Designing First Impressions and Focal Points
A well-landscaped front yard should welcome people to your home with open arms and the backyard should be an extension of your living space. We can help you create unique outdoor features and spaces that make you and your guest feel right at home.
Let the Landscape Design Experts Create Your Dream
Creating a quality landscape requires an investment of time and materials. What defines such a place? It’s inviting, comfortable, fits your personality, and caters to your needs.
Establishing this feeling requires ability, experience, and personal investment from both you and the people doing the work.
Front Yard First Impressions
Curb appeal isn’t just an HGTV show. Your landscape is the first thing that people see when they get to your house and your first chance to express your personality and what you value to your guests. Your front yard landscape is also the first thing YOU see every day when you come home. The journey from car door to front door can be a mad dash to avoid acknowledging those overgrown shrubs, or it can be a calming pleasant experience. After all, why shouldn’t it be…you’re home.
Escape to the Backyard
Outdoor living space is simply a great, cost-efficient home improvement. In Minnesota, it’s made even more valuable by creating outdoor living spaces that allow you to maximize your time outside while the weather is nice. Your backyard landscape can provide you with a private oasis, a family getaway that is right out your door, or an excellent entertaining space. It is truly an extension of your home in whatever way you can dream of.
Investing in your landscaping can mean more than the way it enriches your life, it can also add to your home’s value. When the time is right to sell, having an outdoor living space makes your home more marketable than residences that don’t.
Regardless of whether you plan to stay in your home or are looking to sell, let Outdoor Living Spaces help increase the value of your home.
We take pride in craftsmanship and honor the satisfaction of our customers. We want you as a customer and when you become our customer, we do not stop working with you until your project is complete.
We guarantee high-quality construction for each and every project. Check out samples of our recent work, and you’ll agree that we’re the best choice for your home renovation project.
Here are 9 ideas for using decorative concrete to create an attractive, beckoning front entry to your home.
There are many ways to create a warm welcoming entrance with concrete, both underfoot and as an architectural accent. Concrete is often maligned as being a cold, austere material. Yet it’s anything but. Through the use of color, texture, shape, and pattern, concrete can be made warm and inviting.
1. Add a welcoming concrete walkway.
A great front entry design begins with a welcoming walkway that ushers visitors to your front door in grand fashion. With concrete, the decorative options for entrance walks are endless. Stamped or stenciled patterns, engraving, exposed-aggregate finishes, colored concrete, and concrete staining are just a few of the ways you can enhance your sidewalk design. To give your front entry even more allure, consider widening or flaring the concrete sidewalk or making it curvilinear rather than straight.If you already have a plain gray concrete walkway or sidewalk leading to your home, but it needs a major facelift, you can often rejuvenate it with a colored and patterned concrete overlay. You’ll be amazed at the transformation, while avoiding the expense and hassle of ripping out your existing concrete.
2. Step it up.
Create even greater visual impact by having your concrete walkway lead to a decorative concrete stairway and landing that incorporates coordinating colors and patterns. Concrete steps can be poured onsite right along with your walkway and then colored and textured to match. Precast concrete steps and precast concrete stairs are also an option.
3. Choose a complementary design scheme.
Concrete is flexible enough to mimic nearly any material, pattern or color, allowing you to create a concrete entryway that matches or complements your home’s architecture and color palette. Creating this unified appearance can be as simple as matching the color of your concrete walkway to your home’s roof, exterior siding or front door. Or let the distinct character of your home’s architecture be your guide when formulating your design plans. For example, if you live in a classic Colonial-style home, a concrete sidewalk and steps stamped in a traditional brick or cobblestone pattern would be a fitting entryway enhancement.
4. Pick an eye-catching pattern
There are literally hundreds of concrete stamp patterns to choose from for your entryway, ranging from slate, to brick, to cobblestone, to botanical and wildlife themes. Because today’s stamping mats are often molded from the actual materials they mimic, they produce amazingly realistic results. By extending the pattern from sidewalk to stairway to landing, the overall effect is even more impressive.A stenciled pattern is another option, and works especially well with concrete overlays. Stencils for concrete come in a variety of popular patterns, ranging from running-bond brick to stone, slate and tile.
5. Expose the aggregate.
As an alternative to stamped or colored concrete, you can achieve spectacular effects at a reasonable cost with an exposed-aggregate finish. Many types and sizes of decorative aggregate are available to achieve unlimited color and texture variations. Exposed aggregate also contrasts beautifully with plain concrete or other decorative treatments such as stamping, staining, and integral coloring. For concrete entryways, an exposed-aggregate finish offers additional benefits by providing a safe, nonskid surface that resists heavy foot traffic.
6. Form fancy edges.
For the concrete steps leading to your entryway, a simple way to add architectural interest is to go with a shapely curved step edge rather than a sharp 90-degree angle. A number of manufacturers make polystyrene foam forms for concrete step edges in a variety of architectural profiles, including bull nose, French curve, keystone and quarried stone. Often these same forms can be used for the edges of concrete pilaster or wall caps.
7. Install concrete seat walls.
By flanking the sides of your entryway with concrete seat walls-which are akin to low retaining walls-you can provide definition as well as a welcoming place to sit. A typical seat wall is constructed of 8- to 12-inch-wide concrete masonry units and topped with a decorative cap of brick, stone or bull-nosed cast concrete. The average height is 18 to 22 inches.
8. Add decorative concrete columns, balustrades, arches and more.
To give your entryway the utmost in elegance and grandeur, consider using precast architectural concrete accents, such as columns, balustrades, pilasters, wall caps, and archways. Architectural elements cast in concrete offer all the beauty of natural cut limestone, granite or marble, but permit much greater versatility in color, finish and detailing.
9. Install built-in lighting.
For safety as well as ambiance, entryways should be well lit at night and that often means installing more than a dim light fixture above the front door. You should also provide path lighting all along the concrete walkway leading to the door and in transitions between concrete stairways and surrounding areas. One great way to do this is to cast built-in light fixtures right in the faces of concrete steps. Another popular effect is downlighting from recessed fixtures built into concrete seat walls, columns or pilasters.