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    CD Designs Blog

    Go concrete crazy: have a concrete house, a concrete drive and… a concrete coffee table

    We love this concrete coffee table!

    We love this concrete coffee table!

    The revolution is here, dear readers. In previous articles we have already looked at many great uses of concrete, such as pattern imprinted driveways and patios, concrete lamps, ornaments, bathrooms, and more. We want to see the world go concrete, one domestic item at a time, and this week we’re looking at coffee tables!

    In many ways, concrete is an ideal material to make a coffee table out of. They tend to get a lot of use and abuse, what with having newspapers and other junk piled on top of them, having food and drink spilt on them, and generally having people being beastly around them. Concrete is just the material we need to stand up to this abuse! And we are not the only ones that think so.

    A number of designers have recently created great concrete coffee table designs: Karacho & Bros., Jeremy Kaplan and Lofgrens being among their number! These designs have a beautiful line in stark minimalist aesthetics. Of course, the downside is that they are the work of celebrated designers, so they carry hefty price tags. But if you don’t want to splash out, why not just mould your own?

    Image via apartmenttherapy.com

    Concrete engagement rings: Every relationship needs a strong foundation

    The staff of CD designs are a romantic bunch really: we love a decent love story almost as much as we love concrete! But what about a way to combine both?

    Concrete engagement?

    Concrete engagement?

    Picture the scene: you’ve decided that tonight is a good night to pop the big question to your significant other. There is nothing good on TV, you’ve got no visitors coming round, and you did the laundry last night, so there are no distractions to get in the way of your special evening. You clear the stamp collection off your dining room table, and lay the foundations of a candle lit dinner. You cook something special up for the two of you, lay out the food and a couple of glasses of wine, and put suitable mood music on the stereo. A bit of Barry White perhaps … or Justin Bieber, if you’d prefer? Your other half comes home minutes later and sits down happily to enjoy their treat. About half way through the meal, you get down on bended knee and ask that all important question. And what better way to accompany it than with a concrete engagement ring?
    You can get them from 22designstudio: yes, this is a far cry from pattern imprinted concrete driveways, but it is a beautiful and innovative use of the material, which we heartily approve of. The small design studio has seven different designs to choose from, all beautifully finished with a delicately polished inner, and attractive outer shape. The designs range from simple circles to intricate geometric shapes. You can find more information out about these at Etsy.

    Concrete and Design: when beauty springs from the grey

    Beautifully Designed Concrete Lamp

    Beautifully Designed Concrete Lamp

    At CD Designs we are always on the look out for beautiful, artistic uses of concrete that bring our favourite medium beyond the grey and mundane. We were impressed to see a concrete design featured in the design awards run by the good folks over at Apartment Therapy (apartmenttherapy.com). The annual Apartment Therapy design awards is in its third year now, and aims to give talented designers a good platform to demonstrate their skills from.

    The concrete design in this year’s shortlist is a petite concrete lamp, designed by Anna Ritchie. The simple but beautiful design features a heavy square concrete base, juxtaposed by a really light, thin wood veneer lampshade. This makes a great statement even when the lamp is turned off, but add power and things get even better: the shade hides an extremely energy efficient LED light, which kicks out a surprisingly generous amount of light that is perfect for working or reading by.

    The lamp measures 17.5″ tall, but covers an area of only 3″ x 3″, making it ideal for a bedside table or small desk. Anna was quoted as saying “My petite concrete table lamp was inspired by the functionality of it’s LED light bulb. Something that is generally perceived as a cold technology has developed to mimic the warmth of nature.”

    Image via apartmenttherapy.com

    Review of the summer

    This summer has seen us unfold an interesting set of events, oddities and news items: never a dull moment in the world of concrete! Here we’d like to  share with you our favourites, looking at the highlights we’ve reported on in the last few months.

    • The coolest driveway in the world: a new contender? We love concrete driveways, and we love fast cars. What better way to combine the two than by having a concrete driveway that doubles as a racetrack? New Zealand Rally champ Rod Millen has done just that.
    • Concrete Speakers: Can Concrete Be Music To Our Ears? We love the very idea of combining the stark industrial look of concrete with high fidelity audio entertainment.
    • Green Concrete – The Future Five Years Down The Line? We are very passionate about environmentalism at CD Designs, and inspired by the idea of greener concrete.
    • Incredible Concrete Art – The Bohouse Cafe Floors In Dubai. Possibly the coolest pattern imprinted concrete design work you’ll ever see!
    • Win The Winter War, With Your Friendly Neighbourhood Robot Snow Shovel. this gadget brought out the inner Wallace and Gromit in all of us!
    • The SOFT Rocker: Making Some Noise on The Space Age Patio! This futuristic patio chair, developed at MIT, is a must have for the futurist’s patio of tomorrow (would that just be “today”, for the rest of us?).
    • A Set Of Concrete Tunes From The Pet Shop Boys: Take That! Loving the fact that concrete can even inspire an album of popular music.

    A book to watch out for: Decorative and Innovative Use of Concrete

    We’d like to recommend a book to you if we may: a rather fine new volume we came across recently, which celebrates innovative uses of concrete that go beyond the boring and mundane. “Decorative and Innovative Use of Concrete”, written by Graham F. True and published by Whittles Publishing is going to be available at the end of October 2011.

    The book provides a generally chronological account of decorative and innovative uses of Portland cement-based concrete, beginning thousands of years ago when it was first used for creating groundbreaking new technologies such as the Roman aqueducts. It goes through a number of examples leading up to the turn of the 20th century, when Portland cement was invented and subsequently mass produced.  This was followed by a golden period — covered next — in which many groundbreaking firms and architects adopted the material and paved the way towards the concrete revolution. The book looks at work by Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Nervi, Arup and more.

    After looking at innovative concrete architecture, the book moves on to art, looking at the incredible variety of ways concrete has been used by many celebrated designers from around the world. The final chapter then looks at future concrete, with innovations still in development such as high strength concrete, self cleaning concrete and even transparent concrete!

    One thing is for sure: concrete definitely isn’t dull.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

    The Yard, Stubbins Lane, Ramsbottom, BL0 0PT
    E:info@northwest-driveways.co.uk
    T: 01706 827180

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