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Contrasting materials can be mixed for a special effect.

Materials may contrast in texture but have colours bearing a close resemblance to each other. They may differ in colour but have a similar size, shape, and surface. The emphasis might be on blending materials into a pattern.

Simple patterns such as a grid or checkerboard lend themselves to casual patio styles and can be easily accomplished with any square or rectangular paving material.

Gather a small assortment of the pavings in advance and lay out a sample section of the area to be certain that they blend together in functional and visually pleasing ways.

Carefully inspect your pavement on a regular basis for cracks, fading pavement markings, and other signs of failure or liability issues

Sometimes the most visually satisfying patios result from the juxtaposition of contrasting materials or from unexpected combinations of similar ones.

The effects can be subtle or stimulating, depending on the mixture and the medium.

A patio laid primarily with rectangular-cut flagstones can seem a little less formal with smaller pieces of contrasting stone placed here and there or grouped in a border.

A dark brick patio edged with white crushed stone appears crisp and tailored.

A light concrete surface accented with bright tile stripes takes on visual punch.

Contrasting colors and textures are especially effective in bringing plain masonry to life and drawing the eye away from potentially monotonous surfaces.

Special effects can be achieved through patterns too. And, although brick is the material most often associated with pattern, concrete pavers, cut stone, tile, and small smooth rocks all lend themselves to unusual, even elaborate, designs.