Exposed aggregate creates beautiful patios, pathways and pool surroundings. By choosing specific gravels and other elements such as coloured glass pieces and natural stones, you can colour it a wide variety of shades. You can add pigment to the background cement as well. Thus, the overall tone of the surface emerges from a fusion of the background concrete and the embedded decorations.
But where do you start when choosing colours? One approach is to just do the same as when decorating an inside room; look at all the surrounding elements and choose shades that complement each other.
Complementing The Hardscape
A good starting point is to let the exterior colours of your house guide your choice of aggregates and cement pigments. For example, you could match concrete shades with the roof, the fascia or trim such as door and window frames. Ideally, though, you should consider the entire hardscape. This includes all the landscaping details, such as other concrete areas, decks, pathways and fences. Alternative materials such as stone, brick or timber are also relevant. Finally, don't forget to bring outdoor furnishings into the picture and to choose colours that will complement them as well.
You don't necessarily need to keep all the exterior concrete uniform either, particularly if it covers a large area. You can use different treatments to delineate elements. For example, you could colour a couple of steps leading inside the home a different tone to the patio ground. Doing this can increase safety. Contrast emphasises the steps, making them less of a tripping hazard.
Contrast can also help to organise the space. It can separate functionally different zones, like separating an outdoor dining section from an open-air kitchen. This borrows from what you do inside when you position rugs within a room to create discrete areas with different functions.
Of course, the entire exterior needs to harmonise as one. But various techniques can delineate zones while maintaining unity. You might use the same base cement colour but embed slightly different aggregates. Alternatively, you could start with varying shades of cement, but add the same aggregates to produce a subtle distinction in surfaces. Or else you could create decorative bands or borders around the distinct areas with other concrete treatments.
Practicalities play a role as well in choosing concrete patio colours. With large outdoor areas, particularly around a pool, lighter shades will remain cooler on hot summer days and so create a more comfortable surface for barefoot traffic.Share