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1. You can use concrete's architectural strength as a design element. This staircase is a perfect example of how concrete can be used to great effect. With its sweeping stainless steel handrail and strong horizontal treads, this form of concrete fits beautifully into this California home.
Tip: If you're thinking about using concrete in your home, be sure to work with a qualified and reputable concrete contractor. Depending on the implementation and area in which your installing the concrete, you might want to check with an structural engineer to make sure your home can handle the extra material weight.
3. Concrete's natural properties add function. The designer of this fireplace surround used concrete in several smart ways. First, it acts as a heat shield between the fire and the TV hanging on the surround. Second, the raised hearth and heat shield add a much needed horizontal element. Third, the two concrete elements are the third of the dark gray elements - notice the vent pipes - satisfying the rule of threes.
5. You can use concrete's natural color to your advantage. This room setting has concrete all over the place — floors, steps, columns, bookshelves, entertainment shelf. A simple wax sealer maintains the light gray color and adds some sheen to the surface. By combining with wood tones, a "cement" colored sectional and an area rug with rich, warm tones, this concrete palace is warm and inviting.
6. Concrete is a smart alternative to the painted feature wall. The large wall in the stairwell strengthens the industrial feeling of this space. The bleached wood behind the blue-gray sectional, and the toe-curling texture of the area rug soften the space. The large wall of windows adds the necessary amount of light to balance out the "heavy" wall of concrete.
Tip: If you're going to use concrete for furniture, use upholstery and accessories to soften its hardness. This dining room in a contemporary home mixes a traditional chandelier and area rug with transitional built-ins and a modern concrete table. The blue upholstered chairs add interest and softness to the hard edges of the table.
Have you thought about using concrete in your home?
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