A trend that’s currently making its way more and more into the world of interior design is designing with concrete; most commonly, walls, floors, and other surfaces. From what we’ve noticed, people like the idea, but few are the ones who find it easy to incorporate concrete into their houses. That’s why we’ve come up with this bunch of ideas to inspire the interior designer within you.
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1. The Little Things
Concrete is known to be a cold, strong element. We know that it stands alone, but as impressive and unique as that is, it can be considered too much. So, how do we change that? In one word, contrast. Balance is the key; you need to find something that takes away the “coldness” of concrete and amplifies its strength and power. One way to subtly do that is using little elements; play with the colors around your concrete space. You can use hangers, shelves, vases, or any other objects that you can place against the concrete. Our advice is to stick with dark, matte, and solid colors; blues, reds, and greens.
2. Framed Mirrors
Do you happen to have a bathroom sink made of concrete? A countertop, perhaps? Well, do you get the feeling that it’s a bit soft? As we’ve mentioned, concrete gives off a strong, powerful vibe, but texture-wise, it’s quite soft. To compensate, you can add a mirror right above, since, mirrors help in two ways. On one level, the glass itself offers a refreshing sharpness that contradicts the soft ambiguity of concrete. On another level, a frame with a strong color; preferably black, as well as, a strong geometric presence, can give more character to your overall space. If you're looking for a unique mirror for you space, this page has many beautiful antique mirrors available. Especially, if you keep around a couple of elements that share the same color as the frame.
Experts view wood as one of the most versatile tools in an interior designer’s toolbox. When dealing with concrete spaces, you’ll find interesting results if you combine wood. Mainly, it is because wood feels warm and cozy, while concrete has a more industrial feel to it. Placing a wooden bench, table or stand next to a concrete wall can give your bedroom a rustic feel to it, for example. How about if you have concrete kitchen walls? The answer is easy; kitchen cabinets are the way to go.
4. Concrete Finishes
If you don’t want to add extra furniture or if you need the space, you can always decorate the concrete itself rather than add an exterior element. There are several processes you can use to add colors to your concrete area. Some people choose to hire pros; others take on the challenge of applying a finish on their own. However, according to Craftsman Concrete, polishing your floor first opens up the opportunity for you to use several finishes and pick your favorite stain. Your finish of choice should add a bit of spice to your plain slab; the irregular designs should make your concrete more visually intriguing.
If you were told to imagine a big brown couch, what will you see? Definitely, a big brown couch, but that’s not all. There’s no doubt you pictured a comfortable couch with plump cushions, too. When you place a warm-colored couch that looks comfortable and containing in an area where concrete is the main element, you’d be giving off two contradicting motifs that happen to complement each other. The result would be that your wall would look large and slightly intimidating just enough to drive you into the comfort of a beautiful couch.
Concrete surfaces tend to be quite cold. Plus, we’ve grown accustomed to associating concrete with dark and abandoned basements. These two factors provide the perfect set up for you to use textiles. For your floors, a thick knit rug is a great way to give your house a rural feel to it, and take away the brazenness of concrete. As for countertops and other surfaces, soft cloth or a placemat are guaranteed to project a country house vibe unto your visitors, and most importantly, yourself.
7. Earthy Furniture
When we say earthy, we mean three things: unique, natural, and rough. Concrete is about as dead as it gets so, how do you go about designing with concrete? Call upon mother nature. Hand-woven baskets, rattan lamps, and footstools; anything made of wicker should go a long way. Make sure you choose color tones of an earthy nature; colors you’d see in a desert, for example.
Since we’re already speaking of nature, plants are always a good idea. In addition to granting your rooms a more natural feeling; as opposed to the industrialism of designing with concrete, having plants decreases your carbon print and provides cleaner air for house residents. A good tip is, if you have a light brown wall, adding a plant or two with dark green leaves can be very refreshing.
When in doubt, play with lighting; that’s a rule. You can go for white lights with metallic designs if you want a more modernist and contemporary look to your house. Or, if you want to make your house feel more warm and inviting, use yellowish lights. Whether you choose candles, a fireplace, or regular bulbs, a beautiful interior is a guarantee. However, we strongly recommend you go with natural light sources since they are a lot more unique and interesting.
If you are one for art; abstract art to be specific, we believe you should give this idea a try. Another thing that concrete is associated with is art. Due to the industrial nature of concrete, it has been found to go nicely with metallic art and abstract pieces. Plus, you already know the mix works from all the movies that feature art studios/warehouses with concrete elements.
The Main Concept
Throughout the article, we suggested 10 different ideas that you can use to designing with concrete spaces. Nonetheless, they all have one thing in common. While choosing each element, we made sure that its properties were, in a sense, opposite to that of concrete. This is an invitation for you to get creative; take our ideas to the next level. Just by keeping the concept of contrast in mind, you can add or remove any element as you wish.