This residential patio project was designed for the homeowners by architect Jovo Ivekich from Elements Design Studio in Milwaukee. It is a remarkable three-tiered outdoor living area that not only conveys elegance but demonstrates the versatility of concrete.

This project incorporates a variety of decorative concrete techniques and finishes, including standard concrete, stamped concrete, concrete countertops, concrete stairs, poured concrete walls, and a fireplace.

The poured concrete walls have an "old barn board" appearance to them. This realistic look was accomplished by lining the forms with genuine barn boards from an existing barn, circa 1870. The curved concrete fireplace along with the curved concrete walls on both sides of it presented a challenge to build. The patio and walkway have standard broomed concrete borders with textured stamped concrete in the center. The color of the stamped concrete was achieved by using charcoal standard concrete release compound. Also, there is a grill and beverage area under a pergola with colored concrete counter-tops that compliment the stamped concrete patio.

This concrete project was completed in approximately 45 days with a crew of 3 to 5 at any one time. Unfortunately with the unusually wet weather experienced at the time, this project faced additional challenges during its completion in dealing with the mud and wet conditions that were added by the rain.

Preferred Concepts LLC of Germantown, Wis., was the concrete contractor for this impressive project. Peter LaLonde, the general manager, has 25+ years of experience and talent in various aspects of concrete construction.