"The difference between concrete and cement is that concrete contains cement plus sand and gravel." -wikepedia-
Though I do not own my house in the Ardèche region of France anymore, I am reminded of it as I begin to write this post about the decorative uses of cement; As I proceeded with the renovations of the 1635 house years ago, I decided an indestructible outdoor table would be great for breakfasts and al fresco dinners. My contractor cast a huge slab of concrete about 2 inches thick and one day it was brought, with a huge machine, down the driveway and deposited on 2 table-height "slices" of concrete duct 2 feet in diameter; its very rough surface was sanded, we added a large rectangular market umbrella and folding Luxembourg chairs and we had many a wonderful meal on this great piece of solid furniture.
Cement and concrete have been employed in very decorative ways since their first application at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. It was used again only when the Canal du Midi, in southern France, was constructed using concrete in 1670.

cement has adorned the gardens of europe for many decades
a moss covered cement table in a secret corner of a very old garden in France

a stunning bench in a rustic stone courtyard

faux wood was a big trend in the late 1800's and the early part of the 20th century. it was sculpted by hand out of cement and decorated gardens all over Europe.

many chateaux and mansions displayed cement animals, mostly outdoors on terraces and in their parcs 

 tiles made of cement are durable, easy to maintain and come in a million colours and patterns

these are made in Morocco by a great creative company,  Emery et Cie.  
their pieces shown here in their ryad in Marrakesh

another company I love is Carocim, in the south of France
 there are many other sources for this colorful product

There is beauty in the rough cement left slightly smoothed

this table is a good example of smoothed concrete, the mixture of cement, sand and gravel

some creative individuals have come up with fun and surprising applications for  common, rough, gray concrete.

a saucer like no other

a vide-poche bowl flaunting its detective movie humour


cement becomes spectacular when highly polished
a satin smooth very sleek double sink

a glossy cement coffee table

a polished cement ring; the absolute opposite of a diamond?
images mueller architects via apartement therapy, idees maison, loft boutik, antiquites-en-france, proantic, famillesummerbelle

au revoir.


  1. Such a versatile product, used for decades in a decorative fashion. I am dying over the faux bois bridge....those kitchens are wonderful, I love the juxtaposition of the rough stones with the smooth concrete surfaces. Great post!

  2. Theresa you are such a kind and loyal visitor! I am so glad you like it, it's a great measure of my blogging ability, coming from you! Merci, a bientot.

  3. I knew concrete was more and more jumping from architecture to inerior design and cement with some pigment makes fabulaous floors and counter tops, but jewelry? WOW!

  4. Just found your blog and really enjoyed reading it. i love using concrete as a material for flooring, bathroom, counter tops et.... and these cement tiles are so beautiful and rich in design and color.
    A bientot, francine

  5. Merci, Francine, je suis completement d'accord ; j'adore les carreaux de ciment. a bientot.