Modern design is more practical than ever, doing away with frivolous gilded edges and fragile painted porcelain and embracing minimalist tenets. Enter the humble poured concrete. It’s hard-wearing, versatile and can be as sleek or textured as you like in the workplace or the home. Employing thousands of Australians – many in regional areas – the cement industry is also an important contributor to regional employment. With more and more boutique manufacturing operations starting up locally it’s easier than ever to bring this contemporary material in from the outside.
Building with concrete is much faster and once cut it can be polished to a smooth finish or covered with a coloured or clear epoxy material to protect against oil and chemical spills. This makes them as equally useful in homes as they are in commercial buildings. It makes for a durable and sophisticated kitchen floor, too, even used as a benchtop or splashback for a bold look that brings an industrial edge to your interior design. Consider creating a unique architectural focal point with an eye-catching feature like a bespoke, poured-concrete staircase.
Not looking to remodel your whole building? As a material that doesn’t require extra treatments to reach even the most stringent fire codes, concrete can be more than just a floor or wall. Artists have experimented with the material crafting everything from bathtubs to chairs. With modern oxides and pigments introducing more colour choice than the standard grey, concrete furniture can be a modern feature in any room, blending with any existing palette or standing out for an unexpected pop of colour. Whether it’s an item of furniture like a slab top table or just a small decorative piece like a pendant lamp or vase you can introduce the cool texture to any spot in the house or office effortlessly.
But what if the space you’re in has concrete you would like to soften up? Concrete can make large spaces feel cold, so the right furnishings are crucial. Bright colours, thick or patterned carpets, the classic scatter cushion or a lavish throw draped over the back of a dramatic reading chair. Consider lighting with exposed bulbs for a warm, welcoming ambiance or paper lampshades for an eco-friendly injection of an interesting texture. Concrete is an incredibly versatile material but as it’s commonly associated with external urban architecture. It can be a great tool to blur the line between indoors and outdoors, so take advantage of it and bring some nature into your property. This works especially well alongside indoor plants. They bring vibrancy into your interior space and can balance out concrete’s cooler tones - and they also improve indoor air quality.
At the end of it’s useful life, concrete can be crushed up and recycled – that is, if it ever goes out of style. In small or large doses it can be a versatile deign addition to your interior that promises to be an effortless design staple for your home or business. You can get your very own designer concrete baths, bench tops and basins from Eco Sustainable House.