In our last decorative concrete blog post, we looked at the design elements of TEXTURE and PATTERN and how they contribute to the final design of our decorative concrete project… We are continuing our conversation on decorative concrete design again this week with Shellie Rigsby-Cordell focusing on one of the more challenging elements in designing a meaningful and enjoyable decorative concrete project – COLOR. The colors you select for your space will have the greatest influence on the look and feel of the space you are creating to live, work, or play.
During our discussion with Shellie, she shared many insights related to color selection for you – our Sundek’s customers. When it comes to incorporating color and how best to use this critical element, Shellie recommends:
1. Unless the style is mono-chromatic, avoid placing like colors side by side. This is boring! Break up the color and then repeat with a similar color beyond the separation. For example, kitchen countertops, cabinets, and floor color. It would be boring to have brown granite countertops, stained cabinets and stained concrete floors all in the same or very similar color. Better to have similar color countertops and flooring with contrasting cabinets in between. Likewise, the roof color and driveway being of similar color with contrasting color for the façade is nice. The darker drive and front walk anchor the property giving visual weight at the bottom of the field of vision.
2. Evaluate the existing or scheduled colors for the main structure as primary color field and secondary or accent colors. Once the colors scheme of the vertical is known, consider reversing these for the horizontal surfaces. Flipping the primary and secondary colors of the vertical fields, using the accent color as the main color for the floors and accenting the decorative concrete with the dominant color of the vertical, is a subtle variation that honors the color palette and offers interest.
3. Is the space residential or commercial color palette? A residential property typically has simple lines, basic ornamentation, and subtle colors. A commercial space is more likely to have more vivid colors, bolder patterns, and welcomes an “air of excitement”.
4. Go simple! The busier, more vibrant, or more stylized a floor or wall is, the more quickly we tire of the design or it becomes dated.
5. Avoid visual noise. Visual noise is any design element that demands attention or has pattern, color or detail that distracts from the whole space and commands attention disproportionate to its contribution.[/box]
Shellie has given us much to think about! Thank you, Shellie – as always your talents exceed your time capacity and we appreciate you sharing your wisdom with Sundek Nation!
In my long tenure in the decorative concrete world, I’ve seen ugly concrete transformed using decorative concrete overlays – breathing new life into the spaces we live, work, and play. As you design your project, remember – decorative concrete is available in so many forms: concrete counter tops, floors, walls (interior or exterior). What many consumers don’t know is that decorative concrete is not just a horizontal project, but also a vertical marvel with limitless possibilities. (I’ll write a blog giving you some vertical ideas soon!)
Material selection will be the subject of our next blog where we will drill down and discuss the pros and cons of the basic coloring systems and their particular application. The type of material you choose will affect your chosen color. A specific color can be achieved with reactive acid stains – passive water based stains – solvent dyes – acrylics – integral and broadcast color powders. These same materials can be worked in combination to create some awesome looks! This area in the material selection process is where it pays to have an expert at your side.
The Bottom Line: No matter the application, each requires thoughtful selection of texture, pattern and color. Your SUNDEK sales representative will guide you through this process. Partnering with a company who has been in this business for over 40 years (and help create the industry) at this stage of your project planning will increase your success rate of having the beautiful decorative concrete area you’ve always wanted!
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