A walkway is more than just a place to walk from the sidewalk to a home or building. It makes up an important part of the scenic landscape in your front or back yard. Like the driveway, no one can avoid having a walkway installed. Since it’s so important, you might as well make it look as attractive as possible.
A walkway should be both functional and aesthetic in design. It should be eye catching and one of the first features that people see when they look at a yard. A plain, straight walkway is like a neutral-colored house without any bold colors or interesting designs.
In addition to being attractive, the walkway must be fully efficient. First, it should provide an easy access to the front door. No one likes a path that travels the longest distance from the sidewalk to the door. Build one that provides the shortest and easiest route to the entrance.
Some homes are built on slopes, so it’s more difficult to build stable walkways. Make it easy for everyone to walk on your path, especially someone who’s elderly or disabled. Add steps or stairs to prevent people from slipping down the walkway. After it rains, a sloped walkway becomes more slippery, making it easier for people to tumble down.
If an accident occurs on your property, anyone can sue you for liability damages. It seems like a hassle to install steps, but it’s more so to deal with accidents and lawsuits. Make your walkway safe and efficient for everyone who uses it.
A good walkway is surrounded by an eye-opening scenery. You could build a path that is nestled between rows of shrubs or hedges. Or build a curved path in the shape of an “S” or “Z” that snakes around different plants. In some yards, there are stone or wooden sculptures installed along the way or water fountains.
Some people want the walkway to be the center of attention and place it in the middle of the yard. All of the other features, such as the shrubs and flowers, are built around this path.
Other homeowners want the walkway to be built on the side and barely noticeable. Most suburban homes have this style. The walkway is only functional with no visual appeal.
The shape and direction of the walkway is a personal preference. An L-shaped walkway is not better or worse than one that is S shaped. Nevertheless, make sure that your walkway is included somewhere in the design.
Then, there is the type of material to install. Concrete paths are found in most suburban homes and commercial buildings. It’s widely used because it’s easier to obtain and construction workers find it easier to work with.
Concrete is not the only material available. There are also paths made of wood, stone, plastic, vinyl or metal. Any material that is used on roofs can be used on the path.
Some people like to polish the surface of the material so that it reflects the sunlight. Others like to mix and match different materials. For instance, a limestone walkway could have polished wooden pieces along the border. A stamped concrete path could resemble the look of wood but retain the strength of concrete. A dull wooden path can be enlivened with LED lights that automatically turn on at night.
In addition to choosing the material, consider how much of the design you want to customize. Some companies allow you to mix colors or create personalized designs that are visible to anyone who walks up to your house.
Decide if you want a path that is composed of stepping stones. Individual stones make any walk more interesting and challenging. If so, choose from a variety of shapes and sizes for the stones. Also, provide a reasonable distance from one stone to the next. No one wants to leap to move from one stone to another.
Review Your Options
There are many more ideas to consider as you design a walkway. Many ideas you can come up with yourself, but it always helps to get an outside opinion. There are designers who have worked on hundreds of different houses and many who focus solely on designing landscapes. So, review these 27 walkway ideas and designs to build in your front or backyard.
The Nestled Look
Place a path between rows of bushes, shrubs or hedges. The plants make a scenic walk and also provide shade from excessive sunlight. Choose the nestled look if you plan to turn your walkway into the focal point of the yard.
Stamped concrete is a new and innovative trend in landscape design. Have concrete that resembles the look of wood or brick, but does not contain the same properties. It is still concrete that is very strong and long lasting.
Add a creative border to your walkway. Use plants, flowers or rocks as the contents.
Make a walkway that resembles a seaside boardwalk. Create planks made out of real wood or a certain material, like concrete, that is transformed to resemble wood. Seal the wood for added protection against the elements.
Avoid making your walkway look like something in everyone’s yard. Make your walks more interesting with stepping stones. Some stepping stones are arranged in straight lines, while others are placed in zigzag shapes.
There is the classic stone walkway to adorn your yard. Choose from a variety of different stone materials granite, marble or limestone. Marble has a natural swirly design that will attract people’s attention. Then, choose from various stone shapes and sizes.
A path is scenic and shady when it’s lined with trees. From cherry to pine, there are a wide range of trees to choose from. Your design may consist of small, wide trees or rows of tall, skinny ones.
No one likes a walkway that cannot be seen in the dark. If the porch light is not on, have night lights along the path. LED lights make it easier for you to get creative with different designs and colors. There are many types of fixtures available from strip lights that you glue onto the path to lights that are mounted on posts.
Within a Garden
Everyone likes a garden, and it’s even better in clear view. Have your walkway move within an elaborate garden. Provide the best view of colorful plants and flowers for anyone who enters your yard, even for a few moments.
Some people fill their walkways with pebbles. They add stepping stones for people to walk on without stepping onto the pebbles.
Walkways that are built on unsteady ground should have supports. Install rails to make the walking safer and more stable.
Path with Pavers
Some paths are built on slopes that take steep declines and inclines. It’s important that you make walking as pain free as possible. Add steps or stairs that provide full support for walks on uneven ground. You can also add steps just to improve the scenery.
Custom Cement Designs
Make your walkway stand out among all of the others. Add your own custom designs to show off a unique style.
Add simple or elaborate patterns to your pathway. It’s common to see geometric patterns, such as octagon or triangle shapes.
Wooden walkways are uncommon because wood is known to rot and change shape. Adding wood still makes a unique-looking walkway. Since the wood may become unstable, add this type of walkway to a garden or the backyard.
Moss looks unappealing to some people, but to others, it’s a work of art. On a walkway, it is a natural and unique design. Moss grows and becomes thicker in certain damp or rainy conditions. A mossy path could change its natural design over time.
Consider adding a retaining wall along your path. It doesn’t have to be a towering wall of stones – you can have a short wall that partly encloses the walkway.
Add solid bricks to your path. You can choose from a variety of interlocking patterns. Place the bricks side by side for a simple pattern or make unique patterns out of whole and half-cut bricks.
Pillars are solid structures that adorn the border of the walkway. The pillars come in countless designs that are made out of wood, concrete or stone.
Your walkway is a vital part of your yard. The way that it is shaped, colored and designed says a lot about your personality. The more unique it is, the more people are impressed by you as a homeowner and an individual. Take the time to review many selections of walkway ideas to consider adding into your landscape.