The use of concrete in kitchens and bathrooms may still be considered relatively “modern” by some homeowners. But while concrete can be used to create a modern or minimalist look, it can also be perfectly adapted to a more traditional setting where it has been widely used from the start.
Concrete can replace more traditional materials. Instead of just using concrete to unambiguously recreate something from the past, you can also combine it with other elements to create a timeless quality. In my work, I always strive to find a balance between innovation and emotion, between contemporary beauty and warm tradition. Adding mosaic tiles along the front edge of a concrete surface, inlaying tile pieces along the backlash, or even embedding a fossil into the countertop links us all to the past.
A small California home we recently remodeled has gone from “traditional” to “transitional”. A large curved concrete wall and a counter separate the living room from the kitchen in a bold way. Meanwhile, a built-in stainless steel sink rests on one wall, but by dipping glass tiles into the backsplash and inserting a traditional plate rack in the cabinet, it’s balanced enough to avoid a clash of styles.
Let’s take a “Craftsman” style kitchen of this century as a hypothetical example.
The cabinets will most likely consist of frames and panels with flat inlaid door frames. The dining area will be wood paneled and possibly tiled around a porcelain sink. Furniture can have beveled glass or echoes of Tiffany lamps. What specific application would be appropriate in this situation? I would consider incorporating one or more of the following ideas:
– Choose an earthy or natural gray color. No bright colors.
– Keep the front or table top thickness to a minimum of 2-1/2″ up to 5″.
– Fit the “panels” to the front of the counter to reflect the cabinet doors. These panels shall be no deeper than 3/8″ and shall be approximately 1/3″ above the height of the front, or
– Place ceramic tiles of appropriate size or proportions with some embossed lines on countertops or in backlash poured.
Allow at least 1/4″ deep recess.
– Mosaic tiles in groups of four 1/8″ -1/4″ apart can be placed on the side mosaic “tripod” work surface stove burner. (In the mold, they will be placed face down on the bottom of the form.)
– Align the drip panel in the tile or marble sink.
For now, I wouldn’t want to use all of the accents above – just enough to add flavor to the Craftsman look. The concrete itself is sufficient soil to support this load. As an owner or designer, you can add accents to personalize and enhance the room. In some cases, such as excessive “traditional English villa” kitchens, often with a lot of intricate details, a little limited use is possible – concrete countertops with single arched edge detailing Simple and an additional white porcelain farmhouse sink could be perfect.
As they say, it’s all in the details.