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  • Gina Everett

Why concrete is right for your interior

The concrete trend is a popular one that is all over Instagram feeds at the moment. Concrete is now being used as the main feature in homes such as flooring, fixtures, and shelving. The versatility of concrete means we can see it in every room of the house.

Interior design and concrete usually aren’t all that closely associated, concrete is more commonly used during the actual process of building a house, rather than for interior decoration. But you may be surprised to learn that concrete is slowly joining other classic decorating materials which we see appearing more and more when designing for our clients.

As a finishing material, concrete has, up until recently, been limited to the industrial style interior. Mostly seen being used in industrial kitchens and bathrooms. Nowadays, however, it can be used to design not only industrial but modern styles too, and, thanks to the variety of forms it can take, it can even find it's placed in more classic interior.

This familiar material will fit just as well in large houses as it does in a townhouse or apartment building and can be used in large fireplaces or flooring to smaller accessories and light fittings.

It doesn't have to be concrete either, over the past few years, we have witnessed an increase in concrete and grey-coloured interiors. So tiles which replicate concrete and grey coloured walls and accessories are a hit. The monochrome look of the surfaces can either be taken on its own to create your style or can be broken up with bold dramatic colours taking it to the next level and contrasting with the monotony of greys.

It is important to bear in mind that concrete is a very heavy-looking material, and that it can easily dominate the entire interior. This is why my advice is to exercise caution and moderation when designing a space with concrete. Use it within reason only and remember that successful interior design is all about balance. Introduce it along with subdued, preferably monochrome colours – black and white, green and woods are all good colours for this. It's truly surprising how warm grey or concrete can look when combine with these other elements/materials.

So what makes concrete such a great material all of a sudden?

Once you’ve finished installing your new concrete flooring, walls, fireplace - you’ve already completed (essentially) all the work. Your installation company should have stained, sealed, and polished the concrete for you and that is basically it when it comes to maintenance. This is unlike materials like wood or tiles which can need long term care.

One of the main reasons we’re seeing a resurgence in the use for interior design purposes is because it went out of fashion such a long time ago that it almost produces a nostalgic sort of feeling. This is is best shown in the gorgeous polished concrete floors that have grown in popularity in the last few years. It gives floors a sleeker, polished look that practically screams style and luxury.

Of course, if you read my blog often or are a keen designer yourself, you will be familiar with the concept of your home needing a focal point. This is an area that catches your eye and allows your eyes to rest. Knowing the eye rests there, it would ideally be something beautiful and something that tells everyone what the room (and maybe even what you) are about. That's why a lot of people or hotels and venues use art and pictures as focal points.

The shine that concrete has can be ideal for this, what better way to impress your guests than having a living space that literally shines and oozes luxury. Marble is a common material for this but it can also be expensive. You can accomplish the exact same atmosphere with concrete but for a far better price. Polished concrete has an almost transparent appearance in contrast to the fusible, mineral-like feel that marble gives off.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a way to add some character, or texture, to your design, concrete is an excellent (and affordable) choice to allow you to accomplish that. This can be in accessories and furniture and increaseingly in lighting.

Whatever you choose, concrete definitely adds to any interior no matter the style or size of the space and as long as it is balanced well, it can be added in an ever-growing number of ways. I don't think this one will be going anywhere any time soon.


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