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One thing that many Americans everywhere—from California to New England, from Texas to Minnesota—have in common is our desire to spend more time at home and more time outdoors.

An outdoor concrete bench. Spirit Ridge Concrete
Creations in Houston, TX.
Outdoor pizza oven with concrete benches. Tom
Ralston Concrete in Santa Cruz, CA

Back yards are being transformed into luxurious extensions of the house. They're the new favorite room to relax, entertain, and cook.

The outdoor living craze is the result of North America's interest in 'cocooning,' the trend toward a more casual lifestyle, an aging population and the popularity of porches, decks, and patios, according to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association.

The Pool and Spa Institute says an increasing number of homeowners are going all out with outdoor kitchens, furnished seating areas fireplaces, pizza ovens, elaborate water features, and more.

While many Americans choose concrete for their patios, many are extending concrete to pizza ovens, bartops, and outdoor seating, including benches and tables.

"Concrete is one of the oldest, strongest and most durable materials that humans have ever made. Because it is mixed and poured, its variations and design potentials are almost infinite ... Applications are limited only by the imagination."

-- Wanda Ellerbeck of Grotto Designs, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

See these outdoor furniture projects:

Concrete Bench and Waterfall in One

This concrete bench and water feature takes a contemporary approach to the basic tenants of wabi-sabi design. Combining the organic elements of concrete, stone, and water, the bench is the ideal spot for reflection and mediation.

Concrete Furniture Artist Creates the Ultimate Lounge Chair

Cast of integrally colored concrete taken to a high polish, this chaise lounge designed by Oso Industries features a curvilinear design for the ultimate in comfort. It sits on a sculptural metal base of antiqued brass.

Custom Concrete Tables Enhance Outdoor Decor

These 32-inch-square concrete coffee tables were made for a client with a 42nd floor roof deck in downtown Chicago. The table was cast using SureCrete Xtreme bagged mix integrally colored with ultra-marine blue. A penetrating acrylic sealer was applied to protect it from the elements.

Outdoor Concrete Furniture Videos

Watch 25 videos featuring Fu-Tung Cheng explaining how to design and build his line of concrete furniture.