My husband grew up in Manhattan and our contractor, Billy Hartman, is from Queens. While I’m talking paint chips, they’re talking Mets pitching rotation. But one language we all speak turns out to be concrete. My husband and I wanted the slab in our garage scored to look like a New York City sidewalk—what Billy says is called a “city seam.” There’s something wonderfully nostalgic about the seams, as well as practical (these control joints help localize cracking). When it came to color, instead of a cold cityscape vibe, we added warmth and depth to the slab with subtle stain, which the pros achieved by sprinkling burgundy- and brick-colored powder pigments over the freshly poured concrete and smoothing it in with a trowel. I’ve been told that, much like a tattoo, you only get one chance with stain, so best leave it to the pros. And all the better if they’re in a New York state of mind.