Design trends: concrete

Concrete is an unashamedly brutal material now reinvented by designers inspired by modernist architecture, to create anything from wallpapers to rugs and tables.
For raw industrial chic, nothing beats concrete. But if bare concrete walls are too harsh to handle, you can still get the look, using one of the new photo-realistic wallpapers that come with a choice of concrete effects.

Concrete looks great contrasted with soft textures, such as velvet cushions/curtains, or fake-fur throws. Modernists love to mix it with glass, metals and wood. Warm colours will soften the look — creamy beige and deep chocolate look good with concrete as do neon brights. And mood lighting softens the look and highlights the texture.

BackImage 1 of 1NextPLAYToggle slideshow
1. Five-sided barbie
Concrete hexagons, adapted to contain fires or act as tables and benches, can be assembled into different designs, with the simplest (one-and-a-half hexagons) starting at £584.

This arrangement costs £1,124 from Garden Beet (020 3397 2377;
2. Rough, rough
Here is a contemporary home for the modern dog — or dog owner — with architectural attitude.

Made from lightweight fibre and reinforced concrete, it comes in three sizes, from £93.60 from Garden Beet (020 3397 2377;
3. Steel, glass, concrete
Less is more — the famous maxim of modernist architects — is also the name of this new table from Roche Bobois with glass top, girders in matt black lacquered aluminum and a raw concrete base.

Priced at £4,448 (020 8874 9818;
4. Solid table
Leigh Cameron's Skeleton of Trees wood and concrete table (about £1,000; will be on show at New Designers Part 2, which runs from July 3 at Business Design Centre, Upper Street, N1 (
5. Wallpapers that rock
Surface View's Textures collection for wall murals is high-definition imagery of real-life wall surfaces. This concrete bespoke wall mural costs from £35 a square metre (0118 922 1327;
6. Tough rug
This concrete rug by Alex Chinneck ( is assembled from about 280 individual pieces, which are cut by water jet from standard paving slabs, 5mm thick, and held in place by a frame in ash wood or in polished steel.

"It's definitely made to be walked on," says Chinneck, who can also embed this design into a floor of, say, poured concrete, or wood. Made to order in any size, the rug costs about £1,100 and is 100cm by 1,180cm.

Visit or call 01603 927392.

Follow us on Twitter @HomesProperty and Facebook