20 Stone Walkway Ideas for Homes and Gardens
Things to Consider Before Starting a Path Project
More than a passage from one area of your property to the next, a walkway is a versatile hardscaping tool that provides a break in the landscape and divides the garden. It can be a border for beds or can break straight lines with a curving path. It can physically and visually connect the focal points of your landscape. A well-designed path can add curb appeal to your home’s front garden, spotlight a gorgeous garden, and effortlessly guide you from indoors to outdoors.
Whether you are building a walkway from scratch or redoing an existing one due to worn materials or a poor design, you’ll need to plan, research, and survey the site before forging a new path. Among things to think about:
- Budget: A path doesn’t have to cost a lot to look good. Sometimes simple and basic is the best solution.
- Architectural Style: Choose something that goes with the architectural design or period of your house. A bad idea: Old-world cobblestones with a Midcentury Modern home.
- Materials: Choose materials that are used on the exterior of your home or in other hardscape elements. Also, think about whether the material complements the home’s style and colours and is available in your region.
- Size and Shape: Consider the width and length of the path, along with the shape. Do the size and shape relate to the scale of the home and landscape? Is it wide enough for a wheelbarrow or wheelchair?
- Safety: Can visitors move easily along the path without obstruction from width or texture?
- Maintenance: Do you want a special type of grass growing between the pavers, but you hate any kind of garden or lawn upkeep? Go for something simple and easy to maintain.
- Durability: Will it survive foot traffic and the elements?
- Texture: Slick and smooth can be slippery, while something with lots of bumps might be a challenge for people who use wheelchairs and need an accessible path.
- Lighting: If the path will be used in the evening, plan to illuminate it for safe passage.
- Drainage: You want a walkway, not a swamp. Choose a nonporous material for easy drainage, like permeable concrete pavers.
Discover materials, designs, and solutions for your next walkway project.
A flagstone walkway is deeply embedded in a lush carpet of fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. Folia Horticultural and Design achieved the look for this home on Mercer Island, Washington by positioning the organic-shaped stones about 8 inches apart on the edge of the front slope, which is planted with ornamental grasses like Miscanthus sinensus ‘Gracillimus.’ The path leads to the home’s entry.
Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture used the existing grade change of this home to integrate the landscape with the main house. The property, set on 20 acres with views of Lake Champlain in Vermont, features segmented stone walkways that connect the home with the guest house. The rectangular stepping stones, laid out in a gently curving pattern, are
bluestone treated with a thermal finish set in local crushed stone.
In Living Color
Michelle Derviss Landscape Design
Cast-concrete pavers let you stop along a winding path to admire the colourful foliage of ornamental grasses, succulents, and cannas in this Northern California garden. Landscape designer Michelle Derviss used an aged redwood and fir bark mulch, which is soft to walk on if you veer off the path. Softwood mulches like this help to feed the soil. Derviss also recommends cedar or pine mulch.
Common Ground Landscapes
A slightly curving walkway is made of Mesabi-black granite from Minnesota in this design by Common Ground Landscapes for a house in Glenwood Beach, Michigan. The darker stone complements the home’s light exterior and echoes the grey roof.
Sandblasted and sealed concrete pads in Davis’ warm Adobe allows visitors to easily navigate the slight ascent of this modern home in Central Washington. Designed by McClellan Architects, the entryway now includes a stone fountain positioned in the cutout at the top platform.
A sustainable house in Austin, Texas designed by Cornerstone Architects mixes warm natural finishes, like stained wood with grey-toned concrete and local limestone. Nestled into a hill, the home offers privacy and seclusion from the street, yet the entry was designed to be warm and welcoming by using an open design featuring flat, textured concrete and dark pea gravel with sculptural agaves.
An entry courtyard featuring cut stone with Madison Gold 1/2-inch gravel complements the architectural elements of this beautiful contemporary Arizona home. Designed by Bryan Rains of Rains Design and built by Regency Custom Homes, the private courtyard is accessed via a custom-fabricated gate.
Accent on Red
Ed Gohlich Photography
Traditional bricks set in a running-bond pattern lead toward the front door of this charming San Diego cottage-style home. Gatling Design bordered the path and flower beds with bricks in a soldier pattern to edge and tie in with the walkway. Deep red begonias and a Kolbe Sangria door continue that red accent throughout the landscape.
Flagstone and Ground Cover
Zeterre Landscape Architecture
Flagstones for paths are cut or split along natural fissure lines, creating slim, flat paving. For this sloping walkway designed by Zeterre Landscape Architecture, Arizona pink flagstone features the tight-growing ground cover Dymondia for a naturalistic look. Other plants used in this California Bay area landscape include Armeria, Lavender, and Fortnight Lily.
A charming three-story wooden house in Saugerties, New York features a landscape designed by Phillippe Soule with a walkway that echoes the lines of the home. Peeking through the paving stones is the ground cover Lamium maculatum. Other plants used in the garden include Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low,’ Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna,’ Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue,’ Baptista Australis, Anemone robustissima, and Phlox.
John Gaylord Photography
On a street corner in Santa Monica is a 5,000-square-foot Industrial Modern house surrounded by bungalows, Spanish Colonials, and single-story homes. Designed by architect Christopher Mercier of (fer) studio, the homeowners favoured California modernism.
“I took those notions and stretched them,” said Mercier in the Los Angeles Times. “I merged volumes and created flow, but not in a modular fashion. I wanted to allow for more shifting and diagonal movement.”
Landscape designer Victoria Pakshong repeated the home’s diagonal lines in the concrete walkways, which have score lines for texture and interest. The surrounding planting beds are filled with bark mulch. The lowered exterior rear patio (at the roof cover) is porcelain tile to match the first floor inside the house.
A walkway created with vivid mosaic tiles meanders across the front garden and up to the porch of this Northern California home. Landscape designer Michelle Derviss used bright blue cracked tiles as the walkway’s background, with remnant tiles in assorted colours and pebbles forming the organic leaf shapes. The mosaic path’s colours are repeated in the oranges, yellows, purples, greens, and blues of the garden plants, which are primarily succulents.
Path to a View of Red Rocks
C & H Landscaping
Square stone pavers set on soft bark mulch lead to a natural buff flagstone patio of a home in Colorado. Designed by C & H Landscaping, the xeriscape blends with native plants including striking yellow torch lilies (Kniphofia). The garden offers breathtaking views of Red Rocks Canyon.
Equestrian Estate Entryway
A smooth, clean, stone walkway designed by Blackwell Architecture leads to a modern equestrian estate in Canada with a slanted (pitched) roof. The flat, tight-fitting stone used for the front path wisely doesn’t compete with the compound’s architectural materials, which include basalt, cedar siding, heavy fir beams, and zinc panels for the roofs, designed by RHEINZINK and custom fabricated by Ace Copper Specialists.
Around the Corner
Lisa Hallett Taylor
What’s more intriguing than a path that disappears? At a house in Altadena, California, round aggregate pavers in a sea of Zoysia tenuifolia, aka Korean grass, wind past a couple corners from the sidewalk to the patio.
Saltillo and Tile
William Short Photography and Kendra Maarse Photography
A Spanish Colonial Revival house in San Marino, California, near Pasadena, features an entry garden with natives like climbing Bougainvillea and succulents. Landscape architect Nord Eriksson of EPT Design used Demac stamped concrete on the walkways, for a colour and texture that gives more authenticity to the 1920s-era home. Rollins-Andrew Interiors designed the Saltillo tile with painted Mexican ceramic tile risers, which show from the street and add to the home’s curb appeal.
Pavers and Pebbles
SinglePoint Design Build
The front path of this modern farmhouse-style home designed by SinglePoint Design Build features integral-coloured concrete walk pads surrounded by 3-inch river rock pebbles. In place of an asphalt or plain concrete driveway are 3-x-12-inch Stepstone pavers, which are also used for the Northern California home’s back patio.
Michelle Derviss Landscape Design
Some locations in a landscape are suited for a mix of materials. This Northern California walkway created by Michelle Derviss Landscape Design features cut stone, flagstone, and pebbles set in mortar for a variation of a mosaic-style process.
To the Private Patio
Lisa Hallett Taylor
An eclectic home in Venice, California features basic square terracotta tiles set in pea gravel, leading to a red-painted enclosure that is a private, four-walled hideaway.
Lisa Hallett Taylor
Decomposed granite (DG) is a smart solution for a front path that features drought-tolerant, native landscaping. The driveway of this house in Santa Monica is also made of DG, which is gritty granite rock that binds together when compacted and doesn’t kick up dust when you walk or drive a car on it.