The industrial look in interior design has been around for a while now and whilst we aren’t all lucky enough to live in an old converted warehouse that is brimming with authentic industrial elements, there are ways to give our homes a distinctly urban feel.
One of the easiest ways to achieve an industrial look at home is to use industrial materials. Concrete is an obvious choice and in recent months we have witnessed a huge rise in the use of concrete in interior design. Many designers are now using concrete in unexpected and unusual ways and it would seem that there is nothing that can’t be made using this versatile material.
Lighting made from concrete has really made its mark this year as numerous designers have taken advantage of the hard-wearing, utilitarian properties of the material to create minimalist lighting designs.
An unlikely product to make from concrete is seating due to the hardness and density of the material, which makes it pretty unforgiving where comfort is concerned. This has not deterred designers though who have forged ahead, creating some interesting unusual furniture.
Dutch designer Dik Scheepers used papercrete – an experimental, low cost, versatile, light-weight material – which is more often used in the construction industry, to create a collection of furniture named UnPølished.
Other concrete furniture came in the form of Wahid, Florian Kallus’ storage cubes, which have a wood veneer on the inside that slightly softens the overall impact of the concrete.
Johan Forsberg is a Swedish designer who experiments with concrete for a number of applications. From wall art, clocks, and tables, Forsberg’s concrete creations have a minimalist and modern design language and are certainly made to last.
Wallcoverings have not avoided the concrete craze either. Daniel Ogassian’s tile designs in concrete are a stunning reminder that this mundane material can be transformed into a tactile and decorative surface for interiors.
Even those designers who do not work directly with concrete have been getting in on the act. Norwegian company Concretewall creates unique and realistic wallpapers designed to look like concrete.
The Concrete Collection is designed by photographer Tom Haga who photographs raw and refined concrete walls, raw cinder block walls and even graffiti, in locations right across Norway. The high-resolution images are then transformed into wallpaper.
Kitchens too have undergone an industrial revolution as designers have selected concrete as their material of choice. Austrian design studio Steininger Designers has created an innovative concrete kitchen made of ultra-thin 8 mm concrete, which is sturdy, light, heat-resistant and hygienic.
Bathrooms too are making use of the advantageous properties associated with concrete. Glass Idromassaggio‘s Concrete Soft bathtub is made from DuctalR concrete and bears the signature of the designer Gigi Rossi.
Whilst all these concrete products look pretty impressive and add a touch of industrial chic to interior spaces, I’m still not convinced that concrete is a material I would want to use in my home. How about you?