The great thing about concrete is that it is so accommodating to our needs and adaptable to our environment. Truly malleable when being poured, concrete lends itself to being shaped and formed in a tremendous variety of ways. It can also be colored, stamped, etched, antiqued, and stenciled, and once it has dried provides a durable, low maintenance alternative to almost any other product on the market.

What this really means is, that because concrete is so versatile as a building material, it use is limited only by your imagination. Therefore, as you think about enhancing your property, from interior floors to kitchen counters, and especially when it comes to exterior landscaping, you can allow yourself to dream big.

Throughout the history of humanity, people have used various elements of design to convey some of the values that were most important to them, and to inspire strong feelings on the part of those who viewed or used those structures. When designing for your space, seek inspiration in these many years of amazing human endeavor, choosing the elements that have the most meaning for you.

The ancient Chinese, for example, valued balance and harmony. Many of their buildings are intensely symmetrical in their design. Think of a Chinese pagoda; no one element is out of sync with the other. The ancient Chinese also enjoyed and found peace in flow, and so their gardens are often asymmetrical, but designed to draw you gently and smoothly inside to attain balance and serenity. Using elements of Asian design in your landscaping plans can help you achieve a somewhat exotic yet functional creation.

The Greeks and Romans of old valued strength and order. They built to last, and also to inspire themselves. At the same time, they valued their chances to find small, hidden and unexpected pleasures. Within the grand facades of the Roman Forum a small statue or seating area might be hidden just inside a grove of aspens, their leaves whispering in the breeze. A fountain might deliver its watery music to your ears as you relax nearby.

The Middle East has left a strong mark on the world’s design as well. As former conquerors of Spain, they influenced the Spanish, who, in turn have left their mark here on us in America, especially in the southwest. Middle Eastern builders valued the infinite nature of their deity and used arches and flowing curves to convey this, where it provides a sense of rest and peace, almost like a cool oasis in the scorching desert.

Because it is incredibly flexible as a building material, concrete can be used to invoke any of these, or the countless other, traditions in decoration and design. So, go ahead, imagine your perfect space and dream big! For more great ideas visit us at Lowell Russell Concrete.