It’s the most used man-made material worldwide, and in recent times concrete has won people over with its versatility within interiors.
Regarded as the most reliable material for construction, due to its durability and strength, the use of concrete is now wowing people beyond house foundations.
Flooring, benchtops and vanities are just some of the creative ways in which concrete is getting the spotlight in homes, both on and off the market.
Concrete is a relatively affordable and adaptable material, and widely accessible. Most buildings throughout the world are constructed utilising concrete due to its robustness. Concrete actually gains strength over time.
Its use extends to bridges, tunnels, sewerage systems and more. However, another huge drawcard for concrete is its thermal mass, which aids energy efficiency, in that it acts as a temperature stabiliser.
The sky is the limit
From the top to the bottom of houses, big and small, concrete can be utilised in literally hundreds of ways. Look outside the home: landscaping, alfresco areas, and shed floors can be formed from concrete, with flair.
Look inside: eye-catching benchtops, fireplace hearths and bathroom features can be constructed from the material.
A form of expression
Michael Iannicelli owns and operates Concrete House, an Adelaide-based business that provides custom concrete design and application services. He agrees that its use seems to be infinite and that it is becoming immensely popular: “It’s now an individualised product and is highly expressive.”
The finished look can be a result of the owner’s personal preference, whether it be a raw, porous or a sleek, industrial aesthetic that they opt for.
A furniture trend
Real estate agents and stylists agree; people walking through homes are noticing that concrete has become not only a focal point, but a stylish way to present something functional.
Think bench seats, side tables, outdoor furniture, and stools. Michael Iannicelli agrees that it is a “specialised” material to work with.
Kitchens and bathrooms
People often have strict visions for wet areas of their homes. Pigments within concrete mean a wide range of colours are available in finishes, which surprise a lot of people. This means that a chosen colour palate can be adhered to, in both bathrooms and kitchens, to match in with tiling and paintwork.
Iannicelli asserts that “customers have usually done their research on the pros and cons”. Many home renovators opt for concrete as their hard surface of choice in the wet areas because of both the finish and long-lasting reliability of the material. And durability is a must in such frequently used spaces within a home.
Concrete walls and floors slow down the movement of heat. This allows for consistent temperature control, in a natural, sustainable way. Polished concrete floors have become somewhat of a showstopper in many properties today in 2017, but they are also impressing because of the energy efficiency factor.
Aesthetically, both ground and polished finishes can vary in the exposure of the aggregate. If the surface is ground back, preferred effects can be produced. Using steel trowel or burnished finishes, and saw cuts can all enhance the final look. “When done right, and tastefully, concrete elements all throughout a house can complement each other”, advises Michael Iannicelli.
Next time you see an interior space rich with concrete, you’ll likely take note of the finish, and perhaps have a newfound appreciation of the work that goes into such a sleek, industrial-inspired look. Keep an eye out, and become inspired.