Author: Peter Colquhoun
Leading architects will tell you that ‘outdoor areas’ are just as important as indoor spaces. Look at any great Architecture from any period in time and it’s the ‘outdoor areas’ that surround a building that are key in establishing the composition of the entire design.
Throughout millennia, from castle courtyards to sun drenched Mediterranean terraces, alfresco areas have always been the favoured places to meet, greet and be merry. Or alternatively, be corners of quiet reflection. The best examples of outdoor areas are usually paved with durable exotic materials that reflect the local stones.
In terms of design, ‘Outdoor space’ is made up of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ surfaces and while an enormous amount of time and thought goes into the ‘soft’ or garden surfaces it’s the ‘hard’ surfaces or the paved areas that are just as crucial in establishing a balanced outdoor space.
When choosing the right paved surface, consideration should also be given to how it ties with any adjoining indoor space. Mid-century modernism was all about continuing that floor plane from the indoors to the outdoors and in climates such as ours where so much living is done outdoors these principles still ring true.
Establishing a cohesive range of paved surfaces from pathways and pool surrounds to terraces and interiors is made so much easier when you have one reliable, quality range of alternatives. Thankfully, that’s what Geostone provides: a one-stop, top-notch palette of paving solutions.
To make things super easy, there are 3 main types of decorative concrete to consider:
Exposed concrete is a popular choice and suitable for a range of outdoor areas. The fun begins by choosing the aggregates or little stones that will be exposed in the concrete mix once it dries. One of the great things about exposed aggregate is that like your fingerprint, the exposed concrete aggregate you choose will be unique. The stones often come from local quarries, reflecting the area in which you live. This idea plays back to traditional home building in that the materials used always came from the local area.
Coloured concrete is another way of creating something quite unique. It is usually used in pathways and pool surrounds and driveways. Pigment is added to the mix and like mixing paint you can come up with virtually any colour. Before choosing a colour you need to consider where it will be placed and what the other material colours are nearby. Remember, paved surfaces need to help frame the natural surfaces and like putting a frame around a picture, if that picture is really colourful like a well-established garden full of flowers then the frame or paved surface should be a more neutral colour. If the paved surface is going down next to materials that are bland and also neutral, then perhaps it’s an opportunity to use coloured concrete in a more creative way.
Polished or honed concrete surfaces are used in those special areas mainly inside the home. This is where you can establish real class. It will lift an average home and make it something special or turn a great home into something extraordinary. The floor in your home ties everything together, it’s the surface from which all other things in a room must relate. It can also help define and distinguish one area from another. It can have rug thrown across it and become another zone, it also complements timber or other natural stone finishes in the room. We are in touch with it constantly, we walk, lie and crawl across it – so spending time on getting it right will add real value in both monetary terms and quality of life. In contemporary design polished or honed concrete surfaces are perfect in kitchens, living and dining areas and is the go-to product of leading designers who want to create a sense of ‘gravitas’. Having such a surface underfoot says ‘solidity’.
Let’s be honest, designing or improving a home requires that you make a mountain of decisionsb. Making a choice up front about solid surfaces under foot is an investment in style, quality and durability. They never need painting, trimming or mowing yet if they are inherently beautiful like the surfaces found in this range they will improve any interior or garden space.
Geostone’s strength is not just because it’s supported by a team of experts who can help you along every step of the way – but because it’s a product that reflects nature. Great design is always inspired by nature and the materials used in its creation should never forget this truth.