Architecture is a funny thing. Out of the Second World War came Brutalism. People usually mistake Brutalist architecture to mean ‘brutal architecture’, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Brutalism is defined by the philosophy that design should be honest, humble and straightforward, both in materials used and purpose.
That’s why the Brutalists favoured concrete: it was available to everyone — it’s the people’s material.
Why’s this important? Because you’ve probably seen a restaurant or two (or 100) built in the industrial chic style. Lots of exposed brick and metal, hanging exposed lightbulbs, visible scaffolding. And it’s not just restaurants; you’ll find the modern concrete furniture in offices and homes, too.
Concrete is beautiful, and it’s functional. It creates a clean, versatile canvas for any personality style to be expressed. It’s a shame to reduce it to the stuff you make floor from.
We’re going to show you our favourite ways to use burnished concrete as beautiful contemporary concrete furniture.
The Aesthetics of a Burnished Concrete Finish
Burnished concrete has been ground finely and then chemically coated for shine and durability. One of its best qualities is the range of hues that an experienced concrete specialist can pull out of it.
Proper burnishing reveals rich earthen and industrial tones in the concrete. You’ll see mossy greens and cool grey/blues, nutty browns and warm parchment hues.
The stylistic potential of burnished concrete is endless. So let’s show you what we mean.
How to Use Burnished Concrete to Create Minimalist, Graceful Spaces
Tables for your kitchen
A concrete table burnished to a calming oyster white would make a stunning centrepiece for any dining room. Imagine a polished-smooth oasis encircled by grain wood chairs, inviting you and your loved ones to dinner.
Burnished concrete furniture is extremely durable, thanks to its specialised surface treatment. It’s more than capable of handling the scrapes, thuds, heat and spills a dining table can expect.
Counters for your business
As many a business can attest, the rustic look is always a winner. Burnished concrete countertops are an elegant way of commanding space and drawing your customers’ attention.
But don’t feel beholden to a rustic vibe. The burnished finish is versatile enough to suit practically any aesthetic, from the aforementioned industrial chic to neon nights and Scandinavian minimalism.
Keep in mind that the glossy finish burnished concrete provides is reflective, making it a light source in itself. A creative interior decorator can arrange custom concrete furniture to bounce natural light around a space or highlight particular spots, like a concrete countertop, to guide the eye naturally.
Lounges for your backyard
Picture yourself on a warm summer’s day, stretched out on a lounge by the pool. You’re probably not picturing a concrete lounge, are you? Concrete is supposed to be bulky, rough and industrial.
In the hands of an experienced concrete expert, concrete can be moulded into sleek, flowing contours that cradle and support the resting body. And don’t worry about the heat; burnished to a light off-white shade, your concrete outdoor furniture reflects the sun and remains cool.
Burnished concrete is also highly water-resistant, so you won’t need to worry about any damage from pool proximity, or the elements, for that matter.
Pizza ovens for your deck
There are few things in this life as rewarding as feasting on a freshly homemade pizza. While we don’t want to insult your kitchen appliances — you simply cannot get the searing heat and charring of a brick pizza oven.
The interior of a pizza oven should always be built of fire brick, but the exterior affords a little more aesthetic flexibility. One of concrete’s key features is its heat absorption, which would allow it to help keep the area around the oven cool.
A burnished finish, like an earth walnut brown, would be the cherry on top, or the pepperoni in this case.
Feature walls in your living room
Now for something a little different. Bespoke concrete furniture and flooring is one thing — but consider the power and beauty of a dramatic concrete feature wall.
The gloss and varied subtle hues of burnished concrete create exquisite minimalist backdrops. You might choose to burnish your concrete wall to a natural mineral hue, upon which your family photos and decor would pop in bursts of colour.
The space remains uncluttered without losing personality; it remains calm while making a bold statement.
5 Interior Design Tips for Complementing Burnished Concrete Furniture
As remarkable as concrete furniture design is, learning to integrate it into your domestic or business space is vital. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
- Concrete outdoor furniture needs to be surrounded by lush, verdant greenery. Concrete furniture can inadvertently make a spare garden feel a little too industrial.
- Concrete indoor furniture also pairs beautifully with warmer materials (like wood and brass) as well as most other metals, marble and glass.
- The smooth finish of burnished concrete is desperate to pair with textured decor. Textured throws, pillows, carpets, or even plants and paintings, can make for engaging spaces.
- On that same note, the hard feel of concrete needs to be balanced against plush surrounding features. Soft carpets and flowing curtains might do the trick.
- Concrete reflects light — let it. A burnished finish adds gloss as well, so think about how your concrete furniture or walls can bounce natural or electric light to create a visually softer space.
At Policrete, we service industrial, commercial and residential clients — whatever your needs, our industry-leading team can handle them. So if you’d like to find out more about the possibilities of burnished concrete interior and exterior furniture, our experts are ready to answer your questions and get to work.