11 Best Driveway Ideas

Caroline Gilbert
Written by Caroline Gilbert
Updated October 20, 2021
Father and son walking up driveway
MoMo Productions /DigitalVision via Getty Images

Beautiful driveway designs to welcome you home

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Installing a new driveway or replacing an existing driveway is a big job. Your driveway is one of the first things people see when coming to your home, and it gets a lot of use on a day-to-day basis. Look through some driveway design ideas to find the best fit for you.

Driveway Styles and Ideas

When planning your driveway design, think about your budget and the amount of use it is exposed to regularly. Here are some creative driveway ideas that you will be excited to come home to every day. 

1. Practical Gravel

Home with gravel driveway
Iriana Shiyan - stock.adobe.com

A gravel driveway is a cost-effective and low-maintenance option. Gravel is composed of loose rock fragments that can come in different stones and colors. Besides affordability, gravel is a popular choice because it is easily replaced, promotes good drainage, and works well with almost any style of home. 

Loose materials can scatter, so if you are not in a rural setting, you may need to add a barrier to catch any stray pieces. Choose gray gravel then line it with red mulch and lush garden beds to elevate the curb appeal.

2. Classic Asphalt

Kids playing basketball on asphalt driveway
Cavan /Cavan Images via Getty Images

An asphalt driveway provides a classic look and is a tried-and-true option in a wide variety of geographic areas. Asphalt performs well in harsh weather and is easy to repair if it gets damaged, making this one of the best driveway materials. When applied, asphalt has more give than concrete and is less likely to crack. Offset the dark asphalt with greenery and plants for a contrasting border.

3. Timeless Brick

Brick paved driveway
Sean_Gao /iStock /Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Using clay bricks for your driveway makes an elegant statement. Brick provides a visually appealing and long-lasting surface but can be more prone to fading, so seal it every few years to preserve the color. While not the most cost-effective option, a red brick driveway brings warmth into your yard and works particularly well with an off-white exterior and lush greenery in the front.

4. Dimensional Herringbone

Gray herringbone patterned driveway
shunli zhao /Moment via Getty Images

The herringbone pattern derives its name from piecing together rectangles to resemble the bones of a herring fish. You can create a herringbone pattern using different driveway materials and colors ranging from paving stone, brick, or concrete. Use gray driveway paving stones in a herringbone configuration to amplify the aesthetic of modern and transitional style homes.

5. Functional Tar and Chip

Tar and chip driveway at night
irina88w /iStock /Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Tar and chip, also referred to as chipseal, combines hot liquid asphalt with stone to create a textured, driveable surface. While it is commonly used for roads and parking lots, tar and chip is a great type of driveway material as well. Compared to asphalt or concrete, tar and chip is a budget-friendly alternative that still provides durability and good traction. Use this type of material for longer driveways, then add trees and lighting along the edge to create a clear, illuminated border.  

6. Rural Ribbon

Ribbon style driveway in rural area
Sigena Semmling /iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Ribbon driveways are created by paving two vertical lines then leaving an unpaved median between the tracks. Ribbon driveways resemble two parallel ribbons and can use various materials to create the track’s surface such as gravel, concrete, or asphalt. They are often found in rural settings and work well for long or curved driveways, following the natural contours of the property. Because less surface area is being paved, ribbon driveways are inevitably less costly than fully paved driveways.  

7. Grandiose Cobblestone

Home with a cobblestone driveway
KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty

Cobblestone has historically been used for walkways, patios, and driveways alike. Cobblestone is made from natural stones and can be laid in various patterns when installed in your driveway. This type of stone complements older cape cods, tudors, or colonial style homes. 

Cobblestone comes with a higher price tag but is one of the most durable types of driveway materials. Aesthetically, it creates a desirable “old world” charm that is hard to replicate, potentially increasing your resale value. Continue the cobblestones up from your driveway to your walkway in a circular pattern for a stately look.

8. Patterned Pavers

Paver driveway leading up to wooden garage
Ursula Page - stock.adobe.com

Pavers are made from concrete or cement and, like cobblestone or brick, are placed in an interlocking pattern. When making the pattern, combine dark and light brown using varying sized square shapes to add dimension to the driveway. Paving stones are durable and easy to replace if damaged, making them a great option if you experience frequent weather fluctuations.

Consider looking into permeable paving stones, which are porous and allow water to be absorbed under the surface. Using pavers to create a permeable driveway promotes drainage and prevents water from pooling on the surface.

9. Modern Concrete Slabs

Girl riding scooter on concrete driveway
Thomas Barwick /DigitalVision via Getty Images

A concrete driveway is a popular choice for homeowners because of its long life span and durability. Concrete costs more than asphalt and gravel but is less expensive than brick or cobblestone. Unlike asphalt, concrete has various color options to match your home’s style. Use large concrete slabs for a smooth surface to drive and play on and choose a natural earth tone to match almost any exterior color scheme.

10. Textured Stamped Concrete

Girl on bike in front of stamped concrete driveway
Anthony Redpath /The Image Bank via Getty Images

If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional concrete slabs, consider a stamped concrete driveway, which adds texture and dimension to the surface. While stamped concrete has a higher upfront cost, this method adds curb appeal to your home and boosts resale value. 

11. Contrasting Edging

Asphalt driveway with paver border
Fotosearch via Getty Images

If you like the look of more intricate materials, like pavers or cobblestone, but don’t want to use them for your entire driveway, consider incorporating them as a border. Use asphalt for your main driveway, then install pavers around the perimeter. Line the pavers with flower beds and shrubs to add intricacy and sophistication to your front yard.

Type of Driveway Shapes

While material and style are major factors in determining the type of driveway for your home, also take driveway shapes into consideration to find the best layout for your property. For example, if you have a straight driveway that is uphill, you would want to choose a more durable material that provides more traction.

Straight

Concrete driveway in front of new home
luis - stock.adobe.com

A straight driveway provides the most direct route to your home. Straight driveways are often the easiest to plow or shovel. Keep in mind that if you have multiple cars or have frequent visitors, you may need to reconfigure the cars in your straight driveway so that they aren’t blocking others who need to leave. 

Roundabout

Circular driveway in front of country home
fotoVoyager /E+ via Getty Images

A roundabout driveway, also known as a circular driveway, works well for homes that have a significant amount of property from the street. This driveway shape is beneficial because you can have multiple cars parked in your driveway and you don’t need to back your car out into traffic when leaving your home.  

U-shaped

U-shaped driveway in front of large home
KingWu /iStock /Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

U-shaped driveways, also referred to as horseshoe driveways, are paved in a semi-circle shape. Like roundabouts, this shape needs an ample front yard and provides ample parking space. It also gives you the ability to pull your car in and out of the driveway without needing to do a three-point turn or reverse down the driveway when you leave. 

Turnaround

A turnaround can be added to the driveway to allow you to back your car in so that you are facing the road when you leave your home. Turnarounds can be paved in different styles depending on the layout of your property. 

Hammerhead Turnaround

Turnaround in driveway in front of new home
USGirl /iStock /Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

A hammerhead turnaround is shaped like a “T,” allowing you to park one or multiple vehicles in the additional section. This shape is ideal if you live on a busy street or have a long driveway that would be difficult to back all the way down.

Y Turnaround

Y-shaped driveway in front of large home
moodboard - stock.adobe.com

A Y-shaped turnaround paves one section towards the garage and another towards the entryway of your home. This allows you to back your car into a separate section so that you can easily drive your car towards the road as needed. This is also a beneficial setup if you don’t have enough driveway spaces for all of your cars because you won’t need to pull one of your cars all the way out of the driveway to let another one in. 

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.