Those who know my husband Duane and I well know we love our house to be our home. A place we love to be creative with, entertain in. It's a space for our family to enjoy.
Our passion has always been to recycle, refurbish, reinvent. In the beginning, it was mostly about the aesthetics. We simply loved the look and now of course it has added appeal as we've become increasingly mindful of the environment.
When we were first married we'd fossick around demolition sites for old skirting boards from which Duane would make gorgeous frames and mirrors for the markets.
Our first home was a condemned 1836 miner's cottage in Cooks Hill, Newcastle. We retained what the council would allow, such as original joists and beams. The fabulous arch windows were from an old house Duane had worked on in the Hunter Valley.
Recycled timber kitchens became Duane's forte. He built one for a friend and it grew from there. For years we would have piles of recycled timber and doors in our backyard rescued from dumpsters.
The first time we first saw a concrete benchtop was in a home in Newcastle. I loved that it was so solid and bold, cool to touch, while evoking an earthy, natural warmth. Duane decided to experiment and install one for us in an investment unit in South Coogee.
Next he refurbished the kitchen in our Coogee home. Up-lit glass block inlays were set in the concrete benchtop. Soon our bathroom had a concrete benchtop, the lounge had a concrete bench and from these creations came concreate.
Each concreate benchtop is hand-cast and so, like our various renovation projects, is a unique work of art. Our clients, both residential and commercial, tend to be those that love the fact that their creation is a 'one-off' and original.
Concrete is very versatile in that it is compatible with timber, brick, glass and stainless steel. It works well in everything from a French Provincial style kitchen to a Moroccan outdoor area or an ultra modern bathroom.
We offer a variety of concrete colours for you to choose from, however most of our clients decide on 'Oyster' the natural concrete grey or the lighter whitish, 'Wild Rice'.
We've only recently come to appreciate the great creative outlet the homes we've renovated and sold over the years have provided. Our home is about creating what appeals to us. Concreate is now our way of creating what appeals to others.