CD Designs Blog
At CD Designs, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide a top quality professional service at all stages of every project we do, including planning, design and implementation. When considering the design of your pattern imprinted driveway or patio, you should think hard about the stamped concrete pattern you want to use. There are a whole multitude to choose from, and they can give a wide variety of looks that are nearly indistinguishable from real slabs, bricks or tiles.
You can see our full range of concrete patterns while reading this article, open up that page so you can browse the gallery and see what the patterns we discuss look like. View our full range of pattern imprinted concrete colours.
Cobble stones can look rustic and charming – consider Country Cobble, European Fan or Old English Cobble for a really rural look, or London Cobble for a more uniform, big town feel. For colours, you could go for something traditional like Russett for an authentic look, or something a bit more outlandish like Platt Silver.
Our slate designs are also very popular, and give a striking look. What about Walkway Slate, La Habra Slate or Grand Ashar Slate, for a slightly different look and feel? Many different colours work well with slate, for example Slate Blue or Slate Green if you want something darker, and Arizona Tan or Steadman Buff if you want a lighter, brighter effect.
But that’s not all. You might want something a bit less uniform, or a slightly more unusual pattern. Why not consider Herringbone Brick, or Random Stone?
If you want help choosing a pattern and colour combination, please get in touch!
29th September 2011
Retaining walls are a necessity to some of us for keeping a garden’s flower beds and other features in place: especially if your garden is on a large slope. But the need for retaining walls is often a pain in terms of the overall design — they can often be ugly, and stick out like a sore thumb. This needn’t be the case however; here we will share with you some ideas for better looking retaining walls.
For a start, you can turn to your old, trusted friend – pattern imprinted concrete. This is a great idea as it is cheap, durable, and you can get it coloured and patterned to give you pretty much any look you want for fitting into your overall design, whether that is modern stone slabs, rustic stone walls, or wooden planks!
If you are looking for something a bit more authentic, you could consider real wood or stone. For smaller, lightweight jobs you should consider wooden panelling, and for heavy duty jobs, what about old fashioned floorboards, or even railway sleepers stacked on top of one another? Wood looks great, but requires more maintenance – it does need treating and retreating at regular intervals so that it will last.
Stone is also worth considering, for a variety of looks – a fairly common option is piled up natural stone, held together with wire netting, for an industrial look. Or how about a dry stone wall? You can also achieve a nice look with stacked slate, or granite blocks.
Lastly, you can even consider metal sheeting. Don’t worry about rust, as it can actually add to the look, which will change over time.
26th September 2011
The title says it all, but then again, what do we mean? We are referring to another smart concrete innovation that we discovered recently, this time over in Ahmadabad, India. The “house with balls” cost just $12,000 to build, and was created by construction firm Matharoo Associates. The balls in question are weights for the large shutters on both sides of the house, which open and close via an ingenious pulley system. It gives the house a remarkable animated feel, as the concrete baubles swing gently in the wind when the shutters are partially open, or dip into the lily padded ponds when the shutters are fully open. You can see plenty of pictures over at dezeen.com.
Who would live in a house like this? It belongs to the owner of an aquarium – the house contains four huge tanks, used for breeding his fish. It provides perfect conditions for this, as he can control the temperature via the shutters. And when he is not there, it doubles as a weekend retreat for himself, and paying guests. It provides ample living space for relaxing or merrymaking, and opening the shutters opens the whole area up, to provide more space and completely different dynamic!
And yes, it’s nearly all built using concrete! Another testament to the durability and low cost of our favourite building material.
24th September 2011
As our regular readers will know well by now, we are very passionate about creating pattern imprinted concrete driveways, patios, and other external home features that will amaze and delight. But we are also very interested in exploring other uses of our favourite building material. In this article we’ll explore nine alternative uses of concrete around the home.
- Concrete is great for work surfaces and counter tops. You can get it looking like just about any material you want given the right combination of pattern imprints, colours and stains, and you can seal it to make it hard wearing and long lasting.
- Concrete flooring is also a good choice, with patterns available for tiling effects and any other look you might want.
- Kitchen accessories in simple shapes, like hooks and small shelves, are perfect candidates for concrete construction. You can create these easily using moulds, and mould making kits are available from most craft stores.
- We have recently also seen bathroom sinks and larger shelving units being cast from concrete. With a water proof seal and some suitable paint, you can make these look great and stand the test of time, even in wet conditions.
- You can also make a great Fireplace out of concrete – it has got what it takes in terms of heat resistance and creating the right kind of look.
- What about concrete wall coverings? It is a perfect material for the job, especially if you want to create some kind of rugged or industrial look.
- It may sound like a raw deal, but believe us, concrete furniture – done right – is a lot more comfortable than it sounds.
- Faked wood! There are times when you’ll want to fake other materials using concrete, wood being one of the most obvious. You might wan to do this for reasons of cost of strength, but whatever the case concrete can provide a great alternative for real wood panels, decking, or other items.
- Recently there has also been a rise in the use of concrete for insulation – with insulating concrete forms being used to build foundation walls of houses. These consist of high density foam filled with concrete and steel reinforcements, to create a very strong, very effective insulator.
22nd September 2011
We’re sure that most of you, if presented with the idea of doing a pattern imprinted concrete job yourself, would probably sigh and hand the job over to a professional that really knows what they’re doing. Fortunately however, there are some fake pattern imprinted concrete effects that are within the grasp of anyone with a reasonable (or even rudimentary) DIY ability.
To give an interior floor a unique, great-looking faux-wood finish, you could consider the following technique that we picked up recently. First of all, you need an existing, clean, dry concrete floor. A bit of roughness and unevenness actually works to your advantage in this case, so don’t worry too much about uniformity. You also need a wood graining tool and a paint brush.
Get a base colour that you like and paint it on the concrete in similarly-sized strips to floorboards. Then texture it with an opposing colour. For example, if your base colour is black, then you could use a light colour such as white or light brown to add some texture and lightness to your “floorboards”. Add it to the newly painted base colour, and keep playing until you get the effect you want, eg old floorboards, or newer, sanded ones.
Next up, get the wood graining tool and drag it through the newly-wet paint texture, rocking it back and forth to give knot effects. Make sure that for each “floorboard”, you keep inside the boundaries so the effect is maintained. With a little work, this should give you a great effect! View the finished project.
Image via TWENTYSIXFIFTYEIGHT
20th September 2011