pavers are an amazing solution for defining paths and creating natural movement throughout your entire outdoor space. You’ll want to ensure that paths connect easily from one area to another, while providing an obvious route for walking. Since pavers are so versatile, they'll work well with almost any materials or elevations.

Visual Interest

Stone Paver Walkway Trimmed With Green Grass

Stone Paver Walkway Trimmed With Green Grass

Rugged rocks and smooth stone pavers are scattered along the edge of the lush lawn leading to the fire pit patio.

Photo by: D.A. Horchner/Design Workshop, Inc.

D.A. Horchner/Design Workshop, Inc.

Even if you have an area on your property that won’t necessarily be used as a functional space, pavers still do a lovely job of tying together the landscape. In this case, pavers are used right outside the fire pit area and in front of a beautiful fountain. They create visual interest for the space and also connect one area of the yard to another.

Modern Vibe Outside

Concrete Paver Walkway in Gravel

Concrete Paver Walkway in Gravel

Front Yard of HGTV Smart Home 2015 in Austin, Texas

Photo by: Eric Perry

Eric Perry

If you have a more modern home or you’re simply looking to bring a more modern vibe to your patio, concrete pavers are a great way to achieve it. These types of pavers can be poured to any size or shape, so you can really have some fun with pattern while also using the shapes to help easily navigate throughout your yard.

Outdoor Flooring

Fire Pit and Paver Patio on the Edge of the Woods

Fire Pit and Paver Patio on the Edge of the Woods

Look closely and you'll see this stone fire pit's design is a bit unusual. The fire pit bowl is perched on pillars of veneered stone and topped with Indiana limestone. The paver patio is surrounded by a veneered-stone seat wall, also topped with Indiana limestone. It creates a captivating setting on the edge of the woods.

Photo by: Southview Design

Southview Design

While pavers look great with some space between them, they also work well as an outdoor flooring option. In this case, the pavers are arranged in a tightly woven circular pattern. There is a nice mix of neutral colors paired with a second type of paver that defines the area outside of the fire pit.

Around the Pool

Backyard Oasis With Swimming Pool and Lawn Chairs

Backyard Oasis With Swimming Pool and Lawn Chairs

This backyard oasis features a rectangular in-ground pool in a simple, traditional layout. Ample seating provides a space to enjoy the serene surroundings of the water and elegant landscaping.

Photo by: Picasa ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Picasa, Scripps Networks, LLC

Pavers also work really well as a solution to use around a pool. Here, the lounge area is defined with pavers, while the lawn area is kept clear. Depending on the setup of your outdoor space, you could choose to do something similar; however, pavers would also look great all the way around the pool.

Free-Form Shapes

Large Paver Walkway Lined by Palm Trees

Large Paver Walkway Lined by Palm Trees

Pavers in the entry of this Coral Gables, Fla., home are spaced closely enough for even ladies wearing heels to walk from the pavers to the front door. The landscape design project, by ArquitectonicaGEO, won an FLASLA Design Award.

Photo by: Robin Hill

Robin Hill

While we often think of pavers as having symmetrical placement, we think of most pavers having a symmetrical shape, too. However, this treatment shows us that that it's not necessary. We can see in this design that larger, free-form pavers can also look quite chic.

Outdoor Shower

Outdoor Shower

Outdoor Shower

A pergola flows from inside the poolhouse to outside, providing artful cover for an outdoor shower. It's the perfect place to rinse off after swimming and eliminate everyone having to go inside and track water everywhere. Poolhouse stucco matches that on the main house. Rainchains provide a decorative touch with a practical purpose.

Photo by: Steve Silverman Imaging

Steve Silverman Imaging

For warm climate-dwellers, an outdoor shower could be the ultimate luxury. If you have enough space for one, consider creating an outdoor shower with pavers. This is sometimes an easier project than you might think, as you’re likely already set for plumbing.

Inside Tiny Spaces

Outdoor Entertaining With Target Outdoor Bistro Set

Outdoor Entertaining With Target Outdoor Bistro Set

Enjoy a cold drink in the backyard or on the patio with this Threshold outdoor bistro set from Target. The colorful slated seats correspond with the tabletop, while each piece is foldable for seasonal storage.

Even if you have the tiniest yard, you can still use pavers to help define a petite hang-out space for you and your family. Even a small grouping of pavers can help to define an area and create some coziness.

Pavers + Gravel

Modern Seattle Courtyard with Bluestone Paving and String Lights

Modern Seattle Courtyard with Bluestone Paving and String Lights

Trees shade a spacious and stylish courtyard accented by drought-tolerant plants and LED string lights. The hardscaping combines bluestone paving with pebble accents and crushed granite paving. Both existing trees were retained when the new garden was installed in December 2014.

Photo by: Coreen Schmidt Photography

Coreen Schmidt Photography

Pavers work well with a variety of other materials, but they work especially great with gravel. Depending on the type you choose, gravel can be a very inexpensive option when you need to cover a larger area. You can pair pavers with gravel to define your space and save a bit on your outdoor reno.

Pavers + Wood, Too

Mediterranean Modern Outdoor Fire Pit

Mediterranean Modern Outdoor Fire Pit

Vibrant yellow cushions make a bold statement, especially paired with blue and green patterned tile. Staggered paver stones in grass lead to a modern fire pit situated poolside.

Photo by: Warwick P Hunt

Warwick P Hunt

Pavers also pair beautifully with wood. Here, the wood decking looks great next to the various pavers mixed in with the grass. The colorful tile and white stucco brings a bit of a resort vibe to this beautiful outdoor space.

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Paint Your Floors

Designing a pattern on the floor is an inexpensive way to tie together the look of your outdoor space. Designer Rachel Greathouse used a diamond pattern with a whitewash to fit the home's farmhouse chic design. Depending on the pattern and palette, you can end up with a rustic or modern look.

Make an Eyesore a Focal Point

Instead of buying new furniture, rehab an old or damaged table with no elbow grease. Just cover it with a vibrant tablecloth, like the Mexican tapestry that WAKE + LOOM Design selected for this eclectic, colorful patio.

Photo By: Wake + Loom Design

Puff Up Your Seating With a Pouf

Floor poufs are a low-price way to add seating without investing in larger pieces of furniture, such as a sofa or chaise, say Gabriela Eisenhart and Holly Conlan with WAKE + LOOM Design. While you can find outdoor poufs for less than $50, you also can make your own fabric pouf ottoman in a pattern and palette that you prefer. A garden stool is also an inexpensive, versatile item that can serve as extra seating or a side table.

When Life Gives You Lemons

There's nothing sour about this well-styled patio sofa. In a small space, all you may need are a couple of pillows and accessories. It could be as simple as looking in your fridge. Here, designers Gabriela Eisenhart and Holly Conlan with WAKE + LOOM Design placed lemons in a metal bowl for a burst of color. You can sew a simple outdoor pillow as well.

Photo By: Wake + Loom Design

Rescue Old Items

Reclaim an outdoor focal point with upcycled brick and barn doors. The biggest trick is to look for old barns, buildings and chimneys that aren't being used, suggests Tyler Davis, owner of Athens Building Co., which worked with designer Tami Ramsey of Cloth & Kind on this project. Sometimes you can spot them from country roads. Approach the owner and offer to remove them if they will let you keep the material. You can get free materials and help someone remove a potential hazard from their property.

Photo By: Kelsey E. Green

Select Low-Maintenance Plants

Using plants with low water use and low maintenance requirements is cost effective while providing color, movement and texture, says Patricia St. John with St. John Landscapes. Succulents, burgundy Cordylines, variegated plants and evergreen vines provide contrasting colors and textures, without the use of flowering plants. This project was an Association of Professional Landscape Designers award winner.

Pick a Prefab Product

A screen adds coziness to an outdoor area, and this prefab screen is cheaper than a custom one. It's only on one side of the patio and is topped with a smaller "eyebrow" arbor. St. John Landscapes also saved costs by using low-water, low-maintenance plantings in this award-winning San Francisco backyard project.

Cut Groundcover Costs

The owners of a San Francisco townhome wanted to be cost effective wherever possible. St. John Landscapes used decomposed granite for the lower patio and paths, which is a cheaper option for a low-maintenance outdoor space.

Roll in a Cart

To get the look of this high-end bar cart on a budget, start with a basic metal or wire shelving unit, says Michiel Perry, founder of Black Southern Belle. Spray paint it your desired color. To add the lattice and bamboo trim, use a piece of vinyl diamond lattice, which you often see on outdoor decks and fences. Use bendable PVC pipe that is spray painted to match or in an accent color, for the trim.

Bring a Party to your Patio

Adorn your patio or deck fence with festive bunting to make it stand out from the rest, and every day will seem like a party. You can find outdoor pennant-style bunting like this at home decor and party supply shops for about $5-$10, or you can make your own.

Infuse Bursts of Color

Cute, cheap updates to a small patio include adding an outdoor pillow in a complementary color to a plastic Adirondack-style chair and an outdoor rug. If you don't have room for a coffee table, a smaller end table, can serve as your bar when enjoying cocktails with friends. Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama made this table using upcycled crates.

Mix and Match

If you can't afford a new farmhouse-style table, the same look can be achieved by mixing salvaged pieces to create your own table. Find an old tabletop, then add old or new spindle legs. If you paint the table and other outdoor furniture all white, it creates a modern and sleek look, says Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson, architect and designer with Terracotta Design Build in Atlanta.

Photo By: Terracotta Design Build

Salvage Like a Star

Salvage and save money by using reclaimed wood for a barn door. Go big with the doors and embellish the area with a metal star, which can be found on the cheap at antique shops and junk shops. The weathered tones of the wood complement the star in this space designed by Cloth & Kind, and created by Athens Building Co.

Add a Set of String Lights

String lights add sparkle to an outdoor space, even when you have a limited budget.

Photo By: Bellwether Landscape Architects

Give Granite a Modern Update

This once-bland courtyard is now a showcase for salvaged and recycled materials. The contemporary dining set rests upon bands of reclaimed granite slabs. Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design used blocks of granite salvaged from a 19th century building in Boston as benches in this courtyard, which won an Association of Professional Landscape Designers award.

Create a Crate Table

Get crafty and create a side table, which can be put to use when you grill out. Amy Latta of One Artsy Mama used a large crate and added a shelf and a top for her DIY table. Making a pair of crate end tables cost less than $100, according to Crates & Pallet.

Be Versatile

The white tub on a red stand is a versatile outdoor item that Beth Johnson of B Interiors found at a sample sale. Use it as a drink cooler, toy holder, planter or container for garden supplies, for just a few ideas. Also, Johnson says melamine plates, which come in various shapes and patterns, are a budget-conscious buy for a vibrant patio table. You can find 12-piece sets for about $50. This table setting also includes vintage juice glasses from a thrift shop.

Style With Single Pieces

Combining a single flower floating in a metal bowl can be a no-fuss and affordable way to adorn an end table in an outdoor space. The succulent in a pot also is a long-lasting choice on a low budget.

Photo By: B Interiors/Christina Wedge

Retain and Recover Existing Items

This contemporary outdoor space was once a forgotten, unused area. The design firm, A Blade of Grass, kept some existing materials, including the wood decking. The existing fence was updated with horizontal cedar cladding, which provided a clean, uniform backdrop. Garden stools are also an affordable, bold accent for a patio.

Boost the Look With Boxwood

Boxwoods, such as the 'Green Mountain' boxwood on the left side of this contemporary patio, are smart, cost-conscious purchases for courtyard shrubs because they have handsome foliage and grow to 3 feet high by 3 feet wide and don't need a lot of maintenance. Also, layering is a part of outdoor design. A plexiglass panel in front of a cedar fence on this patio by A Blade of Grass, which won an Association of Professional Landscape Designers award, creates dimension and interest. A plexiglass screen also can be an easy DIY project.

Make a DIY Storage Tower

For a custom towel and toy storage tower that costs less than $100, Jaime Costiglio from That’s My Letter used four crates from Crates & Pallet. Three of them were used to make the storage tower and the other was disassembled and resized to serve as a drawer. Think about ways to repurpose indoor furniture for outdoor use.

Decorate With Driftwood

For free patio and porch decor, use stones from your yard or a piece of driftwood from the beach or lake. "You would be surprised to learn that you already have plenty of decor options right in your own backyard," says Atlanta designer Alice Cramer.

Cast a Glow With Lanterns

Take advantage of a privacy screen or wall separating your patio from neighbors. Hang lanterns, which can give your outdoor space a glow without taking up floor or table space on a patio. Thrift shop for used wire lanterns or globes, spray paint then any color you desire and add candles.

Pick a Consistent Hue

Play off the color of a dominant feature to make your accessory purchases worth every dollar. In this Atlanta courtyard, Cultivators Design and Landscape chose orange accessories since they match the color of the fountain cube and don't detract from the water feature.

Photo By: Cultivators Design and Landscape

Color Underfoot

Instead of painting your floors, design experts suggest making a painted outdoor rug to freshen up a porch or patio floor. You can buy a cheap drop cloth, or use one that has saved your indoor floors when you have repainted a room, and turn it into a custom-colored rug.

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