A Guide to Paving For Your Outdoor Spaces

Andrew Little

May 22, 2024

2 Men and a Shovel - A Guide to Paving For Your Outdoor Spaces

Paving Your Garden

As landscapers in Melbourne, we’ve seen first-hand how the right hardscaping choices can transform an outdoor space. Paving, in particular, plays a crucial role in enhancing the functionality and aesthetic appeal of gardens, patios, driveways, and pathways. In this article, we’ll share insights on the various materials you can use for paving in Australia, along with some design ideas to help you create the perfect outdoor environment.

Understanding Hardscaping and Paving

Hardscaping refers to the non-living elements of landscaping, such as patios, pathways, driveways, and retaining walls. Paving is a significant component of hardscaping, involving the use of materials like stone, brick, and concrete to create durable and attractive surfaces.

Materials for Paving

When it comes to paving in Australia, the choice of materials can greatly impact the look and feel of your outdoor space. Here are some popular options:

Natural Stone

  • Sandstone: Known for its natural beauty and variety of colours, sandstone is a popular choice for Melbourne gardens. It offers a warm, rustic charm that blends well with the Australian landscape.

  • Bluestone: This durable, dense stone is perfect for high-traffic areas. Its deep blue-grey colour provides a sleek, modern look, making it ideal for contemporary designs.
Bluestone pavers and stepping stones that were installed by 2 Men and a Shovel.
  • Granite: Granite’s strength and resistance to weathering make it a great choice for outdoor paving. Available in a range of colours, it can add a touch of elegance to any space.

  • Travertine: Great for its natural durability and is lightly textured, making it a good choice for patios, pathways, and pool surrounds. Its variety of earthy tones and unique texture can add a timeless and elegant look.
Travertine tiles that were installed by 2 Men and a Shovel.

Brick Paving

Brick paving is a classic choice that adds a timeless appeal to your garden. It’s durable, slip-resistant, and available in various colours and patterns. Brick paving is often used for pathways and patios, complementing both traditional homes.


  • Poured Concrete: This versatile material can be customised with various finishes, colours, and patterns. It’s cost-effective and durable, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

  • Concrete Pavers: These precast units come in numerous shapes, sizes, and colours. They’re easy to install and replace, which is ideal for pathways and patios.

Porcelain Pavers

Porcelain is gaining popularity for its durability, low maintenance, and modern appearance. It’s available in many styles that mimic natural stone, providing a sleek and sophisticated look.

Paving Design Ideas

Now that we’ve covered the materials, let’s explore some design ideas that can elevate your outdoor space.

Classic Pathways

Create charming garden pathways using brick or natural stone. A herringbone or basket weave pattern in brick paving can add a traditional touch, while a random pattern with sandstone slabs can give a more rustic feel.

2 Men and a Shovel - Landscaping - Block and pavers
Paving by 2 Men and a Shovel.

Modern Patios

For a contemporary look, consider using large-format bluestone or porcelain pavers. Pair them with clean lines and minimalistic furniture to create a stylish outdoor entertaining area.

Courtyard Spaces

Small courtyards can be transformed with the right paving choices. Use light-coloured sandstone or granite to brighten the area and make it appear more spacious. Incorporate raised garden beds or planter boxes to add greenery without taking up too much space.

Landscaping - Block and Paver Melbourne - 2 Men and a Shovel
Paving leading to the backyard that was completed by 2 Men and a Shovel.

Things to Consider

When planning your paving project, keep these practical considerations in mind:

Climate and Weather

Melbourne’s climate, with its mix of hot summers and cool, wet winters, requires materials that can withstand these conditions. Natural stone and concrete are generally good choices for their durability.


Consider the level of maintenance required for each material. Natural stone may need sealing to protect against staining, while brick and concrete pavers might require periodic cleaning and resealing.


Your budget will also influence your material choice. While natural stone can be more expensive, it offers unparalleled beauty and longevity. Concrete and brick are more cost-effective options that still provide excellent results.


Proper installation is crucial for the longevity of your paving. Ensure you have a solid base and proper drainage to prevent issues like sinking or water pooling. Consider hiring a professional to install the block and pavers. Get in touch with 2 Men and a Shovel for an onsite quote.

2 Men and a Shovel - installing brick pavers
Our team, installing pavers.
Pavers installed by 2 Men and a Shovel.

Enhancing Your Paved Areas

To get the most out of your paved areas, consider these additional enhancements by incorporating outdoor lighting to highlight pathways and patios, making them safe and usable at night. Solar-powered lights are an eco-friendly option that adds ambience.

Define the edges of your paving with contrasting materials or plants. This not only improves the look but also helps keep the paving in place and prevents overgrowth. You can also choose outdoor furniture that complements your paving material. Add elements like fire pits, water features, or built-in seating to create a more inviting space.

Finally, integrate plants into your design to soften the hardscape and add colour and life to your space. Use ground covers, ornamental grasses, and small shrubs to create a balanced look.

Landscaping and hardscaping by 2 Men and a Shovel.

Paving is an essential aspect of hardscaping that can significantly enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your outdoor space. Whether you opt for natural stone, brick, concrete, or porcelain, the right choice of materials and thoughtful design can transform your garden, patio, driveway, or pathway into a beautiful and practical area.

As a landscaping company in Melbourne, we’ve seen how well-planned paving can change the entire look and feel of a property. By considering your climate, budget, and maintenance preferences, you can select the perfect paving materials and design to suit your needs. So, take the time to plan your hardscaping project carefully, and enjoy the transformation of your outdoor space.