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    CD Designs are Master Craftsmen!

    CD Designs join the coveted Guild of Master Craftsmen

    CD Designs join the coveted Guild of Master Craftsmen

    Hey there concrete fans! This month the CD Designs office is in the throws of a big party. We’ve got the bubbly and streamers out to celebrate the fact that we’ve been accepted into the Guild of Master Craftsmen! This is a real badge of honour for us, as it recognises the quality of our work, and the dedication we have to perfecting our craft, moving the quality of pattern imprinted concrete forwards and upwards. The Guild is the UK’s leading trade association, and lists its members in a database of reputable tradespeople found at www.findacraftsman.com.

    For getting this prestigious award, we have a major group of people to give thanks to — our loyal customers. Getting there hasn’t been easy — each applicant to the Guild is taken through a thorough checking procedure, whereby the Guild council of management requests confidential references from satisfied customers, and asks them the question — “would you be happy to recommend the applicant to a relative or close friend.” The references are considered, while the Guild checks to make sure other criteria are met. Only then can membership be assured.

    So thank you, to all our customers! We owe it all to you.

    How Do (or rather did) You Make the Most of Your Patio In Summer

    The great British summer. The phrase brings up heartwarming images of endless lazy days in sunny glades and picturesque parks or by riverbanks, sipping Pimms or Cider, eating Strawberries and Barbecued food and listening to the cricket on the radio. Or alternatively, sitting inside a grubby caravan, looking solemnly out the window and wishing it would stop raining.

    Stiff upper lip, old chap. Whatever your situation is, you’ll be sure to have a great summer, and regularly enjoy some quality time in the comfort of your own patio, especially if you take some of our advice on board!

    1. Whether your pattern imprinted concrete patio is a huge sprawling affair or fairly compact, you should choose furniture and other accessories to suit – make sure it doesn’t become too crowded. A little feng shui goes a long way, and you need space to breathe.
    2. Make your patio the ultimate place for relaxation – get yourself a comfy sun lounger to chill out and read or enjoy the sun. And a stylish wooden table and chairs set can bring the whole family together beautifully for a meal, a nice chat and a drink, or to play a game together.
    3. Al fresco dining is a lovely way to feed everyone – getting some fresh air really can add to the dining experience. Also, why not cook AND eat outside? Get yourself a mobile BBQ unit or even build a brick BBQ into your patio.
    4. Gardening is a great summer pass time – why not have create some beautiful flower beds around your patio, and spice it up with some hanging baskets, trestles or climbers?
    5. Water! On a hot summers day, get out the paddling pool, the hosepipe and the water pistols. This is one fight that won’t spoil your day!
    6. You should also consider shade carefully – both to get out of really hot sun, and to hold off the rain when the weather adopts a more typically British flavour. A nice big parasol will do the trick nicely, or perhaps a gazebo? A parasol can fit into the centre of many tables, and a gazebo could be put up when you fear the rain, and taken down again afterwards.

    Water Features To Complement Your Concrete Patio

    There is something really magical about water – it embodies life and purity, exudes natural beauty and – placed correctly – draws attention from onlookers as a central feature of any scene. A water feature is therefore ideal for inclusion in your home exterior, and will nicely complement a pattern imprinted concrete patio.

    But what works best? There is of course the option of building an integrated water feature along the lines of a pond or waterfall. This works great if you have a lot of time and money to spend for remoulding your exterior look, and your desired water feature and patio work well alongside one another. If you do go down this route, we can help you make choices for both the patio and water feature that will come together as a single great design.

    If you don’t have the money and time for such major work, then there are still a lot of options you can consider. How about a self-contained unit? You can get something relatively inexpensive in stone, wood, terracotta, bamboo or metal – or a combination of these. The options are endless – fountains, statues, birdbaths, ponds, bubble features, vases, spheres and more can all be employed along with water to enhance your patio! If a constant flow is required, you can use a pump to keep the water running through the system. Light and water can also be a great combination too – how about some solar lamps to add some shine?

    To get inspiration and ideas, get in touch with us, and look at some sites such as www.1000waterfeatures.co.uk.

    Patio accessories: Our Favourites

    You’ve got your pattern imprinted concrete driveway installed, and it looks great. Your garden now looks like a solid design that hangs together well. The next stage of course is to accessorise your patio, but what do you pick? To help you out, this article lists some of our favourite items.

    Some furniture is always a good idea, and there are many suitable options to choose from, whether you want to sit down for dinner, or lie down for sun. A smaller bistro set is a good idea if you want to sit round and eat but have limited space, or you can go for a larger dining table and chairs. If relaxation is the plan, then there are many fabulously comfortable sun loungers available! Go for an adjustable one with really comfy cushions, and for a real touch of bliss, you might also want to go for a large parasol for some shade, and a mounted ice bucket to keep your bubbly cool. In terms of materials, we’d advise against the old fashioned white plastic set – it may be cheap and hardy, but it sure looks tacky. How about a nice stained wood set, or metal, or a wicker/metal combination with a glass table top?

    If you have money to spend and want a really cool unique look, you should pass by the conventional stock, and go for something really cool, like this Cupid Patio Furniture.

    A BBQ is always a nice idea too, and rather than just having a cheap B & Q unit, why not go for building in a nice brick BBQ unit? Or you could go for a nice gas-powered unit to save on mess, John Lewis have a good example. The really extravagant among you could again step it up a level, and go for something like Alpina’s Mobile Beer Bar.

    Lighting is also a major consideration. Why not go for some cool solar lights, which power up during the day and then give a soothing glow at night? The Garden Lighting Shop has some great ideas.

    All the ideas so far are quite conventional, so as a last step, when you’ve got all the essentials down, why not finish off your patio with a more outlandish feature. A fountain perhaps, or a fire pit, or a Tiki hut? How about a giant ornate statue to give your patio that ancient Incan temple flourish?

    Creating An Urban Patio Area

    If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space in the city, then an urban patio area is a great way to maximise it. Regardless of space, a bit of careful planning will allow you to create an attractive, useful area that will double up as outdoor entertaining space. Start by picking a theme. A contemporary or Eastern theme can work well in an urban setting, as can a slightly futuristic theme. This will help you select accessories, plants and contains for your space. Look for unusual plants. Tropical plants and cacti are great for creating something edgier, and you can keep them in pots and bring in when the weather’s bad.

    The key to creating a successful urban patio space is to keep it very simple. This will help minimize space. Play with angles, use paint to create visual interest, and contrast light and dark where possible- for example, combine a white wall with dark stoned borders, and select a coloured concrete if installing a pattern-imprinted concrete patio.

    Block out the outside world with fencing or panels, and focus carefully on the plants you pick – try to pick plants and flowers that will come into their own at different times of year, so there’s always something attractive to look at.

    Look at water features to create atmosphere – a gently running fountain can add a tranquil feel, or try building a pond encased in dark stone, square structures.

    Place a large stone Buddha amongst some plants. Choose decking or a durable concrete patio that will last. Create visual interest with a pattern-imprinted concrete patio, and pick a colour that works with your scheme.

    Also opt for durable wooden patio furniture that is simple and chunky in appearance for a modern look. Dark wood or stainless steel can look great for these themes. Alternatively, have fun installing quirky furniture – use railway sleepers to base planters on or divide up space, church pews for seating and original signage to decorate walls. If you’re limited by a small area, look at furniture that can be hung onto walls – simple benches and planters for example. Small bistro style chairs and coffee tables are also great for compact spaces, and they can be painted in bright colours for a fun look.

    Fire pits and BBQS are great for outdoor entertaining and solar lights add a pretty finish and can add evening atmosphere to a well-designed urban patio garden. Alternatively, try some eastern-inspired candle lanterns for dusk-time entertaining.

    Complete Driveway Designs Ltd

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

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