Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hockey Table just for Christmas

Whether you call it a rec room, man cave, dude room, or entertainment area, theme rooms are becoming a great way to make a lower level basement into a fun, hang out place.

A couple in River Falls, WI did just that. Their lower level was remodeled to mimic a hockey rink. With rink boards, jerseys and hockey frames, there was only one piece left to set this "hockey center" apart, a hockey concrete countertop.

The countertop was a total of 12 feet long, colored wicker tan, and included all types of hockey equipment and memorabilia. The parents chose their daughters skates, helmet, gloves, sticks, and medals to embed into the countertop. To mask the seams in the large top, two hockey sticks were placed to give the illusion of one large precast piece.

The result was impressive. This family truly has a one-of-a-kind countertop. And we delivered it just in time before all the Holiday parties.

Merry Christmas!

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Best Precast Project - Gold Award

Bomanite Corporation announced the 2008 Project of the Year awards at its annual conference held in Kansas City, MO. Concrete Arts took home the prestigious Best Precast Project, Gold Award. The Best Precast Project featured a fireplace we did in Lakeville, MN. This fireplace project encompasses everything an award captures, artistry, innovation, and ambition.

This residential fireplace was made entirely out of concrete. Concrete Arts hand chiseled each individual pre casted block, totaling around 100 individual blocks. Each block was acid stained with two different colors. The base color was a walnut stain and accented with Auburn to create dimension. The lighter color stones are the natural concrete mix that simulates natural limestone.

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Concrete Countertops - Vessel Sinks

Vessel sinks used to be only used for classy venues such as sushi bars or upscale restaurants. Slowly this popular trend has been moving into the everyday homes and taken on many different looks from contemporary to industrial. Vessel sinks are formed from many different types of material, copper, limestone, bronze, glass, pewter, wood, ceramic, metals, and various stones. What some designers have neglected when buying or creating vessels sinks is concrete.

Vessels sinks allow a person to determine his or her own style. Now concrete vessel sinks can elaborate and take his or her creativity even further at a more reasonable price. The countertop below shows just how eye-catching and unique one can be with a vessel sink and countertop.
This particular vessel sink is integrally colored slate gray with the base countertop colored a darker slate gray. To tie the countertop and sink into the rest of the room, black, violet, and clear glass with mirror mixed in was exposed to add an interesting element to the piece.

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Asian Retreat

An architect striving for an "Asian Feel" commissioned Concrete Arts to create a surface of his front landscaping area and river side patio. He wanted to incorporate a unique design, product and methodology for this 1,340 square foot area. The result was a clever combination of local materials with an Eastern feel. The lake side patio was poured with our custom Revealed blend of white portland cement and salt and pepper granite aggregates. The front sidewalk was also poured with this mix with granite pepples hand placed in a diamond pattern. The pepples were slightly elevated above the rest of the surface area for texture.

Carly Dus

Concrete Arts

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Remembering Nativity

Nativity Catholic School
250 quotes and 2,600 square feet in memory of Nativity

The Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Parish in St. Paul, MN put on a fundraiser for its private school. The fundraiser consisted of featuring an area in the front
entrance to the school commemorating loved ones and past members of the school and parish.

The 35 year old concrete was tore out and poured new with an integral color, Slate Gray. This 2,600 square foot area was then etched with a retarder to create a
beautiful Sand Cast texture.

All 250 quotes were then sand blasted into the concrete where we previously cut faux joints in the shape of the Nativity emblem. Instead of a separate pour or
staining, we sealed the surface with two different products, Siloxean and Acrylic
Solvent Based Sealer. These sealers created two different finishes on the Sand Cast accenting the boarders, stairs, and sandblasted areas.

Nativity now has a beautiful entrance to the school where people take note of it’s history and legacy. To you Nativity, we say thank you.

Carly Dus

Concrete Arts

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Boy Scout Tribute

A Sand Cast plaza adds beauty and elegance to commemorate the start of boy scouts.

A boy scout statue stood alone for many years unnoticed. As an effort by the Hudson community, a plaza area was designed around this statue to commemorate the achievements of the Boy Scouts.

A Sand Cast texture was chosen because of its durability and cost effectiveness. This texture resembles sand blasted concrete and can incorporate specialized colored sands and or aggregates. This mix however, used the typical concrete mix.

The plaza area had two separate pours. One Pour was integrally colored with Oxford Brown. The second pour was a Beach Sand. The Beach Sand texture was later stained with an Mission Brown to accent squares in front of the benches that surround the plaza.

A monumental feature was precasted to hold all the names of the donators and a write up of the history of the Boy Scouts. This 1200 lb precast piece was stained mission brown to match the accent squares.

The Boy Scout statue now is a focal point of the Hudson down town river front area. The plaza now adds beauty and elegance to the walkways that surround the Pier and St. Croix river area of Hudson, WI.

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dream Home 2009, Parade of Homes

With such an immaculate home and beautiful artistry, one might overlook the simple yet elegant details of the 2009 Dream Home.

Concrete Arts teamed up and worked closely with Charles Cudd De Novo in creating the architectural exterior work for the Dream Home in Orono, MN. With such strong features, walk ways, patios, stoops, and the pool areas needed to match the artistry of the home's rich, classic d├ęcor.

There was over 3,500 square feet of concrete work for the home’s exterior. A traditional Ashlar slate pattern was chosen with a simple saw cut border deemed the perfect choice in featuring the home’s exterior. Curved edges and design scores added interest and detailing that created focal points for large areas and walk ways.

To match the home’s exterior, Concrete Arts created a custom color to integrally color the decorative concrete. An antique release was sprayed on to add dimension and depth. Take a look at the photos below!

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Exterior of your home

Concrete Arts encompasses every aspect of Interior and Exterior surfacing including one of the most important element to a home, siding.

Many common types of siding are going to be wood, vinyl, aluminum, brick, stone, stucco and a few more options. Another alternative is a Concrete Art product, Karvkrete. Karvekrete is going to have similarities of Cement Fiber Siding. However, there are many differences.

Karvekrete is a decorative, integrally colored concrete plaster finish for interior and exterior use. It creates an “old-world” look and emulates antique and textured stones. Concrete Arts finished a project a while back for a homes exterior. Take at look at the photos below and explore what Karvekrete is all about.

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sandscape Driveway

I had an opportunity to check out a beautiful past project we did around White Bear Lake in MN a couple years ago. The project was a Revealed surface on a driveway. The project itself held a very unique element along with a gorgeous application process of a Revealed. The color and texture add so much subtle dimension to the exterior landscaping of the home.

How the driveway was laid out just shows how a little creativity can add so mush depth and beauty to a home. This home is truly unique because of this driveway. It allows for guests to wonder about the beauty that lies within the home when driving/walking to the home.

See the great pictures below.

Carly Dus

Concrete Arts

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Website is Finally Up!

This has been a long awaited moments. The new and definitely improved Concrete Arts website is up.

The new site was designed to allow the consumer to view as many projects without getting overwhelmed. With hopes to inspire new ideas for your home or work place, this site features elements that allow for minds to wonder with thoughts on how to create your new patio, walkway, countertop, driveway, Fireplace etc.

Browse through the site and let us know how you feel. Suggestions are always welcomed.

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cigar Shop - Stamped

We just finished up a great decorative stamping project here in Hudson, WI. A Cigar Shop owner came to Concrete Arts hoping to get help to improve his patio for the store. The space wasn't large but it did need an uplift. In the process of planning, an idea came about to simulate a cigar which then evolved into a cigar box. Needless to say, the Cigar Shop now has a great looking pattern that is customized just to them, their own cigar box patio.

To add to the overall effect and theme of cigars, Concrete Arts precasted a cigar stair that leads to the patio.

The back patio looks great and is definitely a conversation starter for those sharing in the fun.

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Outdoor Stamped Concrete

I personally love camp fires. Hanging out with Family and Friends, telling stories, eating s'mores. So after a long, joyous July 4th weekend at the lake, it only seemed like perfect timing to post a project we just finished with stamped concrete around a Fire pit as well as other areas around the house.

This project in Stillwater, MN encompassed many natural, unique elements with Concrete. We stamped a patio and fireplace, and precasted architectural landscaped stairs. The patio was an Old Granite seamless texture that complimented the homes focal point, an Arizona Flagstone stamped Fire pit. To get from the the fire pit to the patio, we precasted concrete stairs. These stepping stairs are 5 inches thick with a hand chiseled edge to match the retaining wall. These three concrete elements enhanced the homes architectural landscaping appeal. See the pictures below.

Carly Dus

Concrete Arts

Friday, June 26, 2009

Relaxing in the sun!

It seems this summer more than ever, homeowners have been putting emphasis on remodeling their pool deck. Maybe it's the gorgeous 90 degree weather we've been getting or just that fact that people are starting to realize all the different options available.
A while back I posted about pool decks and a few options.
Today I want to expand those options into the EZ Top deck, Sand Cast, and Revealed options. These three options differ greatly in look from the patterned and seamless textured stamped concrete. However, besides the look difference, they are very comparable to stamped concrete.

With these three options, you have the option to integrally color the concrete which means you add color into the concrete before pour and you have the option to acid stain. As you remember about stains, stains react with the concrete to give it a mottled look. Below are pool decks of the EZ Top, Sand Cast, and Revealed concrete.

Sand Cast


EZ Top

Carly Dus

Concrete Arts

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Digging Deep For Creativity At the YMCA

Would you ever think flooring like this would be salvageable?

The YMCA and Concrete Arts has had a long lasting relationship, and it works out great. We've been able to dig deep into our creativity in repairing some of the worst existing floors that we've seen.

We've recently did a polished floor up in Longville, MN at YMCA's Camp Olson. As you saw in the pictures above, the flooring was in tough shape. The edging of the tile was cracked for so long that the sealers and waxes put over the existing flooring left stains in the concrete base. The flooring also had random cracks throughout the base surface. To mask these problems areas, the floor was grinded down and cracks were repaired. We then put a precast edging around the floor edges to hide the stains. We also added in random decorative saw cuts to hide the existing cracks. Each area was filled in with a different colored dye to add dimension.
Below are a few pictures of the final phases at Camp Olson.

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Heart Breakers and In The Grove Music

In the last couple of months, Concrete Arts has finished a few Micro Topping projects. MicroTops are a great, cost effective solution to put over existing concrete without tearing it up. Laid down at a credit card thickness, Microtops give the flexibility to the application. It can be applied in a smooth coating or a texture coating. The two projects below showcase both textures.

In The Grove Music
In The Grove Music which is located in Downtown Minneapolis has an existing concrete flooring that was cracked and in rough shape. With the walls newly redone, the flooring needed to match the design aesthetics. The MicroTop application was laid down smooth and then stained a patina mottled look. Below are a few pictures of the areas resurfaced.

Heart Breakers
Heart Breakers in Uptown Minneapolis was a unique situation. The lower basement had a platform in the corner that they wanted to blend in with the rest of the old and scuffed up existing concrete. To blend it in, we made a slant from the platform to the base and applied the MicroTop with rough trowel marks to give the illusion of scuffed marks that had been there for years. This application was very cost effective for Heart Breakers because of the cost savings on not tearing out the existing flooring or leveling the platform base. Below are a few pictures of this resurfaced area.

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Elements of the Sea

We had a great opportunity to do a concrete trough sink for a Dental Office up in Stillwater, MN. This project was especially fun because of all the different and innovative elements that the sink encompassed.

The office staff wanted to play up the area for rinsing and washing with a nature and sea theme. It was important for them to create a fun atmosphere while still holding true to who they are. One element that made them unique was the tagline the company has utlized for years, "Be Happy With Your Smile."

The project below shows the different sea and natural elements that tie in with the tagline.
Notice the natural and sea details:
  • Pebbles
  • Rock
  • Leaves
  • Fish
  • Wave of the tagline
The overall look of the trough sink turned out great. The pebbles of the sink showed a natural flow from the spout to the drain which adds a certain dimension to the natural sink. The fish and tagline were sandblasted in to "liven" up the piece giving it a playful feel, and lastly the rock on the front really gives it the natural feeling. Plus your eyes are drawn to that feature and all you want to do is touch it! Below is the finished project.

Carly Dus

Concrete Arts

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Decorative Concrete - Borders

Borders add dimension and depth to a decorative concrete piece and vary significantly. You can go from a basic saw cuts to intriquet details on both patterned stamped concreta and seamless textures. To make the border stand out even more, many times people will stain the outer saw cut a different color or even multiple colors. Again, it depends on your design aesthetic and what you envision your decorative concrete patio, sidewalk, driveway, interior, etc to look. Below are a few of the many options that are possible.

Basic Saw Cut

Basic Saw Cut with Stain

Detailed Borders

Carly Dus
Concrete Arts