When it comes to landscape design and choosing materials for paving and hardscaping, the colours and textures used can create a big impact on the overall impression and feel of the space. Whether you seek to create a serene sanctuary or a vibrant entertaining area, this guide will provide some tips to help you select the perfect paver to elevate your Australian outdoor space.
Embrace Nature: Let the Surroundings Inspire You
Your outdoor space is a canvas, and the surrounding environment holds the key to unlocking its full potential. Consider these tips for finding harmony between your pavers and the natural elements.
Blend into the Landscape
Select paver colours that complement the hues present in your garden, plants, or nearby trees. Earthy tones often work well with lush greenery.
If you’re near the coast, opt for light and sandy tones to evoke a seaside vibe that complements the beach environment.
Consider sleek, neutral colours like charcoal or cool greys for contemporary settings or city landscapes.
Bold or Subtle? Reflect Your Style
The colours and textures used around your pool, courtyard or garden present a unique chance to establish the desired ambience for your outdoor area. Here are some options to consider:
Make a Bold Statement:
Vibrant, contrasting colours can create a striking visual impact. Otherwise, consider exposed aggregate pavers like Anston’s Ironstone range, where each paver displays multi-coloured stone and quartz pieces that create a distinctive effect.
For an additional design detail or to create a feature piece, you can request graphics, lettering or numbers to be stencilled onto the surface of the paver, which instantly creates a stand-out, eye-catching piece for a modern landscape design.
Understated Elegance: Subtle, neutral colours offer timeless elegance and fit easily with various design themes. Anston’s Traditional range is the best option for showcasing the authentic, natural beauty of a concrete finish without detracting from other landscape elements.
Weathering the Weather: Practical Considerations
Australia’s climate can be unpredictable, ranging from scorching summers to rainy winters. Keep these weather-related factors in mind if your outdoor area is exposed to weather conditions:
Darker colours tend to absorb more heat and can feel hot to the touch if exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time. Conversely, lighter colours tend to reflect sunlight, keeping the pavers cooler underfoot during hot summer days. Popular light-coloured options from Anston’s colour palette are Vega (Granite Range), Bondi (Traditional Range) or Bone (Ironstone Range).
Certain areas can be prone to spills or stains, such as areas around outdoor dining areas or uncovered areas exposed to constant leaf litter from trees. For these areas, it is practical to choose darker paver colours that are less noticeable if stained. Exposed aggregate pavers like Anston’s Ironstone or Pebble Range pavers are also much more forgiving to stains and dirt buildup.
All Anston paving products are easy to clean with a stiff brush or a high-pressure hose. However, for stubborn stains or built-up dirt and grime, the best results will always come from a professional cleaning and sealing contractor who will have industrial-grade products on hand.
If your paving installation is in an area that will be exposed to sunlight, it’s important to note that the colour of the pavers is likely to fade or lighten over time. To avoid this effect, opt for lighter-coloured pavers, as any colour fading over time will be much less noticeable.
Size Matters: Impact on Visual Perception
The size of your pavers can significantly influence how your outdoor space is perceived. Use the smallest pavers to create an intricate aesthetic or choose some large format pieces to command presence. There are many sizes available in Anston’s standard range, which you can use to achieve your desired effect:
Large-Format Pavers or Paving Slabs:
Create a sense of openness and expansiveness with large-format pavers or paving slabs. With fewer grout lines, larger pavers are ideal for spacious patios and areas where you want to minimize visual clutter. However, large-format pavers are often thicker than standard paving sizes in order to maintain sufficient breaking load, which can make them very heavy. Depending on the size, they may need to be transported and installed onsite using cranes or equipment such as vacuum lifters.
Smaller pavers offer more flexibility in the paving layout and are perfect for creating visual interest in smaller spaces or walkways. They are also lighter and easier to install, as they can be transported by hand.
Apart from standard paving layouts such as gridded or stretcher bond installations, other paving patterns can be used as an inventive way to create intrigue within a paved area. Some ideas are ashlar patterned pavers, which involve using a mix of small and large paving modules, or herringbone patterns, which use long, slender pavers to create a paving layout that emulates timber parquetry.
Texture: Tactile Appeal and Safety
Paver texture affects the overall look and feel of a paving installation, and also plays a role in safety and comfort. When deciding what texture or finish you’d like for your pavers, there are a few options you can choose from, each with varying properties:
Smooth Off-Mould Finish:
The off-mould finish is pertinent to pavers that have been stripped out of the moulds with no further treatment applied to the surface. Off-mould pavers are silky-smooth to the touch, mirroring the smooth edges of the paving moulds. As off-mould pavers are untreated, they are not available with an exposed aggregate finish and are generally suited to plain colours.
The standard finish on Anston products is a shot-blasted finish, where the smooth top layer of the paver is blasted off to reveal a textured surface. The level of shot-blasting can be selected by the customer, with options for light, medium or heavy blasting. The heavier the blast, the rougher the surface with more exposure of the stone and sand composition of the paver.
All Anston shot-blasted finishes achieve the highest slip resistance rating of P5, making them safe for pedestrians. For paved areas that are prone to water exposure, such as pool decks and pathways, shot-blasted pavers offer the best protection to prevent slips and falls.
After pavers have been shot-blasted, they can be grinded down to create a completely smooth finish, also known as a honed finish. Honing of pavers allows the pleasing aesthetic of an exposed aggregate finish, combined with a completely smooth texture that is pleasant to the touch.
Due to the smoothness of honed pavers, they may become slippery when wet. However, fret not as Anston’s honed finish still achieves the highest slip resistance classification of P5.
Selecting the right paver colour and texture is an exciting part of the landscape design process, allowing you to infuse your outdoor space with personality and charm. Draw inspiration from the natural environment, explore your style preferences, and take practical considerations into account to find the perfect fit for your project. Whether your space is a serene retreat, a dreamy pool or an engaging entertaining area, your choice of pavers will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on all who grace your outdoor oasis. Unleash your creativity with Anston Architectural Products and browse our colour range and project gallery to gain inspiration for your unique project.