Like a beautiful piece of modern art hanging in an entryway, the concrete driveway leading up to your home can make a dramatic statement about your design style and tastes. With a few creative techniques, you can turn a concrete driveway into a contemporary art form that will update the overall look of your home and enhance its curb appeal. Even better, installing a modern concrete driveway can often save you money because the simple finishes and understated colors are typically more economical than elaborate decorative stamped concrete designs (see Cost of a Concrete Driveway). Check out these stunning examples.

Modern Concrete Outdoors

Download this style palette to discover how concrete with geometrical patterns and smooth finishes can be used outdoors to achieve a modern look.
Modern Style Guide (PDF)


  • Choose large tile or checkerboard patterns, as opposed to the more rustic look of stamped stone.
  • Go with a simple color scheme favoring white, gray, or charcoal tones, sometimes enhanced by bolder accent colors.
  • Add subtle texture in keeping with a modern aesthetic using seamless texture skins. Broom finishes are another great way to lightly texture plain concrete.
  • Incorporate large rectangular, square, or diamond-shaped patterns, separated by narrow strips of stone or grass.
  • For maximum curb appeal, keep your modern concrete driveway in harmony with your home's color scheme and surroundings. Although decorative concrete is meant to dazzle, it should never be a distraction.

Tom Ralston Concrete in Santa Cruz, CA

Channel Your Inner Zen

Rectangular slabs of concrete separated by 6-inch-wide channels of decorative stone add Zen-like flair to this modern driveway. Offsetting the concrete slabs to incorporate pockets of greenery seamlessly blends the hardscape with the surrounding landscape. See more ideas for combining concrete with natural stone.

LA Concrete Works in West Hills, CA

Expose the Aggregate

Combining aesthetics and functionality, an exposed aggregate finish is obtained by placing concrete and then removing the top layer of cement paste to uncover colored decorative aggregate. The pretty pebble-like surface is a modern take on a gravel driveway, with the added benefit of being highly durable and skid resistant.

Diamond D Company in Capitola, CA

Choose a Seamless Texture

Seamless stamps, or texture skins, impart stone-like texture to concrete, but with no obvious pattern, resulting in a driveway that looks like one continuous piece of stone. You can use seamless patterns to create a base texture that can be embellished with hand-tooled joints or custom colors, allowing you to customize your driveway to complement your home design. Another benefit is that the installation time is quicker than with patterned stamps, which often lowers the cost.

SUNDEK of San Antonio in San Antonio, TX

Create Large-Scale Tile

Sawcutting an oversized tile or diamond pattern into a concrete driveway gives it the look of an elegant outdoor floor, with the joints serving as faux grout lines. Applying a light spray-textured coating to the concrete creates an attractive, skid-resistant surface that resembles a classic rock-salt finish.

LA Concrete Works in West Hills, CA

Add Circular Sawcuts

A concrete driveway sawcut into concentric circles needs no other adornments to make a big impact. It creates an intriguing contrast with the rectangular elements of the home’s architecture while bringing everything into geometric balance. See more ideas for creating circular patterns in concrete driveways.

Captain Concrete Inc. in Abbotsford, BC

Let It Grow

Oversized slabs of light-colored concrete separated by bands of grass create an elegant pattern that blends into the greenery of the surrounding landscape. Not only do the strips of grass eliminate the need for joints by providing natural crack control, they also improve drainage by soaking up water runoff.

Shades of Color, Inc. in Littleton, CO

Add Subtle Interest

Easily add interest and artistry to gray concrete with concrete stains and sealer. The subtle color enhancement on this modern driveway coordinates with the gray tones on the homes’ second-story cladding. Plus the grid of control joints echoes the grid on the contemporary garage door.

KMM Decorative Concrete in Holly Springs, NC

Be Swept Away

One of the simplest finishes for plain concrete is a broom finish, which creates a pattern of fine lines in the surface to provide texture and contrast. Bordering the brushed concrete with joint lines edged with a smooth finish creates an attractive picture-frame effect. Learn more about broom-finished concrete.

SA Construction Inc in Canonsburg, PA

Give It a Swirl

A swirled finish, created by hand troweling, is another simple way to embellish a concrete driveway with a decorative pattern. The texture can be coarse, medium, or smooth depending on the tool used to impart the pattern. Wood floats create coarser textures. Aluminum floats or steel trowels create medium or smooth finishes. See more types of textured concrete finishes.

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