CD Designs Blog
At CD Designs, we are always throwing around original, innovative ideas for your home, proving that have more tricks up our sleeves than just pattern imprinted concrete driveways. Indeed, concrete is a very versatile material that can work in a surprising variety of situations!
Take the polished concrete desk. It is perhaps strange to think of a building material being used to create a classy piece of office furniture, but this is perfectly possible! A polished concrete work surface can give a similar look to marble, but at a fraction of the cost.
To start with, you should draw up a plan of the desk you want to make. Concrete can be very heavy, so it is a good idea to create the concrete element in multiple segments, so that you can actually lift it to where you want it to go, and to reduce the risk of breakage.
To create your concrete work top, build a mould out of something solid like melamine sheets, using silicone caulking or similar to build any intricate shapes into it.
In terms of the concrete mix, you don’t need any kind of special solution – about one part cement to three parts water is fine, which enough water added to give it the texture of thick porridge. Pour in the mould, vibrate it a lot to get rid of air bubbles and leave it to set for two to three days. Before the concrete has set, you can choose to decorate the surface by embedding crushed glass, and strengthen it with wire mesh.
You will also need to grind the surface down, fill in holes, then polish with a set of polishing pads down to a fine shine. The final step is to coat the surface with a nice clear sealant. Beautiful!
Refer to the Instructables guide to How to Build a Polished Concrete Desk for a more complete guide.
Image via Instructables
24th April 2011
When designing pattern imprinted concrete driveways and patios for our customers, it has always amazed us what a huge variety of options are available and achievable. Even the same material AND pattern can yield vastly different results if you simply vary the base colour used and the finish.
In this article we’ll be talking about colour, and focusing on Ashlar slate, a material that we’ve done a lot of work with. Ashlar slate is a nice hard wearing material, great for a neat fairly formal look, but also versatile, suiting a variety of situations and shapes, whether you want a professional looking driveway for major kerb appeal, or a nice gentle secluded patio out back. It can also be effectively cut into a variety of shapes, eg rectangular or circular.
If you look at some of our case studies you’ll witness the variety we are talking about. Brandleshome features a classic pattern imprinted concrete driveway and matching path in a fairly neutral colour that fits in well with the surrounding brick walls, lawns and foliage. Benbecular Way on the other hand has a driveway in a bright tan colour for a much bolder effect. Finally, the driveway at Eden Park is using a platinum silver colour with a shiny finish, which again gives a distinct feel and character, even though the material is identical and the pattern is the same throughout most of it.
22nd April 2011
Part of the wonder of art is that it makes us look at everyday things in a different way. It can do this through presenting us with new angles of looking at things, or by using a material in a way in which it hasn’t previously been used.
Coloured concrete in art is a fine example of this. Concrete is one of the most commonly used man-made substances on the planet; it’s such a common sight that we hardly notice it any more. Which is, presumably, why it’s starting to become a widely used material in art; artists get a chance to really work with something new, whilst benefitting from concrete’s remarkable attributes as a construction material.
This artist uses coloured concrete over steel armatures to create his tables and other sculptural pieces. His work shows that concrete’s flexibility and workability make it an ideal substance for those interested in three-dimensional art. His pieces are also a testament to how attractive coloured and polished concrete can appear.
Over on this website, there are some fine examples of combining art with the utilitarian. The intriguing detailed concrete floors photographed show how construction-grade hard surfaces can benefit from a little artistic flair. It’s modern and sophisticated interior design utilising the best material for the job; concrete.
22nd February 2010
Concrete is increasingly being used as not only a simple, cost effective way of resolving most external and internal surfacing needs, but as an attractive and interesting material in its own right. By combining any one of a wide collection of possible colours with any one of a wide collection of imprintable patterns, it’s possible to create a staggeringly large amount of different effects.
If you desire a simple, neutral look, concrete with one subtle colourant could well be the answer you’re looking for. Or you could have an expanse of plain single-colour concrete with an elegantly imprinted border. If you’re after something a little bit more traditional, most commonly used types of stone flooring can be easily replicated using pattern imprinting.
This opens up the possibility of mixing patterns, giving the impression of, for example, a herringbone brick driveway with a cobbled path leading to your front door, or a “random stone” patio with a slate barbeque area. All, of course, finished in colours which compliment each other.
If this isn’t what you’re after, concrete can also be banded; a simpler design in which regular fields of one type of imprinted or textured concrete are separated by dividing strips of another imprint or texture. This provides simple contrast, accentuating the impact and quality of both the fields and bands.
There are other ways of using concrete decoratively. It can be polished to a highly reflective finish giving a sleek and sophisticated look to rival that of marble, at a significantly lower price. Or, by choosing to expose the coarse aggregate which makes up much of the body of the concrete, you can achieve a distinctive and modern effect.
21st December 2009
When you’re adding something to your home, interior or exterior, be it a purchase as small as a new bed-side lamp or as big as a garden swimming pool, you want to be sure that it fits with your vision and taste. What the majority of people are happy to settle for might not do for you. And whether you want classic or cutting-edge, you can be sure that somewhere, somebody is selling what you’re after.
There’s a massive variety of consumer choice in everything. Why should concrete be any different?
Thanks to colourant admixtures, you can specify the shade that you want your concrete to be, and pick your colour of choice from an extensive spectrum of available dyes. These dyes are based on synthetic and natural oxides. The colourant, usually powdered but sometimes in liquid form, is added to the concrete whilst it’s wet, and diffuses through the mixture.
When it sets, the concrete holds the colour of the pigment. The coloured concrete is just as versatile as it would be if it was still grey. Patterns can still be imprinted into its surface, and the combination of colour and pattern that you’ve chosen can be further enhanced with a complimentary stain.
It’s a simple way to achieve classic results. Concrete can be coloured to resemble any number of varieties of traditional stone, and many of these colours can be matched with the corresponding pattern imprint. But the relative simplicity of the process of dying and laying concrete means that the only real limitation is your creativity.
18th December 2009