You already know concrete is a durable material that requires little maintenance. However, concrete is also eminently customizable. Contractors can stamp, stain and dye concrete to make it resemble other materials, such as stone or brick. They can even embed decorations into the slab. Being both durable and customizable makes concrete ideal for updating your backyard.

Outdoor Kitchen

One of the more popular additions to the patio is an outdoor kitchen, thus minimizing the traffic in and out of the house. Concrete is excellent for the countertop material. You can have it poured as a straight slab or curved to facilitate your space. Have the concrete stained a color that complements your home's exterior, or keep it neutral. The Concrete Network also suggests decorating the concrete with embedded glass. You can choose different colors, sizes and shapes to create as subtle or artistic a finish as you want.

Central Fire Pit

Another common addition to the patio or yard is a built-in fire pit. While it's possible to simply add a portable fire bowl, built-in fire pits allow you to create an entertainment destination. Many concrete fire pits are sleek and modern with smooth, geometric finishes. However, it's possible to have contractors build an exterior that resembles rustic stone. Choose a quiet spot for your built-in fire pit, and design seating space around it.

Seat Wall

If your backyard features a slope, landscaping may require a retaining wall. If so, consider having your retaining wall transformed into a seat wall. Contractors create the wall out of concrete or cinder blocks with a façade. For a seat wall, they add a bench. This can be a nice addition to a fire pit area, or you can select a spot with a pretty view.

Pathway

The customization potential of concrete really comes out in using it for a pathway. You can create a very rustic or highly-formalized walkway with concrete as the base. For example, if you have pretty landscaping and want a simple garden path, consider installing concrete pavers. The pavers resemble natural stone. Place them far enough apart to accommodate an easy stride, and plant sturdy groundcover in between.

For a formal pathway, consider having concrete stamped and stained to resemble brick. In this case, design a wide, straight walkway to produce a grand ambience.

An idea for a pathway in between those levels of formality is to have the concrete stamped and stained to resemble fractured earth or stone. In this case, the pathway is continuous. However, you can add curves or even make the border freeform.

Utilize the customization of decorative concrete to add beauty to your backyard.

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