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    Patios and Walkways

    If you’re like most people, when you’re thinking about a picture-perfect new landscape for your home, your mind immediately jumps to “big” elements: a pool or water feature, a flowerbed filled with lush ground cover and bold pops of seasonal plantings, or even a luxurious outdoor kitchen. But the reality is that the patios and walkways you create in your outdoor space have a huge impact on its overall look and feel — and even its value. The materials, patterns, shapes, and styles you choose effectively “set the tone” for your outdoor space and help pull everything together while designating spaces for different activities.

    Adding a custom patio or new walkways doesn’t just enhance your home’s beauty — they also:

    • Create a level space for sitting, eating, and relaxing more comfortably
    • Boost your property’s value and your enjoyment
    • Allow your family ample ways to enjoy your outdoor space together or separately
    • Enhance safety, providing friends and family with easy-to-traverse pathways through your yard

    Van Zelst’s expert landscape and hardscape designers have worked with clients to create custom patios and walkways that are not only beautiful but practical. Get inspired by checking out some examples of custom walkways and patios below, then get in touch with us to set up a consultation.

    Painting Spaces with Stone

    The Van Zelst team brought together different types of stone—with distinct shapes and shades ranging from linen to sand—to create seating walls, an outdoor fireplace, and a flowing patio that extends through a series of outdoor spaces. A black painted pergola outlines the outdoor lounge and contrasts dramatically with the lighter colors below.

    black pergola over patio

    Putting Green and Bluestone Patio

    Avid golfers, the homeowners wanted to incorporate a putting green into the backyard, adjacent to a more formal patio. Bluestone slabs were dry-fit in position to lay out seating areas, with a curving edge that mirrors planting beds and signals the transition to the miniature golf course.

    putting green with curved bluestone patio

    Modern Patio in a Woodland Setting

    To create visual interest, consider creating an outdoor space that complements your landscape by providing visual contrast.

    Here, the homeowners opted for a more contemporary-styled patio that plays up the home's lush woodland setting. The stone seat wall with bluestone coping echoes the bluestone patio. Outcropping stone steps help ease the transition between the organic feel of the yard and the modern vibe of the patio space.

    modern patio set in the woods

    A Peaceful Retreat

    There's nothing like winding down at the end of your day in a space that makes you feel calm and relaxed—and the materials you choose for your backyard patio can help achieve the right mood.

    Here, the homeowners opted for a natural-finish rough sawn cedar pergola to create a cozy, intimate space. The bluestone patio and stone veneer grill enclosure add textural interest without competing with other landscape or hardscape elements.

    patio with pergola at night

    A Rustic Patio

    Patios don't have to be smoothly paved areas devoid of grass; they can be anything you want them to be. Here, the homeowners wanted a patio that reflected the organic, rustic feeling of their backyard. Irregularly shaped pavers surrounded by low ground cover plants create the perfect place for enjoying a cup of coffee or a late morning brunch.

    flagstone patio with creeping thyme

    Many Uses

    If you arrange your furniture and landscaping well, it's possible for one patio area to have many uses. Here, the homeowners created a large bluestone patio that serves multiple seating areas. The pergola helps denote the dining area closest to the house, while comfortable couches and chairs create a great space for enjoying drinks with friends.

    outdoor dining area in park ridge landscape

    An Outdoor Oasis

    A patio can serve as an outdoor oasis, creating a comfortable place to enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of your backyard. Here, the homeowners wanted a space where they could read a book, sip a glass of wine, and experience nature. A unique water feature adds both visual and aural interest, and landscaping gives the area a cozy, intimate feel.

    granite millstone fountain

    Part of the Landscape

    A patio can feel like a natural part of your landscape, effortlessly blending in with your plants and other features. Here, the homeowners opted for a bluestone paver patio interspersed with yellow Creeping Jenny and purple Thyme. The boulder retaining wall creates a natural break between this area and the remainder of the yard.


    More inspiration: Ideas we've collected from around the web

    Concrete Pavers

    Concrete pavers, arranged in an interesting pattern, can create an excellent patio for a variety of different home styles. Here, the homeowners opted for an arts-and-crafts style patio in colors that complement the home's stone exterior. A cozy seating area welcomes guests, and the patio umbrella provides respite from the hot summer sun.

    Concrete Pavers v 2

    If you're looking for a truly versatile patio flooring material, consider concrete pavers. Here, the homeowners opted for concrete pavers to complement their yard's stone fireplace and seating walls. Different seating areas allow the homeowners to enjoy a number of activities in their yard, from hosting friends for dinner to reading their favorite book on a warm spring day.

    Large Spaces

    If you have an expansive backyard, consider using large stones to create walkways and pathways. Here, the homeowners remodeled their backyard with meandering stone paths that allow them to easily access the house, the boat dock, and other areas of the yard.

    Hilly Landscape

    Designing landscape and hardscape options for hilly presents opportunities to be creative. Here, the homeowners use large, flat stones to serve as steps up the pathway to their home. The steps blend in beautifully with the rustic landscaping -- they look as if they've always been part of the space.

    Create a Cohesive Outdoor Space with Custom Patios & Walkways

    To make the most of your outdoor living space, every detail counts — including how you define your space using custom patios and walkways. Contact us today for a free consultation on your patio, walkway, or overall landscape project.

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