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The Must-Have Feature for Every Australian Backyard and Garden

Making the most of your home means spending time outdoors too, so you want your backyard and garden to reflect your lifestyle.

There is one must-have feature that can help you create an outdoor space that is not only beautiful, but also functional, long-lasting and could even add value to your home.

The answer? Decorative concrete.

There are so many diverse ways to use concrete in any outdoor space, from the smallest courtyards and patios, to sprawling gardens and entertainer’s paradise backyards.

Let’s take a look at just some of the possibilities.

 

Assorted Custom Finishes

Homeowners are no longer restricted to a plain grey concrete slab. Concrete is now available in a wide variety of appealing finishes including exposed aggregate, coloured concrete and polished and honed concrete. Geostone’s decorative concrete range also features natural Australian stone, providing the natural materials and earthy tones that are so on trend in outdoor styling.

 

Garden Beds

Building and maintaining garden beds requires a lot of planning and hard work, so you want them to last. An article by Urban Agriculture co-founder Brian Barth discusses the many benefits of building garden beds with concrete, and he says no other material is as durable or suitable for the job as poured concrete. Concrete also absorbs the warmth of the sun, holding it in the soil overnight to aid plant growth. And the flexible nature of concrete allows you to create curved shapes and more artistic-styled vegetable gardens.

 

Patios and Alfresco Areas

The backyard barbecue is a much-loved Australian institution, making outdoor entertaining areas the key feature of backyards and gardens everywhere. Decorative concrete options such as coloured concrete and exposed aggregate concrete featuring natural stone help to create an attractive and inviting atmosphere for patios and alfresco areas. Various decorative concrete types can also be combined to create outdoor rooms and clearly defined spaces, from grand entertainment areas to the smallest patio designs.

 

Swimming Pools and Pool Surrounds

Decorative concrete is a popular choice for building swimming pools, swimming pool renovations and creating cool pool surrounds. Coloured concrete can be used to add a striking decorative border or pattern, while exposed and honed concrete offer slip-resistant properties. Other benefits include greater weed resistance, reduced mosquito breeding, and greater comfort underfoot.

 

Driveways, Footpaths and Pathways

There is something comforting about pulling into your own driveway at the end of a busy day. Using decorative concrete for driveways gives the entrance to your home a sense of individuality, and a differentiating look and texture to the rest of the street. Driveways and pathways can also be used to frame lawns and gardens.

 

Retaining Walls, Feature Walls, and Steps

Decorative concrete isn’t limited to ground coverage surfaces. It can also be used to build three-dimensional and functional structures, such as retaining walls and garden steps. Home improvement website Networx identifies the many benefits of decorative concrete retaining walls, including greater strength, durability, resistance, flexibility, ease of installation, low maintenance and affordability.

 

Garden Sheds, Garage and Shed Floors

Every serious outdoor area needs a shed, and every home needs a garage. Sheds and garages are best finished with a hardy and durable flooring surface that is both easy to clean and will last the test of time. Coloured concrete is becoming an increasingly popular option for sheds and garage floors, while honed and polished concrete can add another level of luxury to the garage space, ideal for showcasing a much-loved vehicle.

 

Decorative Features

There really are endless opportunities for using concrete in your outdoor space. As well as all of the above traditional purposes, concrete can be used to mould decorative and functional features for the outdoors including concrete fire pits, concrete seat walls, water features, or even an outdoor smoking room. With the wide range of decorative concrete colours, textures and finishes available from Geostone, you are only limited by your imagination.

 

For more information and inspiration on how to improve your backyard and garden with concrete, visit Geostone on Facebook or read more about decorative concrete.

Hints on Beautifying Your Concrete Patio

A patio made from decorative concrete can be a striking and distinctive feature in its own right.  However, there are ways you can maximise the visual appeal of your concrete patio to make it stand out even more.

Beautifying your patio

Landscape around your patio – it’s not always what’s on your patio that counts. The landscaping around your concrete patio can beautifully complement and highlight this outdoor entertainment area, through the creative use of plants, pavers, water features, trellis and more. Conversely, thanks to the versatility of colours and textures associated with decorative concrete, you can design and construct a patio that perfectly reflects your existing landscaping.

Choose a colour, pattern or texture to match your furniture – in the same way that you can construct a decorative concrete patio to match your current landscaping, you can design the patio to reflect the colour and style of your outdoor furniture to give a feeling of completeness, rather than a random assortment of styles and colours.

Mood LightingMood lighting – it might sound obvious, but lighting can really highlight the beauty of your decorative concrete patio. Imagine lighting that enhances and shows off the raw beauty of Australian stone in exposed aggregate, or bold lighting that plays with the hues and shades of coloured concrete.

Make it flow – with decorative concrete, it is possible to create a patio of the same colour and texture as any adjoining indoor area. Indoor/outdoor flow is a very appealing visual effect, and the design of your decorative concrete patio could enable this if it is close to an internal living area.

Define the space – a low wall built up around the perimeter of your concrete patio can serve two main purposes. It can provide seating for guests, and it can help define the space of your patio. Trellis or a pergola can have the same effect, and make your concrete patio feel more like an outdoor room. With the growing trend towards outdoor dining and entertaining, a dedicated area for outside fun can become a real feature and selling point.

Let decorative concrete be the star – it is possible to over-accessorise as you beautify your concrete patio. This can overshadow the beauty of the concrete itself – and yes, decorative concrete can be beautiful. Striking exposed aggregate, or the patterns and effects offered by the use of coloured concrete, deserve to be highlighted. The overall effect can be ruined by having too much stuff on your concrete patio e.g. one too many chairs, an outsized table, an excessive amount of potted plants. Decluttering anywhere can be a good idea, but when you want to show off the decorative concrete that is the foundation of your patio, then it becomes an even better idea. What’s the point in having a talking point like decorative concrete when you can’t even see it?

We’ve never been more into outdoor entertaining than we are now. The patio is often the focal point of that entertaining so it’s only natural you want it to look as good as you can. What you put on it, and around it, will have a big impact, as will your choice of decorative concrete. With the colours and finishes now available to you, there’s no reason why you can’t create an area that feels more like a beautiful outdoor room than just a patio.