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Decorative concrete contractors have told us time and again that some of their best work is a collaborative effort between themselves and their clients. The inspiration begins with the client, who has a specific look in mind that they want to achieve. The contractor then turns that dream into a reality by taking full advantage of the versatility of decorative concrete. These six projects are examples of client/contractor collaboration at its best and demonstrate how concrete contractors can make almost any design wish come true.

Concrete Bench and Fire Bowl Create a Zen-Like Retreat

Design goal: Give an outdoor deck the tranquility of a Japanese tea garden while still blending with the architecture of a traditional colonial style house.

How it was done: The concrete elements custom crafted for the project include an elevated curvilinear bench, a fire bowl partially inset into one end of the bench, and a pale green tea-stained firewall curving around the bowl. To provide privacy, the sitting area is framed by four 2x3-foot concrete panels set into metal railings.

Creative Craftsmanship Gives Vanity a 1920s Look

Design goal: Create a concrete vanity top with an “apothecary” look reminiscent of the 1920s, with white porcelain-like tops and sinks.

How it was done: A bone white concrete with a hard-troweled finish was used to achieve the porcelain look of the vanity top, which was customized to accommodate porcelain vessel sinks. The stained red oak cabinets with tapered legs are also reminiscent of the era.

Concrete Tubs and Embossed Wall Express Concrete’s full Potential

Design goal: Custom fabricate two separate vessel bathtubs big enough for two, giving them both an earthy feel and sense of mass. For one tub, a curved wall was desired to create subtle drama and provide a sense of enclosure.

How it was done: Custom wood and fiberglass molds were used to give the concrete tubs their vessel shape. A very dense, impermeable concrete mix in earthtone colors gave the concrete a warm, organic look. The concrete niche wall features an embossed tree motif created using a stencil reproduced from a photograph.

Concrete Countertops Personalized with Colored Glass

Design goal: Make an outdated kitchen more functional by installing a new glass-tile backsplash and dining peninsula, along with new countertop surfaces echoing the green color tones in the tile to create a harmonious appearance.

How it was done: Pine-colored countertops with a traditional steel trowel finish were used for the perimeter countertop surfaces abutting the backsplashed walls. For the dining peninsula, recycled glass and actual pieces of the glass-tile backsplash were incorporated into a softer mint-green-colored concrete base to tie everything together.

Stamped Concrete Driveway Is Customized to Blend with Home’s Architecture

Design goal: Install a new stamped concrete driveway that would blend with the color scheme and style of the client’s two-story brick home and enhance its curb appeal rather than being the main attraction.

How it was done: The driveway was given a border and decorative bands custom colored to match the trim and shutters on the home. The main fields of pavement were colored with a Pecos sand color hardener accented with a walnut release agent. The border color was walnut mixed with an oyster white color hardener to lighten it slightly.

Four-Sided Fireplace Takes Creative Forming

Design goal: Create a four-sided fireplace surround that would be the main focal point of the client’s home and be viewable from all sides.

How it was done: Cast in 14 pieces, the concrete fireplace incorporates a variety of unique nooks and functional features that make it attractive from all vantage points, including a shelf with kindling, a match holder, lights under the mantel, copper inlays, a firewood holder, and hearth seating. It was integrally colored a slate gray shade chosen by the homeowner.