It is a common assumption that concrete is grey, cold and unsuitable for residential design. This could not be further from the truth. The various colours and textures of concrete allow you to create something truly unique in your renovation or build. The challenge lies in choosing the right colour and finding materials which work cohesively with your colour and texture choice. Read on for some helpful tips.
Concrete has been used for thousands of years. In the 1950s, an architectural movement referred to as Brutalism emerged. Brutalism or ‘beton brut’, a French word for raw concrete, saw designers creating bold and durable buildings in monolithic forms of unpolished, raw, grey concrete.
Fast-forward to 2021 and manufacturing and treatment methods have significantly improved. The advancements in production methods have resulted in high-strength, durable concrete with an extensive range of colours and textures to choose from. This means that it’s the easiest it’s ever been to integrate concrete into your interior or exterior design, with the only hard question being which colour to choose.
Allow us to help you decide by taking a closer look at a few deciding factors.
If you’re struggling to make colour choices, perhaps consider the environment around your building or renovation area. Is your site near the country, mountain, city or an ocean? Would you like the colours to match or contrast your environment? Each location can dictate the overall atmosphere you may want to create. Julia Green, editor of Green House interiors, suggests using warmer tones with a more relaxing natural environment and cooler, deeper colours to match the lively cityscape.
The architectural style of your home can also be one of the most important factors in deciding your ideal colour choices. Colour can also be used to accentuate and highlight different areas or key features in your home. Elements you may want to consider are the architectural style and form of the building, existing colours, and material choices.
Traditional house style, inspired by Cottage and European design, generally tend to use warm colours, symmetrical lines, and natural materials such as wood and stone. Warm concrete tones including browns, reds (our Dingo) or light tones (our Sand) best complement this design style.
Contemporary or Modern Houses
The sleek and bold aesthetic of modern home design is characterised by the use of a combination of materials and colours. The natural design elements of concrete including its straight edges, geometric shapes and clean finish can be used to add character and visual appeal. Our greys (Dugong and Koala Grey), oranges (Dingo) or, if you’re feeling bold, even dark grey tones (Stingray Grey and Storm Grey), will be perfect for this design.
Other common characteristics of modern homes are open floor plans and minimal room separation. Integrating a variety of concrete tones and textures into your interior design can be a creative way of separating different spaces whilst still enjoying an open floor plan. You might consider using light neutral tones such as our White Haven, Dugong and Koala Grey to emphasise the openness of a space.
Open floor plans, large windows and outdoor living spaces are common in Queensland. These beautiful homes, designed with the surrounding landscape in mind, are an ideal place to feature concrete. The ability to withstand weather elements with its natural, raw, earthy characteristics make it ideal for the natural environment. Lighter colours such as White Haven and Sand create that classic coastal aesthetic. However, coastal homes are also the perfect excuse to go bold and experiment with colour - why not introduce green or a sea blue as a highlight piece?
The desired feel and the colour scheme of the project should be considered when choosing your ideal concrete colour. How many colours are in your colour scheme? Too many colours can make the final space appear busy and overwhelming. No variation in colour, on the other hand, can make the space stark. Consider what feelings you are trying to evoke in the space and how you might best use colour to create it.
Combining monochromatic palettes, pairing colours, and colour blocking are some ways in which you can approach choosing your colour scheme. When in doubt, pull out your colour wheel and match colours that best resonate with you.
Current colour trends
Considering current colour trends can be a great way to inspire your colour scheme. Vanessa Walker, editor of Houzz Australia, states that there is currently a rise in neutral colours and natural tones such as our Rainforest Green or our Sage. Colour palettes incorporating browns and muted-stone hues are also popular.
Last, but not least, the material and the colours of your fixtures can impact your overall colour decisions. Peach and brush pink tones nicely compliment brass or copper fixtures. Monochromatic grey tones look great with glass finishes, especially in bathroom fit outs. Earthy tones look beautiful with timber or exposed brick.
Other Important Factors
It is important to note that concrete colours will vary when viewing them on different device screens due to display and colour settings. It is best to rely on samples. This will help you understand not only how the colour looks in real-life, but also how it will look in your space. Please get in contact with our team if we can provide you with any assistance or colour samples.