Concrete is that ubiquitous building material that’s been around since the beginning of civilization. It’s just incredibly durable (The Roman Colosseum comes to mind here, along with just about every lasting historical building).
Today, It’s used extensively for buildings, bridges, pavement, dams and even art! It outperforms wood, seldom ever needing repair and is malleable when first mixed. Concrete is versatile, and as I’ve already mentioned, long-lasting. It is simply a great material option across the board.
Image below: My husband, architect David Baird, pulled an associate out of retirement to form up this front façade of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Though a man-made material, it can be majestic, and natural when it weathers.
The Concrete Aesthetic…
Now that I’ve sold you on what a practical and wonderful choice concrete is, let’s talk about beauty.
Concrete is, for many modernists, a dream material. The aesthetic qualities of concrete are not just about the many great ways it can be shaped, but also about how it can feel. It evokes a sense of cool wonder and mystery while feeling familiar, delicate and spacious. It’s strong and solid… and states, “I am here!”
At My Office…
Our office, a renovated ’60’s garage where we used concrete slabs in our breeze walk. Note how it is delicately balanced with the wooden privacy screen and bamboo foliage in the backdrop –A peaceful outdoor space to revive our creativity.
(Bottom two Images) Inside our office space: The floor is sealed, unpolished concrete! The ceiling is just painted but the textured planks read through. We love rustic industrial naturally exposed buildings. They give character and warmth. Outside and in the back of our office: If you’ve got a new building, you can put a concrete wash on it, for some instant character. A more inexpensive way to get the concrete look. If you’ve got a new building, you can put a concrete wash on it for some instant character.
With a more elaborate finish and polish, concrete floors are just gorgeous. It’s the reason for their popularity over the last few years. Stained in rich dark variations of browns they can be very elegant and upscale.
Another simple way to get that concrete character is to use the concrete wash as a fireplace surround. I love the warm contrast of the reclaimed wood mantel which my client topped it with.
However, you don’t have build with concrete to have it anymore. Concrete texture wall mural are a big trend and great for anyone who wants to add that industrial feel to their space. Absolutely fabulous.
(Right Image) This here is often characterized as that “concrete look” but actually, its Moroccan plaster called “gray tadelakt,” which is waterproof and has been used for centuries in Europe and is now a global trend – A wonderful way to get that spa look in your bathroom.
By Architect, Elizabeth Roberts. Featured in Remodelista
There are just so many ways to design with concrete. It has long moved from indoor urban environments to countertops, walls, ceilings and even furniture for every home! This is the most interesting and exciting thing happening in concrete design. So I’ve put together a Pinterest board to showcase a plethora of my favorites. I’m personally drooling over these here they’ve complemented concrete with wood. Check out my pinboard to see many more inspiring ways to design with concrete.