10 Ways to Embrace the Concrete Trend
It has a reputation for being edgy, but the grey stuff has a beautiful side, too. Here's how to use it to great effect
Use concrete to add a striking feature to a minimalist kitchen. These simple white units have been teamed with a concrete breakfast bar, which instantly elevates the space. The breakfast bar was cast on site using a concrete made of a large amount of recycled material. The kitchen designer made a formwork cast over the island and the builder then poured in the concrete. This is a great way of building a completely bespoke piece, but needs to be done by a professional as any mistakes can’t be rectified.
If you’re concerned that concrete will look too cold, team it with a natural material. The kitchen here mixes industrial-style concrete worktops with rustic wood units to provide the ideal combination of ‘cool’ and ‘warm’. To keep the look cohesive, the designers have used steel splashbacks and a stainless-steel cooker, which tie in with the work surface.
Be inspired by this London kitchen with concrete and reclaimed finds
Fancy the look of concrete without the hassle of applying the real thing? Go for a concrete-look wallpaper instead. The surface behind the bed here is covered with a paper that resembles blocks of concrete. It gives the room a quirky industrial feel, but is easy to hang and feels soft to the touch.
Concrete tiles are a great alternative to the usual ceramic versions. These large panels look stunning in this bathroom, and provide a cool contrast to the warm wood.
There are also many porcelain tiles on the market that have the appearance of concrete – ideal if you want an easy-to-install, wipeable surface with the same raw look.
In a bathroom like this, with a wet room-style shower, you’ll need to ensure your walls are waterproof. The walls of this cool, minimalist washspace have been covered with a waterproof product called MicroCrete. To make double sure they stand up to a soaking, the designers have added an extra sealant.
For a durable finish in a space that gets lots of footfall, concrete is ideal. The concrete wall and staircase here provide a practical solution to stand up to grubby hands and shoes.
Consider products that can be applied like plaster. Micro cement, which has been used here, is a cement-based coating that will bond to most surfaces and is attractive and hard-wearing.
Discover reasons to love concrete flooring
For another easy alternative to real concrete, consider using one of the concrete-effect paints that are available from various outlets. The painted walls here resemble raw concrete and look great with the ornate tiles on the floor.
The white walls in this very pared-back living room have been contrasted with a concrete chimney breast. The fireplace has become a central feature in the room, which encourages the homeowners to cosy up around it.
To achieve this look, you could cover the protruding wall with precast concrete panels or alternatively render the chimney breast with micro concrete, which is similar to micro cement. You will need to take care with any fireplace surround though and ensure it has been approved as non-flammable.
These lucky children have a climbing wall in their bedroom, but constant clambering could have taken its toll on white walls. To combat the possibility of a dirty, damaged surface, the owners applied a concrete finish to the walls to make them hard-wearing and easy to clean.
The wall in this office isn’t actually concrete, but it certainly looks like it is. In fact, the whole wall has been covered with magnetic plaster, which is ideal if you want to turn a large surface into a noticeboard.
Have you used concrete in your own home? Or have you recreated the look with an alternative material? Share your ideas and experiences in the Comments below.