Whether you’re an established homeowner or a first-time buyer, chances are that your home is the greatest investment you’ll ever have. Restoring, revamping and rebuilding to give your place a creative facelift, the latest innovative design features and some extra comfort for you and your family is, after all, something most of us dream of. Today’s smart renovator is turning to ideas that will make it easier to adapt, reuse and, if needed, dismantle. Think simpler living, minimal maintenance, pop-out colour and stylish elegance. Bringing the Aussie landscape closer to home doesn’t have to be dull or expensive.
Decorative concrete is hard to beat when it comes to pattern and colour options. A solid bed of exposed aggregate can provide a pleasing showcase setting for natural materials like stones, sand, pebbles and even flecks of ore.
NATURAL MATERIALS EMBEDDED ON DECORATIVE CONCRETE
Natural stone is an eye-catching feature in any home, indoors or out, and its aesthetic qualities can really be brought forward with decorative concrete. There is no other medium quite so versatile as decorative concrete when it comes to introducing and showcasing natural materials such as coarse beach sands and pebbles, sea-shells and the natural raw textures of river stones. The concrete industry of today offers an array of attractive, functional and high quality wall and floor solutions that can help any home sparkle. Decorative concrete is the perfect partner for just about any natural material; it enhances and complements. Polished concrete and exposed aggregate applications in which the upper concrete skin is removed to reveal the innate properties of natural aggregates, quartz and igneous rock provide the homeowner with a multitude of ways to bring a dash of Australiana into the home. A large square patio deck of decorative concrete under the surface of which softly glistens a dense bed of polished stone is a stunning focal point and certain conversation starter at any outdoor barbecue. Decorative concrete allows you to bring elements of the Australian landscape into any part of the home. A sprawling polished concrete dining room floor containing quartz is a striking way to combine polished elegance with a hint of the earthy parchedness of the Australian bush.
Natural stone works wonderfully with concrete, either as part of the mix or a stand-alone feature. It can be used for splashbacks, bathrooms, wall cladding, flooring, vanities and for framing-type impressions. Durable, heat-resistant and long lasting due to their high density, granite and marble are great choices for outdoor kitchen tops. Marble is more porous but if you care for it with a regular coat of sealant it will last a lifetime.
“There’s interest from homeowners who want to add a special unique touch such as a stone surround for a fireplace hearth or to encase a TV unit,” says Martin Wagner from 120-year-old stonemasonry company JH Wagner. “And there’s certainly a greater awareness of natural stone and its use as a designer material. It has textural elements – it’s something we love to touch. People used to think they would have to win Lotto to get the full-stone cottage but now there’s an understanding it can be a lesser but still mightily impressive feature. The important thing is that you understand the best use of the product.”
Beautiful wood is warm, sensuous and nearly always pleasing on the eye. It complements the other materials you partner it with, and provides a distinguished border edging for decorative concrete walls and floors.