Decorative concrete flat work and most exterior hardscape surfaces are traditionally just one finish over the expanse of the project. This can be for a number of reasons including the extra cost involved for the contractor, availability of materials or even a lack of vision.
The best way to give a wow factor to any area id by incorporating the use of other elements into the design. This could include the use of borders, motif’s or dividing up the big area it to smaller sections and using contrasting finishes and textures to give the area more visual interest.
Most homes will have more than one finish to its exterior. For example, you may have a brick home that has a tile roof or a plastered exterior with a coloured tin roof. If a home was just one big box that was all the same colour and texture, it would not gain much interest. Your concrete or paved area should be no different. Some simple examples would be to the main area in a coloured concrete to match the colours of the walls of your house and have just a contrasting colour to match the colour of your roof or vice versa.
There is not right or wrong when it comes to choosing these effects, it comes down to a matter of taste.
Another way to break up the expanse is to adding a motif or emblem to the area to bring the attention to the space. In a business setting this could be their company logo or tagline. In a private residence it could be that they add a design to the centre of their driveway or a design to the middle of their patio area. Designs to the centre of a driveway can scream elegance and can look very upper class if done with taste.
By using contrasting textures you can also get the added benefit of combining finishes that are not so decorative but hard-wearing and dressing them up with a very high-end finish border or adjoining section that does not get so much traffic. What is very popular is to have a very low maintenance and hard wearing surface like exposed aggregate concrete for the main section of the driveway and potential turning circle which gets the most wear and tear and the using a more dressy finish to the border or front entry that is not gong to get the same beating. This way there is no risk of the more expensive finish deterioration over time.
With the huge range of finishes available today and the almost unlimited access to products which are so readily available compared to twenty years ago, the only limitation you really should have is your imagination and your budget.
Take the time to look through the internet for inspiration and talk to a number of contractors before starting your project to get the most aesthetically pleasing and practical space possible.