Concrete is one of the most versatile and contemporary materials you can use to decorate your home and garden these days. With some time and creativity, you can repurpose concrete into decorative pieces or practical furniture that is completely unique and bespoke to you.
You will be amazed at the wide variety of these smart block applications: from indoor furniture to garden planters. Here are 5 creative and innovative techniques to use concrete in your garden and home.
Concrete Block Garden Bench
You can make a practical and modern bench for your garden using simple concrete blocks, ideal for any patio or decked area. You just need enough blocks to create the sides of the bench – we recommend 12 (6 for each side) to ensure it is tall enough to use comfortably. Once you have the sides constructed, simply slide sturdy beams of timber between the gaps in the blocks to create the body of the seat. You can use it as it is, or add big cushions for extra comfort.
Whether you choose to leave it plain, or paint it with a durable masonry paint, a concrete block bench will last for years, it’s very cheap and can be easily repositioned if you decide to move it to another area.
Using extra long wooden beams, also means that the overhang on each side can be used as a side table too!
Nothing is more durable than concrete, and so it is ideal for using in areas of the home where it might experience heavy wear and tear – such as the kitchen.
A concrete work surface can be created using salvaged concrete slabs or, you can have a bespoke concrete work surface formed by a specialist contractor, to exactly fit your space.
A simple layer of sealant will ensure it remains hygienic, clean and practical for years to come, and if it starts to wear, a good scrub and a new layer of sealant will bring it back to life.
Concrete block planters are cheap, simple to create and last for years!
Simply take your blocks, and arrange them at differing heights until you have a shape you are happy with. You can wrap a wire mesh around the bottom of the block to act as a base, if required, and then fill the gaps with compost and your favourite plants. Small alpine plants, are ideal, and with such a wide variety of colours and types, you can create a really colourful garden – in smallest of spaces.w
You could even use a tough outdoor paint to brighten up the blocks – using contrasting colours for each block will make them really stand out!
Concrete Block Bookshelf
Concrete in the home is ideal if you’re creating an industrial chic theme. One of the best, easiest and cheapest ways to use concrete as a feature in your home is to build a bespoke bookcase.
Simply use the blocks as support, and lay planks of reclaimed wood between them. The strength of the concrete means you build as high as you like, and allows you to add more shelves as and when you need them.
This method is also great for creating a cheap and simple shelving solution in garages and sheds, if you’re looking for a practical solution to organising your work space.
If you use blocks with holes in, leave the holes facing outwards and you can use these areas for decorative features, such as candles or photographs.
Concrete flooring has been used for many years as a subfloor for more decorative floor coverings. It’s strength, resilience and practicality make it ideal for every room in the house, but with the new trend for industrial and minimalist themes, bare concrete floor is becoming increasingly popular.
That doesn’t mean it has to stay bare – many people choose to use high gloss layers, for an elegant finish, or use hard wearing masonry paint to create patterns or blocks of colour that complement the rest of the room.
Concrete flooring can be combined with underfloor heating, and because of the nature of the material, it retains the heat for much longer, so uses less energy to maintain a warm home.