If you have a patio, chances are you have concrete somewhere in it. Being a standard paving material, concrete has been widely used because of its durability, versatility and its easy maintenance. However, many people also thinks that those benefits aren’t enough to consider concrete as a viable alternative. In other words, they don’t mind how useful it is, they still feel concrete patios are dull and unattractive.
Though that may been the case some years ago, concrete has made a long way in recent times. Today, there’s an astonishing amount of possibilities you can do with it, and practically all of them can end up in a vibrant beautiful concrete patio. Basically, you just have to know how to take advantage of what concrete has to offer and how can you combine it with your existing layout. To help you with that, we compiled 5 easy-to-do tips that won’t break your budgetand will certainly change your patio for the better.
1 – Play with the concrete forms and designs
Gone are the days where concrete patios were made out of square shapes and straight lines. Today, you can go bold with your design and push it beyond your wildest dreams. In other words, you should be thinking you patio with curved concrete spaces to provide a sense of flow. This can also be applied to walkways, provided that you have enough room to do so.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also make some extra touches to your concrete spaces. For instance, you can use borders to frame them, which is a great option to dress up plain concrete. Additionally, you can use stamped pattern to combine with the borders and turn it all into a natural stone patio no one will look away from.
2 – Use lighting in your favor
Concrete absorbs a lot of heat , so you’ll surely want some shade over it – but not too much to block the natural light out. With that in mind, you should use plants and trees in your favor to change how your patio looks. Trees with distinctive foliage can cast interesting shadows that “play” over your concrete, bringing it to life and providing some appealing contrast.
When the night comes, having inviting lights is a must. But the trick here is not to overdo it. A few well-placed low-glow lights can go a long way, as long as they punctuate the proper spaces. Don’t be afraid to let some shadows stay in your patio here and there, as contrast gives vibrancy and provides a more intimate mood.
3 – Turn your patio into a journey with focal points
There’s more in concrete than a material to pave your paths. You can use it to create focal points (or a focal point, depending on the size of your patio) that can be connected with walkways to invite people to wander about and discover each of its corners. Don’t have a corner to do so? Create one! There’s nothing more interesting than a patio that has something “hidden” to offer.
And what’s that? There are lots of things you can build, from concrete furniture and fire pits to water features and outdoor kitchens! Your budget will define what you can and can’t do, but even the smallest focal point (such as a little fountain or the simplest of benches) can make an impact on your patio’s look.
4 – Add overhead structures
Similar to what we said in the lighting point, having an overhead structure (such as a pergola) definitely changes the feel of a concrete patio. It doesn’t just impact the lights but also provides a cozier and more private atmosphere to it all. You can arrange some furniture under it and create a space to gather with friends and family during warm days.
That’s not all. Such structure can serve you as a support for vines, which will add a great natural touch to it all. Don’t want that? No problem! You can install an audio system, a ceiling fan and, of course, some lights to make the space more welcoming and sophisticated.
5 – Go wild with color
Lastly, you should ditch the idea that concrete is dull, grey and lifeless. Now, concrete comes in lots of colors to combine with the rest of the home, so you should try to incorporate it in your patio. Naturally, you don’t want to throw colors in the mix just for the sake of it. Pick the tones that go along with your house as a whole and choose the ones that actually feel right. Remember, colors should add something extra but never become a distraction.
Another thing you have to keep in mind is that your home’s style will certainly limit the color possibilities for your concrete options. A coastal home isn’t the same as a Spanish house and that certainly is evident when colors make it to the stage. Be sure to ask your concrete contractor on which are your best options and then be sure to pick the one you love!
Concrete is now an amazing way to renew your patio and make it one of the most eye-catching spaces in your home. That’s why we suggest you go out there and start thinking what can you do with it – and just go for it!
Posted May 14, 2015
by Gabriel Posternak.