Going guitar>distortion pedal>amp input will give you several options. Clean, clean with whatever distortion the pedal is set at, dirty (amp), really dirty with amp and pedal. All controllable by a switch or two.
Also be aware that once overdrive is activated, the volume pot on the guitar becomes a distortion level control to a greater degree. So, you can have an overdriven set up on the amp or pedal, and control the amount of distortion with the guitar.
You can also play about with where in the chain the distortion pedal comes, and try out send/return options too. Overdriven tubes certainly give a lovely distorted sound, but that may well not be the kind of sound you're after.Keep experimenting - making notes of what you do, but also consider whatever sound is brilliant in your front room won't sound the same on stage, or in the auditorium, for that matter. Sadly!