Concrete Inspiration and Design
It’s no secret that we’re fans of concrete and it is a fundamental part of what makes our fire and water features so unique, but why Concrete?
According to Houzz, 2017 is seeing a push in design to incorporate the use of more sustainable and durable materials in furniture and bathroom and kitchen design. This is filtering its way through to the high street as we can see the introduction of more concrete and other durable and sustainable materials into furniture and home accessories. We’re taking a look at the production of concrete, the key elements that make it such a great material to use in design and in the process picking some of our favorite images that team together metal elements with concrete just as we do in our own designs.
- Concrete is one of the most ubiquitous construction materials on the planet, it is incredibly durable and versatile.
- Concrete is composed of materials that are readily available and often local.
- The production of concrete is a relatively simple process.
The production of concrete:
Concrete is formed when hydraulic cement reacts chemically with water and binds with a blend of aggregates. This reaction, called hydration, causes the concrete mixture to harden and continues if there is free moisture to react with the cement.
This hydration stage is called “curing”. Curing can continue on a minuscule level for months, even years, but most concrete markedly cures in 28 days. During this time, concrete gains the bulk of its strength and loses most of its moisture content to the chemical reaction and to evaporation.
For aesthetic concrete used for home and garden design, the initial 28-day cure is of great importance as this is when the concrete will undergo a change in appearance – from a darker, wet-looking surface to a lighter, dry one.
This is also the time when the concrete’s true color, with all its nuances, reveals itself. Concrete cured for at least 28 days is not only stronger than younger or “greener” concrete, but it is more aesthetically stable.
It is worth keeping in mind that proper cure time is essential to the creation of a quality hand cast concrete product. Patience is part of the recipe for a lifetime of function and enjoyment from any concrete feature whether used indoors or outdoors.
The hard-wearing nature and aesthetically pleasing elements of concrete is precisely the reason we continue to see concrete used as a key element in today’s interiors; kitchens, bathrooms, staircases, flooring, lighting, and accessories.
The nature of concrete means it is ideal for the modern home due to its durability and longevity, fitting perfectly with the current desire to incorporate more sustainable and environmentally conscious thinking in design. This current trend is synonymous with the Solus design philosophy; to design and produce beautiful, long lasting designs that run counter to a culture that has been obsessed with trends and disposable products.
To find our more about our beautifully crafted concrete products get in touch.