Thursday, February 14, 2013

Concrete oasis

Outdoor Kitchens are a great place to showcase concrete's endless ability.  Client's routinely choose natural stone to create their private backyard oasis', why not add handcrafted concrete countertops to finish the space.  The look, feel, and possibilities are indeed endless.

I was hired to create a unique backyard living area for a beautiful home in Santa Clara ca.  I was given a ballpark color to start with, light brown/tan.  The very first color sample was the one that fit the bill.  It is now called "salted carmel", after my favorite ice cream from Polar bear.  Polar bear just happens to be 3 doors down from me in the industrial complex where my studio is located.  If you have not had their ice cream, Then I highly recommend you check them out!  Ok back to the subject at hand, concrete.

This project was my largest up to this date, as well as the biggest piece I had ever cast.  The main section of concrete is 10 feet long by nearly 4 feet wide with an integral 24 inch kitchen sink.  This piece overhung the back of the island 10 inches to accomodate friends and family.  From there the counters turned 90 degrees and headed another 7 feet to make room for the stainless steel Bbq.  What outdoor kitchen would be complete without the Bbq?

To make this a one of a kind backyard sanctuary, the client requested an outdoor firepit.  The contractor and I were happy to oblige.  Created was a 6 foot diameter fire ring capped with a matching hand made 1 piece "salted carmel" concrete top.  Plumbed with natural gas and equipped with an auto lighting mechanism, this fire ring really lit up the back yard!  Perfect for roasting marshmallows or relaxing by the gentle flames,  possibly enjoying your favorite beverage of choice.

A matching concrete bench cap was created to sit atop a 17 foot long arched half wall.  Finished in 2 pieces, this wall/bench framed out a beautiful garden area that is planted with annuals.  Templating was slightly tricky without the stone facade being in place at time of the template.  The stone was onsite and I was able to establish a nice overhang.  The client wanted a real minimal overhang, just enough for water runoff.  A little extra time was needed during install, but the resulting look was well worth it.  A very sleek finish.

If you are ready to light up your backyard or spruce up your home, lets get together and make your
dreams a reality!  Swing by for some more inspiration.

Paul Neall


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