A two-tone patio is a sophisticated addition to your garden. We pick out top design projects that show the potential of mix and match pavers.

Roof terrace with steps down from decking to mix and match patio slabs in black and white. Raised planters and uplit trees.
This impressive roof terrace by Danscape Gardens gives the paved area character with mix and match patio slabs in Slab Coke and Slab Khaki paving.

The advent of porcelain paving in recent years has added a new dimension to patio design. Whereas mixing different natural stone pavings tends to involve similar colours with contrasting textures —sandstone slabs and setts, for example—the consistent, manufactured texture of porcelain means that colour contrast can move into the spotlight.

Putting pattern into paving

Paving in contrasting colours offers the opportunity to incorporate the clean lines that are an integral part of modern design. Crisp, precise lines are vital, however, and it’s porcelain’s exact measurements that makes it perfect for contemporary gardens.

For an ultra-modern outdoor space, Dan Jones, of Danscape Gardens, London, chose Slab Coke and Slab Khaki porcelain combine in a crisp, geometric pattern.  These two, from our Premium Italian collection, make a natural combination. With no dimensional variation between slabs, and the same texture and smooth colour consistency, they create very crisp lines and a sleek presentation.  

Danscape Gardens, Slab Khaki and Slab Coke Porcelain
Slab Coke and Slab Khaki Porcelain combine in a crisp, geometric pattern in this design by David Male, built by Danscape Gardens, London.

Using standard 596 x 596 mm slabs, Danscape paid special attention to the groundwork. “Given that it's such a nice product,” says Dan, “we spent some time preparing the ground, which saves time laying. Porcelain is a pleasure to work with.”

How to point mix-and-match patio slabs

Heavily contrasting pavers create their own challenges, because pointing threatens to interrupt blocks of colour. However, porcelain’s uniformity makes it easier. “We could have found a middle ground colour, but I wanted to make sure it was perfect,” says Dan.

The solution was to get Larsen to match both porcelains. Slab Khaki was then pointed with Buff, and Slab Coke with Charcoal. “We got a perfect colour match to the porcelain, and the grain was the same, so when the two colours met they didn't create any more contrast and bring unwanted attention to the seams.”

A two-tone patio in a small garden

View down onto small town garden with two-tone patio. Inbuilt bench seating sits between planters against tall clad wall.
The generous wooden benches give plenty of room for lounging, while the mix-and-match patio slabs disguise the size of the space and add an interesting feature in this small city garden designed by Georgia Lindsay.

Mix and match pavers help inject interest into small town garden designs where you might not have room for additional features. In this courtyard garden, Georgia Lindsay also chose Slab Coke and Slab Khaki for their compatibility.

Stripes of contrast paving draw the eye and break up the paved area so its size is not immediately obvious. Proportion is important—narrow stripes will appear busier, wide stripes more static.

Mix and match with plank paving

Light Grey and Steel Grey porcelain planks edge paved areas, linked by staggered path.
Light Grey porcelain planks provide frame different areas of patio, in this design by JA Dodds Landscapes

An easy way to create a two-tone patio is to add plank paving to paving design. It not only adds colour contrast, but also interest with its linear form and is an ideal choice for edging and banding, as in the design above.

Designer Hilary Oakley enjoys being able to mix it up a bit. “Combining different porcelains helps contrast. You could have a grey porcelain and run contrasting colour through it, or lay all grey and put edging round.”

2 tone patio of Cinder and light grey porcelain paving with rectangular planter at back of white painted house.
Cinder porcelain edges light grey slabs and is used for the step down from the house in details that unite the two blocks of colour in this design by Hilary Oakley.

However, it can offer much more than just detailing. Recently, Oakley Landscapes had clients who wanted to distinguish two areas and plumped for Cinder porcelain with lighter grey slabs. They also wanted the step down from the house in Cinder. The combination helps unite the overall garden design. Cinder blends with the colour of the tiles on the (out of picture) summer house, while Cinder edging and coping help anchor the design.

Unite a large space with mix and match pavers

Cream and Steel Grey porcelain slabs and planks zone a wide 2 tone patio into areas for dining and relaxing. Steps up to lawn.
Gardens of the Future cleverly mix and match pavers and planks into a two-tone zoned patio for relaxing and dining.

Gardens of the Future chose Cream and Steel Grey porcelain for a wide patio with steps up to the lawn. Using two colours zones the space into a seating area with fire pit table and a dining section with barbecue. However, they united the two areas by wrapping the Cream paving around the Charcoal and inserting wide contrasting planks that add movement but also give a yin/yang design touch.

Large square paved area in charcoal porcelain paving with light grey stripes next to path with modern pergola. Lawn beyond.
The Light Grey porcelain framing of the Charcoal paving lightens the effect and adds a dynamic quality in this design by Landtech.

Charcoal porcelain is a versatile choice, offering useful contrast with a variety of colours. In this impressive project, Landtech have mitigated the size of the paved area with wide banding. Choosing Charcoal as the main colour allows the precision-laid banding to echo the upright features of the garden.

Setts for patterned paving

Stool sits on Charcoal and Light Grey porcelain setts in chequerboard pattern, with large patio and pergola covered path behind.
Landtech Landscape Contractors chose Charcoal and Light Grey porcelain setts to create this two-tone pattern in an intimate seating area, part of a much larger project.

For a more intimate feel, going small can be the answer. In another part of the garden, the colour combination continues in the seating area, in a chequerboard pattern of setts that gives a cosy feel.

Using setts for patio design is another simple but versatile way to add contrasting colour and detail.

We're here to help

Slab Coke and Slab Khaki, Charcoal and Steel Grey porcelain are just two combinations which work well from our wide range of porcelain paving colours. All are available with matching step treads and coping. Browse our website, or visit our showrooms, where you'll find all our porcelain colours on display, and a cup of bean-to-cup coffee ready and waiting.

Updated: September 2023