Concrete Design Ideas

Concrete has an unglamorous image as something councils use to make footpaths and this isn’t fair. Its design applications for the home are endless, both outside and in. Concrete isn’t just a boring material you only use for making driveways. We’ve listed its other design uses below.

Patios

These are found in any home, whether it’s made of pavers or a concrete slab. Patios are an essential part of the Australian lifestyle. Where else would you put the barbecue and the outdoor dining set?

The method for laying out a patio is the same as if you were installing a new driveway. You can choose the type of finish you want the concrete to have, colour and surface area.

Garden Beds

Inbuilt garden beds are great for adding a little life wherever they are. Contractors build them against a wall or as a stand-alone structure. They’re strong and versatile. You don’t even have to use the garden beds for plants. They make a great storage solution. If you build a garden bed but don’t plant anything, there’s another option. You can use it to store equipment overflowing from the shed or any kid’s toys lying around. Add some thick wooden or steel slats, some cushions and you have an extra seat!

Walls

Concrete walls are an out-of-the-box design idea for modern homes that get featured in the pages of home and real estate magazines. Tadao Ando, the Japanese architect, designed structures entirely made of concrete. He designed his buildings to use the natural light wherever they are, and purposefully left the walls bare to emphasise the beauty in simplicity.

Some homeowners, though, might not see things in Tadao’s perspective. Blank walls are blank canvases. They might hang several pieces of art on the walls or even commission a mural as something unique.

Concrete and rebar together make a near-indestructible combination. They are a great return on investment and provide something sturdy for the home. While concrete home designs are nothing new, people designing a home might not give them much consideration. They favour more “traditional” home builds. The above ideas show, however, that concrete and rebar have so much more potential than just making new footpaths.

Concrete: same name but different

Concrete is a core material in building and forms the bare bones of structures in modern cities. Not a lot of people give it thought until the time comes to use it, whether it be for renovating or starting a new project. There’s more to concrete than what you see on the surface.

But isn’t concrete the same anywhere?

Absolutely not. While concrete can withstand massive amounts of pressure (especially when poured over mesh) there are different types for different jobs. To start with, concrete mixes come with different load bearing capacities.

What load bearing capacities?

The amount of pressure put on concrete slabs varies by what area it’s used in. 2500 to 3000 psi types are favoured for interiors and pathways. But for more durability, builders favour 3500 psi concrete mixes. Using up to 5000 psi blends in a home is rare. This type is reserved for industrial areas like warehouses and places where there’s heavy foot and vehicle traffic.

Concrete in general, when combined with steel mesh, is resistant to cracks and high pressure when the right type is used. When you meet with the contractor, they’ll know what material is better suited for the job you want to do.

What if I want something different, like colours?

Concrete doesn’t have to be boring! The concept of colour with concrete is nothing new. Clients can special order the product through their contractor so that it will suit the tone of their home.

The building industry has been making steps to project a “high class” image. One example is Austral teaming up with Camilla Franks, the kaftan designer. They introduced a line of vividly coloured bricks to use for interior spaces.

When someone says “concrete” a boring, grey slab of stone comes to mind. However, there’s much more to it than appearances. Concrete is formulated to take on different amounts of pressure and clients can order it coloured if they want something that will add character to their project.