A Concrete Idea

I apologize for my cyber absence, things have been uber[1] busy ‘round these parts. Not only was I in Key West, Seattle and Hawaii but Miss Mary Beth hopped the pond for a Mediterranean adventure through Italy, Monaco and the south of France.[2] However, it’s back to work and our travels have left us well-rested and inspired.

Compared to the soft, tropical and fantastical locations we both just visited, today I’m interested in quite the opposite: cold, hard concrete. As inhabitants, when we see concrete I think we view it to be just what I said before which is uninviting and cold, so when using this durable material it is important to play up either the minimalism that concrete exemplifies or work to warm it up.

You can do a million and one things with concrete: we see it a lot exposed and natural, giving various rooms that tough industrial look that’s so hot right now. If you want to keep that sensibility about it, embrace the iciness of the material and utilize a monochrome scheme, particularly with white. Creating a room that exemplifies stark emptiness emphasizes the way we generally see concrete. Chachkies are a no-no and perhaps a simple 3-foot stack of books should be the singular accessory to your room.

However, you don’t just have to let the concrete decide the room. Polishing concrete floors warms up the space a bit and adds another level of sheen to the environment. Adding softness like pillows, furry blankets and fabrics like velvet contrast with the hardness of the floor adding depth and warmth to the room. Concrete is also great for things like kitchen countertops: because it stays cold you can happily knead your bread without worrying too much about whatever it is you have to worry about.[3] Bathrooms are also a good place for concrete, but if I were you, I’d get heated floors: there’s nothing like ascending from a warm bath just for your nipples to freeze up because the atmosphere around you is an ice cube. And with that, I think we have just outlined the various uses[4] of concrete at home.

cold warm

[1] No umlaut. Sorry, Deutschland!

[2] I held down the fort in the US while she was gallivanting en Europa.

[3] I’m totally blanking on why my mother told me to make challah on a cool surface.

[4] And misuses.


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