Concrete Slabs: From Drab to Fab - Sue Brooks

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Concrete Slabs: From Drab to Fab

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
National Association of Realtors

There it is: a cold, bare concrete slab as you step out the back door. How can you transform it into a welcoming accent for an outdoor space? We drew inspiration from some of the designs featured at the home remodeling website Houzz.

1. Furnish it

Create a place that homeowners would want to sit back and relax. Bring in a sofa and colorful fabrics in blues or greens. Add in throw pillows to complete the look.


Photo by Nick Deaver

2. Add a rug

Cover up that cold concrete by giving it a cozier vibe with a weather-resistant outdoor rug.


Photo by Brooklinterriors LLC


Photo by McKinney Homes LLC

3. Make a focal point

Firepits are crowd pleasers. Bring one in to enhance the look of the space and show off the concrete slab as an entertainment area.


Photo by Ridge Creek Custom Homes

4. Light it up

Warm up the space with lighting to create a soothing evening ambiance. If there’s a pergola or canopy overhead, string a set of clear lights at the top for an inviting glow. You also can add solar lights to the perimeter of the concrete slab or tiki torches to give off summer lovin’ vibes.


Photo by Edmunds Studio Photography, Inc.


Photo by Bloom Concrete and Landscaping Design

5. Dress it up with plants

Plants and flowers can make even the dreariest of concrete slabs appear more inviting. Bring in containers of colorful flowers around the borders, or find ways to draw eyes away from the ground by displaying a trendy vertical garden that grabs attention.


Photo by MTLA-Mark Tessier Landscape Architecture

6. Stamp and stain

Consider giving the concrete an upgraded look. Below, this stamped concrete imitates pavers. A coat of paint and stain can instantly transform a concrete slab.


Photo by Browse Patio Photos