While designing a home, a discerning architect keeps many essential things in mind. In addition to aesthetic appeal, there are practical considerations such as the durability, versatility and cost of the materials used to create a home that is singularly beautiful and intelligently designed.
The driveway to one’s home is the first place where one can make a statement of style, with strategically placed plants, lamps and elegant accents highlighting it. However, the most important element of a driveway is the material used for the surface. A driveway is subject to constant weathering from exposure to the sun and rain, and to erosion due to frequent traffic. That’s why it is imperative to select a surface material that is sturdy and resilient.
Traditionally, driveways have been paved with concrete or asphalt – materials that are robust but visually, rather unappealing. Increasingly, architects and designers are gravitating towards natural stone paving, which gives their driveways a sophisticated, earthy look and complements both modern and traditional design beautifully.
In natural stone, there is a variety of options to choose from. Granite is commonly used, because of its sturdiness and relative resistance to scratches. However, granite is porous, and likely to fade after prolonged exposure to the sun. It requires frequent polishing and high maintenance to maintain its allure. Marble, though also pleasing to the eye and available in many colours, is a softer stone, and therefore less resilient and not recommended for rigourous outdoor usage. A relatively less expensive option is sandstone, but due to its high porousness and susceptibility to damage, it isn’t resilient and last less than the other stones.
For those seeking an elegant stone driveway that also lasts long, Serpentine is an unconventional solution. This natural green stone assumes a tasteful grey colour when dry, which is neutral and chic. It is available in rough and semi-polished surface finishes, which are stylish, understated and require zero maintenance. Serpentine’s chemical properties make it harder and less porous than granite and other natural stones. It also has higher acid resistance, which adds to its durability. In addition to paving a driveway, it can be used for wall claddings, which can help bring balance to your design.