The Romantic Side Of Concrete
In the previous two posts of the “Versatility of Concrete” blog series, we looked at concrete in both a luxe design style and a modern farmhouse style. In both of these decor styles, concrete acts as a ‘grounding agent’, balancing out the other design details to keep the overall look from feeling too ‘over the top glam’ or ‘too precious’.
In the third post of this blog series, we look at concrete’s place in an industrial romantic decor style and much like the previous design styles, concrete again–along with the other industrial elements of this style–acts as a balancing element, keeping the overall look from reading ‘too sweet’.
A romantic design style is defined by the use of soft colours, often pastels, and a dominance of pink tones. The furniture tends towards antiques and vintage items with gilded or ornate details. Lighting is often quite dramatic with sparkling chandeliers and bedrooms and living room contain an abundance of layered textiles and pillows. It’s all quite soft and dreamy!
Now, add in concrete and other industrial design elements, such as exposed beams, brickwork, pipes, and exposed ductwork, and the design style becomes Industrial Romantic.
The exposed and aged concrete columns at The Allis at Soho House in Chicago paired with the worn wood floor and cozy antique furnishings lends a lot of character to the space. Add in the ornate, crystal chandeliers and the whole space becomes elevated.
Industrial Romantic is, if nothing else, all about the balance of opposites–the pairing of the soft, romantic, feminine details with the hard, industrial, masculine elements.
Much of the romance of this decor aesthetic comes from a sense of nostalgia. The antique pieces bring a Victorian elegance to the decor with elaborately detailed furniture backs, arms, and feet and ornate chandeliers while the industrial elements give a nod to the Industrial Revolution–metal, wood, concrete, and brick.
This combination of seemingly contradicting styles can create a very dramatic, even moody atmosphere if the overall design leans more towards the industrial. It then transitions into what is called a Steampunk style. With its strong emphasis on industrial elements, concrete is less of a balancing agent in the Steampunk decor style and more of an integral part of the overall industrial aesthetic.
Steampunk design can be defined as machinery meets elegance. Warmer than industrial design and more metallic than rustic, Steampunk incorporates Victorian style and turn-of-the-century technology but cranks up the industrial dial by incorporating mechanical machine parts like cogs and gears into the design.
Like the Industrial Romantic aesthetic, Steampunk takes industrial and warms it up. This time with leather, dark wood, and copper and bronze metallics.
Traditionally, Industrial Romantic decor style is found in repurposed industrial spaces, such as converted urban lofts and old factories. However, just as the modern farmhouse style brought rural style to the city, touches of industrial romantic can be utilized in suburban and even rural interiors as well, especially for those looking for elements of industrial design in their home without wanting to be completely immersed in it.
In the design inspiration board below, the Industrial Romantic style is created by mixing the soft pinks and jewelled purples of the upholstery and rug with the grey and black tones of the concrete and the wrought iron. The glam of the chandelier offsets the mechanical look of the clock and the industrial nature of the lamp and coffee table. Overall, a balanced design of romance and industrial.
Don’t have the exposed brick, ventilation ductwork, and other industrial elements of a converted loft apartment? By incorporating concrete into your home either with floors, countertops, furniture, stairs, a fireplace surround, etc. or by adding microcement to walls in order to create a plaster-like finish, an industrial decor aesthetic can be created in any space.
Then, add in the soft and warm touches of Victorian furniture, soft colour palettes, dark woods, leather, and turn-of-the-century lighting and accessories, and the unique and dramatic Industrial Romantic decor style is no longer reserved just for urban residents.
Interested in an Industrial Romantic interior for your home? Add concrete!
While this space leans a bit more towards the contemporary, there are definite Industrial Romantic elements. This smooth concrete fireplace surround by Anthony Concrete Design adds the industrial feel needed to balance out the softer features of the white leather furniture, the statement chandelier, and the romantic pink-purple accent colours.
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At Anthony Concrete Design, we love the versatility of concrete and the limitless options it offers our clients. Get in touch with us to learn how you can incorporate concrete into your interior or exterior design plans for your home, retail space, workspace, or gallery setting.
Anthony Concrete Design services commercial and residential clients across Canada and Ontario including Toronto, Ontario; Hamilton, Ontario; Burlington, Ontario; Mississauga, Ontario; London, Ontario and the GTA. We also ship our concrete panels worldwide.