I think it best not to have too many different materials - three to four is ideal.
The grass needs mowing - as you know I favour differential mowing - having dfferent areas at different hieghts with paths mown through. I have written about it often (will try to link to those posts).
Gravel needs weeding, but is very forgiving and really useful for awkward shapes.
The paving here consists of a very straight path to the door of boring concrete slabs which ideally are power hosed once a year and need edging about once a year too. Functional. I don't try to make a 'feature' out of everything.
Plants are the most interesting of the 'floors'. Ideally shrubs, bulbs and perennials which only require cutting back in autumn. Several areas are both low maintenance and beautiful to look at. The bed under the cornus which I mentioned here is quite stunning when the geraniumss are in flower. Low Maintenance doesn't need to be boring!
I have fewer different plants than I used to have, but have increased the numbers of those which do best with least work. Here are some combinations that work here..
Geranium Roxanne and agapanthus give a long season of blue flowers. There is also a blue campanula lactiflora in this bed.
I like this green phase in the garden but soon all the bare earth will be covered and all the colours will start to come. Magenta, blue, purple and lime green mainly.
What I am after is low maintenance with the wow factor! Getting there.
Watch this space..