Since chasing a "green lawn" has become a dream in my area, many homeowners have installed "desert landscape" instead, sometimes with some help from their water company.
I've done it more than two dozen times.
This has been my best approach, you have to realize that it can't be the same everywhere:
1. Kill the weed and grass (do you have any?) chemically and by removing it.
2. Remove and grade dirt close to walkways, you want your finish rock lower than the
concrete. Remove or bury sprinkler lines and risers.
3. Apply a weed screen. Here is the thing: It may be effective subject to conditions beyond your control. Since weed screen is expensive and not always much more effective than 6mm plastic, I started to use plastic sheets that would last 3-4 summers. Beyond that, I started going after weed aggressively, but I had much less weed than before.
4. Create your own border design to separate between the different kinds of rock, pebbles or gravel you plan to use.
5. If you want to plant cacti and succulents plan for that. I opted to put them in different size pots on top of the finish gravel and water by hand, they don't need much water, or you can do drip irrigation controlled by a timer. My plant investment was less than $300.
6. As the years go by, weed pop up especially after the rain (Jan-Feb in my area) so I use weed killer in a sprayer to get rid of the weed.
7. Remember, it's not a weed free, care free, maintenance free system - it's a low maintenance system where you have to stay on top of it. Still a lot less expensive and labor than maintaining a lawn and trying to keep it green.
8. It has worked for me, will it work for you? I think it's up to you. For sure you'll save water and labor. You will have neighbors commenting about how your solution looks so great.
My water supplier sends out average water consumption reports every 2 months, and we are at the lowest water consumption level every time.