Gone are the days when the word “concrete” was synonymous with being a dull, cold, boring material and relegated to use in basements, fire exits and other such obscure locations. There has been a paradigm shift in the way the concrete is perceived today. The raw and natural characteristics of the material lend it a unique aesthetic appeal making it very popular in home décor. “Concrete and its variants such as Terrazzo (marble, granite and glass chips set in concrete and polished) have made a strong resurgence in the last few years and are a go to material for new age designs for millennials who want trendy products and design. Since concrete can be stained, the possibilities with this wonderful material are limitless” says Darshana Patel, Co-Founder & Creative head, Signa Design.
As a material concrete is versatile and can prove to be a stylish addition to your home irrespective of your décor theme: whether minimalistic, rustic chic, industrial, earthy or contemporary. “Concrete can be moulded into different forms. Hence unlimited colours and textures can be created resulting in a wide variety of products. Wood, metals, crystals and semi-precious stones can also be embedded in concrete while casting. It is generally homogenously pigmented but it can also be painted to create interesting patterns” says Ajaay Srinivaas, Founding Director, Nuance Studio.
Concrete can be used ubiquitously as a counter top, in flooring, exterior walls or even furniture because of its universal adaptability and ease of mixing materials to achieve the desired result. Concrete flooring is a great option when compared to the conventional flooring of tiles, stone, cork etc. It is completely customizable in terms of colours, textures and finish. Consider using concrete flooring that is terrazzo finished with recycled stones for a stunning look.
Apart from kitchen counter tops, bathroom sinks, concrete walls and wall panels are perfect to create that chic industrial look. Kitchen cabinets, coffee tables and bar stools are again great ideas for an elegant and sophisticated look.
It is key to note new age concrete has much higher strength and better finish and hence complex designs can be manufactured with immaculate quality and finish. “Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) is a type of concrete that is high strength and high performance and therefore used in 3D decorative wall tiles and wall panels” says Gurpreet Kaur Tuteja – Founder, Elite Earth.
It is important to remember that concrete by its very nature is porous and this should be addressed while using it. For example, use of concrete counter tops must be finished with a sealer to prevent water from entering the countertop. In general, harsh and acidic chemicals should not be used to clean concrete surfaces; mild and diluted soap solution and sponge is recommended. Spills have to be cleaned off as soon as possible to avoid staining.
This article was originally published in The New Indian Express.