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7/3/17Adding pattern and life with Breeze Blocks

Now that the inside of our home is pretty much done, we’re looking towards our outdoor space. We have two very old garages that will need some attention soon. We have a long driveway and a bit of ‘grassy’ area behind our bedroom. And our property is surrounded by a wooden fence in back that’s falling apart, and an unsightly chain-link fence in front. Something has got to give.

As we start to brainstorm about dividing our outdoor space and all the things we want from it: outdoor dining area, jacuzzi, flow between the indoors and out and transforming our garages into a studio apartment/in-law suite… I keep coming back to breeze blocks.  

Breeze blocks are cement blocks that have been widely used as essential building materials for load-bearing walls since ’30s. They have cut-outs that create fun patterns. In the 50s and 60s they became somewhat ubiquitous. They make me think of mid-century Palm Springs but/and I feel like they can also add a beachy/breezy/boho je ne sais quoi as in the example up top, which I snapped in Tulum last week. Of course I love that they add pattern in a kind of wallpaper-effect kind of way, but the shadows that the breeze blocks create might be my favorite thing about them.

In the above example, design studio @dustandco uses breezeblocks in a kind of patchwork at @dakikokiko . (Photo by: @bethanynauert  found via @FireclayTile) I love this idea for my new studio but/and I am also thinking of ways to leave some blocks open to make room for some plants. It could create a kind of Breeze Block/ Living Wall situation!?!!

Now my only hurdle if finding out where to buy (or make!?!) these blocks in or around L.A.! If anyone has sources please let me know!

(all photos by J. Blakeney unless otherwise noted). 

Justina Blakeney Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

11 responses to “Adding pattern and life with Breeze Blocks”

  1. Amy Madeline says:

    I love the bold pattern, semi-privacy, ventilation, and sense of enclosure from these blocks. They would be great in my Spanish bungalow patio. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Sophie Inez says:

    We live in an apartment and don’t have a back yard, but will have to keep this in mind for someday (for when we do!)…or maybe use them as a room divider in our studio….hmmmm ..the wheels are turning. Thank you!

  3. Colleen Lavin says:

    YESSSS! I’ve been a huge fan of breeze blocks (aka screen blocks) forever! This is the closest place I’ve found to the LA area. Also, someone on Craigslist is selling 45 vintage blocks for $7 each right now.

    http://www.orco.com/products/concrete-masonry-units/product/screen-block

  4. Rusty says:

    I love the look of the last photo!!! Our back yard is huge and we’ve divided it into ‘zones’ with a gazebo covered in three different flowering vines and some bits n bobs of brush fencing. I dunno if that’s a thing in LA, but it’s big in Australia, with loads of the native shrubs that are used which are sustainably farmed now. They literally last for yearrrrrrs and look good all the time. Ours were installed by us about 15 years ago and they withstand hot summers and rains as well.
    Can’t wait to see what you do!! x

  5. Larissa says:

    It looks amazing! Seems to be back in decoration! Always loved the style and the utility of breeze blocks!

  6. Samantha says:

    So I have been searching for breezeblocks in the LA area for a while now. Really tough to find.

    I lusted over the ones in Da Kikokiko the other day but I’m sure those had to be fabricated not purchased outright because they are beyond gorgeous.

    Perhaps there should be a DustandCo. x Justina Blakeney breezeblock line in the future??? I’d be allll over that!

  7. The breeze blocks are indeed an awesome and stylish way to add privacy to your outdoor spaces and even serve as dividers in your indoor spaces. I like how breeze blocks can be easily styled to match the theme or design of the area.

  8. Dee says:

    These remind me of a lot of Haitian homes I saw growing up. These were everywhere with the most beautiful pattern – there’s definitely a Caribbean vibe to them I would love to add to my Canadian Garden.

  9. Julie Novak says:

    I found 83 of them for sale for $1 each on Craigslist.
    The catch- they are in Asheville, NC.

    It’s a really cool town to visit!!!!!!

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