What is a Circular Driveway?
A circular driveway fronts the entrance to a home and curves outward and then back on to itself in a circular manner.
This type of driveway is usually reserved for relatively large properties or at least those with a large entrance at the front or front garden.
In some cases, homeowners have semi-circular driveways installed instead, whether it be due to design preference or because of space limitations.
A circular driveway can provide a household with more room to park their cars. With more room to drive and exit, it makes it easier for homeowners to move their cars in and out, particularly if those living in the property own two or more cars.
You may simply choose a circular driveway for its aesthetic value, however. Another benefit of a circular driveway is the value they can add to a property for reselling.
Horseshoe Circular Driveway Ideas
As you’d guess, a horseshoe circular driveway is shaped somewhat like an upside-down ‘U’. It is a semi-circular driveway, albeit it is somewhat closer to resembling a semi-oval than a semi-circle, to be specific.
There’s a lot of possibilities worth considering when it comes to a horseshoe driveway. Let’s break down some noteworthy ideas.
Mixing It Up
As with any broad circular driveway design, a horseshoe circular driveway can vary quite a lot from its original outline and even become something of a hybrid with other designs. This will depend on what you plan to use the driveway for.
If aesthetics are the most important part of building a circular driveway, then a standard approach is probably better.
One way of mixing up a horseshoe circular driveway is to add a straight driveway part off to the side that meets one end of the horseshoe design or the other.
This could end up acting as a h-shape or reverse h-shaped circular driveway, with the straight section providing added room to drive and park vehicles.
This could free up more space on the driveway with the vehicles further out of the way, such as if you wanted to have more open space in the garden.
Other ways of ‘mixing up’ the design include adding different cross-sections of the driveway or even adding a footpath in the middle of the driveway.
As with any circular driveway, you could add a footpath crossing from one side of the driveway to another and with pebbles, stones, or lawn in front of and behind the footpath.
This would create a nice little garden space in the middle of the garden.
To enhance your circular driveway, you should consider adding garden elements. You might add hedges, bushes, flowers, trees, or/and pottery work, among other garden features, from the natural to the manmade.
You might even want to add water fountains or other water features like a pond, rills, fountains, water blades, drilled rocks, rills, and cascades.
Semi Circular Driveway Ideas
As with a horseshoe circular driveway, semi-circular driveways, in general, do not complete a full circle and instead curve around in two directions with two distinct entrances/exits from the property.
There’s a lot of variation worth considering when it comes to designing a semi-circular driveway.
The same gardening ideas discussed in the prior section would apply here, hence why we won’t delve into gardening ideas again for this section.
Mixing It Up
As with a horseshoe circular driveway, any semi-circular driveway can have added elements to increase its utility.
Creating a h or reverse h-shaped semi-circular driveway is, of course, a useful approach for reasons already discussed. You may also want to think of connecting the straight driveway element to a garage.
This way, the driveway has added use. The purpose of having a rounded driveway with a garage is for easy access and to leave with ease.
You might want to therefore park just one car in the garage at any one time.
Alternatively, you may simply prefer to at least have access to the garage, even if you leave your car park outside most of the time.
If stormy or icy weather is in the forecast, having access to your home’s garage on occasion could prove very helpful.
Teardrop Circular Driveway Ideas
This type of circular driveway is designed so that the area surrounded by the driveway is shaped like an upside-down teardrop. Therefore, please note that teardrop circular driveways only have one entrance/exit point.
Given that a teardrop circular driveway has different sized and shaped sections, it is easier to separate gardening features with this type of design.
For example, you might choose to have a horseshoe formation of bushes or flowers at the wider end of the teardrop but a smaller set of gardening features at the other end of the teardrop. Such an approach would leave you wide a nice open space in the middle of the teardrop.
Of course, you could try a whole host of design ideas, whether it be with the use of water features, garden benches, or/and plant pots, among an endless list of considerations.
It is easier to make a well-designed multi-section area surrounded by a driveway that also is aesthetically pleasing if the area is a teardrop design.
Circular Driveway Materials
One of the most important considerations for creating a circular driveway is what material you’d like to use. In this section, we’ll look closer at the various materials that you may choose to go for.
Concrete Circular Driveway Ideas
One of the most prominent material choices for a driveway is concrete. Firstly, it is one of the most cost-effective options, and it does not require as much maintenance as other materials.
Concrete is also durable, customisable, offers a good appearance, and is suitable for a wide range of weather conditions.
With that said, concrete driveways are more difficult to repair (even if issues are less likely to arise for some time), can crack with time, and are prone to staining.
Given that they can be better customised, there are plenty of colourful and vibrant designs, including patterned designs that you may like to go with if you choose to have a concrete circular driveway.
Various shapes and textures are also more readily available if you choose a circular concrete driveway. You may decide to go with a red, orange, or brownish palette of colours or a set tone other than grey or black.
For a more extravagant approach, you might choose to apply two colours in a given pattern (e.g. blue and white for a Mediterranean seaside aesthetic) or a multi-coloured pattern. The options are obviously close to endless.
For complex designs, you may choose to hire a professional designer to help you out as they may either supplement your ideas or provide you with plenty of interesting ideas/designs that fit within the general aesthetic paradigm you’re after with a concrete circular driveway.
Contrasting colours tend to work well. For instance, a black driveway and a white or light grey house would go well together, as would a grey/light brown driveway and a dark red brick house.
Of course, what colours and tones work well together will depend on your preferences, but it is worth taking a look at the colour wheel for some inspiration.
The colours that are opposite one another tend to work well in unison. This is based on colour theory.
Asphalt Circular Driveway Ideas
This material for a driveway usually consists of sand, rock, and asphalt cement. Asphalt is a monolithic material just like concrete, with modular materials being the opposite (e.g. pavers).
Asphalt is more flexible than concrete, even if it too is prone to cracking over time. The fact that it is less likely to experience significant cracking is one clear advantage of choosing asphalt over concrete for making a circular driveway.
Asphalt is also better able to handle harsh wintry weather and is generally cheaper than concrete. It can be installed with ease, and it’s fairly manageable to fix them in a DIY manner.
On the other hand, asphalt driveways are relatively limited when it comes to design and appearance.
They are also more prone to overheating, do not tend to last as long as concrete driveways, require more maintenance, and do not add the same value to your property for reselling as a concrete driveway.
Another issue is that plants and tree roots can easily damage an asphalt circular driveway.
Gravel Circular Driveway Ideas
These driveways are a fantastic environmentally-friendly alternative to asphalt circular driveways.
They are affordable, easy to maintain, and enable a great level of water drainage and are not too challenging to install.
On the downside, it’s hard to remove ice or snow from gravel driveways. Beyond that, ruts can develop on such driveways. Also, gravel surfaces get dirtier than other driveways tend to.
When it comes to a gravel circular driveway, it’s probably best to stick to a single colour, but choosing the right one can create a nice contrast with surrounding elements.
Peachy-brownish gravel could contrast well with the green of grass and other gardening features that the driveway surrounds.
Resin Circular Driveway Ideas
This type of paving combines resin with aggregate stones. For starters, resin circular driveways are not especially expensive, they are quick to install, easy to maintain, do not have many drainage issues, and are durable and flexible.
If you plan to use plenty of vehicles on your property, resin is worth considering.
A resin circular driveway will not be prone to stone particles loosening and falling off due to water.
It can also act as a prevention tool against flooding due to its absorption qualities.
However, the colours of resin driveways are more likely to fade than with other materials, they are vulnerable to moss growth, and there is a higher risk of stains.
Resin driveways can be complemented well by brickwork at the edge of the driveway, especially if they are of a different and at least somewhat contrasting colour tone.
Bricks could also be lined up around the edges of each side of the driveway as a decorative effect.
Clearly, this could also be done with other types of driveways based on the materials used.