We often focus on the interior of our homes – after all, it’s where we spend most of our time – but the exterior spaces can have a big impact on not just our lifestyle but our curb-appeal. With so many options out there for how to prepare our backyards and front entrances, it’s hard to know which to choose. Among them, gravel is one of our favorites: it’s easy to maintain, can be an eco-friendly option, and can elevate your home’s outdoor style.

Nowadays, we’re always conscious of how our home design decisions impact the environment. Especially in regions where water is scarce, grass is perhaps not the most responsible option. Gravel allows for water to dissipate into the ground, preventing dirt from going down into the gutters and drains and into our water supply. It requires a minimal amount of maintenance – it’s recommended to fill holes one to two times a year and doesn’t need to be repatched like pavement. And finally, for much less money than concrete or asphalt, you can achieve a stylish European-aesthetic. Check out our slideshow for five ways that gravel can transform your outdoor spaces.