Walkways are an important part of front yard landscaping. A beautiful walkway will greatly enhance your home’s curb appeal and provide a way for you and guests to get to your front door. You’ll want the walkway to look nice and be easy to walk on since it will serve as an entrance to your home. Whether it will lead straight to your front door, or to a small courtyard garden or porch, there are many design options for front yard walkways.
Three important front walkway design considerations:
- Paving Materials
Determining Front Walkway Width
Whether your walkway leads from the street to the front door, from the driveway to the front door, or from the front yard to the backyard, the walkway width is very important. When you are hosting parties or family gatherings it is likely that many people will be using the walkway. It should be wide enough that two people can comfortably walk side-by-side. Four feet is the minimum width for a front walkway, but five feet is preferred. Our consultants can assist you further with walkway dimensions.
Choosing the Shape of a Front Yard Walkway
There are a few factors that should be considered when deciding on your front walkway shape. The first factor is the size of your yard. Typically, small front yards look best with a simple straight walkway, while a curved walkway can add much needed design interest to a large front garden. The second factor is the style of your home. If your home has a traditional colonial or Victorian style then a formal, straight path is the best option. A straight entry walkway will help to emphasize your front door as the focal point of your home. If your home has a ranch or Mediterranean style an informal, curved path is the best option. However, be careful not to overdo the curves because then people will take shortcuts through your front lawn.
Selecting Paving Materials for a Front Walkway
Since a front walkway is a big part of your home’s curbs appeal you should select materials that complement the exterior of your home. For example, if your house has brick accents, a concrete walkway with a brick border would look especially nice. When selecting materials for your walkway, keep in mind that solid paving, such as concrete, stone or pavers, is easier and safer to walk on than stepping stones or gravel.
There are two main purposes for backyard walkways.
The first purpose is to connect the various spaces in your yard. For example, a walkway can usher people from the outdoor dining patio, to the pool, vegetable garden or braai area.
The second purpose is to provide a path simply for the sake of enjoying the garden. This type of backyard walkway, or mediation path, is meant to be strolled along and has no particular destination.
If you have a large backyard and envision distinct outdoor living spaces within it, then you will likely need walkways that serve the purpose of connecting those spaces. Our Architects enjoy placing destinations such as a braai or boma pit, conversation area, or an intimate patio with a gorgeous view far out in to the yard which will lead people there with walkways.
Think of the walkways and pathways as passages or hallways that connect outdoor rooms. In this situation, paths should be functional and direct and the destination should be obvious. Such destination spots will get more use if the walkway clearly points visitors in the right direction. This doesn’t mean that the path must be perfectly straight, gentle curves and variations are great for adding interest, but don’t overdo it.
If you want a space within your backyard that is dedicated solely to enjoying plants and wildlife, or to meditation and prayer, then you’ll need walkways and pathways that invite a leisurely stroll. Such walkways have no destination in mind, rather they curve through a backyard simply to provide a place where one can relax, contemplate and take in their surroundings. These walkways may pop in and out of sight, double back on itself, split into two, or make a full circle. Your available space and the features or plants that you would like the walkway to pass will impact its layout.
Here are some Backyard Walkway Design tips:
- Before installing a walkway observe the natural flow of traffic in your backyard, this will help you determine the best placement for walkways
- Avoid chopping up your backyard with too many paths, too close together
- A series of walkways, patios and planting beds is a great alternative to a backyard lawn
- Use raised planters made of stone or brick on either side of a walkway to make it appear more like a passageway
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