Concrete work can be complicated and challenging. This type of work is not ideal for the DIYer unless you have experience working with concrete. Doing smaller jobs like pouring a small concrete pad is a good place to start. But even the pad might need to be reinforced and smoothed depending on what is going to be on top of it.
For bigger projects like sidewalks, driveways, patios, and the like you are much better served to hire a professional who has all the right equipment and know-how to git it perfect and durable enough to withstand whatever might be on top of it.
For driveways and garage floors there needs to be enough rebar placed into and below the concrete to provide the reinforcement to withstand the very heavy loads that will be on in. This is not something you should guess at. The concrete will crack if this is not done correctly and then you have a big problem.
As far as aesthetics, there are a lot of options with concrete. You can have the concrete stamped or colored to suit whatever tastes you may have. Stamped patios can be quite stunning when done properly. There are a lot of pictures and information about this at a site called Richmond Concrete Pros. From this site you can learn a lot about your options.