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Still going strong – why concrete is here to stay

Last week, I walked into a café whose interior was the epitome of the upcycling and industrial trend we see everywhere these days. Looking around, the place was full. Whilst that may have a lot to do with the coffee and food it serves (and the free WiFi!), there’s no denying, today’s consumer loves being in this sort of space. Concrete counter tops, metallic wall hangings and wooden tables aplenty.   I often get asked about concrete.  How long will it remain as one of the key ingredients for industrial living? Let’s face it trends come and go, so what does this mean for concrete?


Over the years I have looked at how I can adapt this liquid stone in order to create something beautiful and simple. From pendant lights and creative wall art, to custom designed panels and bespoke worktops and furniture, the truth is, concrete doesn’t have a shelf-life or limitations. It certainly isn’t confined to one particular trend either. It’s versatility allows it to be created in different colours, finishes and shapes   It can be made to look bold, minimalist and contemporary. It can also scream understated elegance and beauty, particularly when combined with other materials such as glass, metal and wood.


Right now I feel privileged and humbled to be working with the award winning Charlotte Crosland Interiors on a bespoke outdoor kitchen (www.charlottecrosland.com). This is my first outdoor project of this kind and it’ll be another milestone for how concrete is used. I’ll be keeping you posted on how the project progresses and needless to say, I am very excited to see the end result! I have also recently seen my pendant lights go into Newton Hall, Northumberland (www.apartment-group.com). Newton Hall describes itself as ‘Bold, Romantic and Fantastical.’ Nothing industrial about this space, I can assure you.


Having a considered approach toward architecture and interior design is key. When I work with a client we set out to create a completely bespoke design for the home, garden or business. I have seen how the durability and versatility of concrete can radically transform the design of any project. I have used concrete for underfloor heating, as it is lighter than its quarried alternatives. The oiled or sealed surface of concrete means it is stain resistant and has excellent sound impact absorption when installed with concrete adhesive. I have used concrete for outdoors on walls for cladding, patios, as well as garden benches and planters. The results are stunning. The technology of GFRC (Glass Reinforced Concrete) made with white cement, also has a much lower environmental impact than conventional concrete, stone or other materials. Made with minerals: cement, aggregates, glass fibres and, in some cases, mineral pigments and special polymers, GFRC is designed to be long lasting and environmentally friendly. This technology allows unlimited use of this material in interior and exterior design.


As I sit here today and look back on some of my previous designs, I am reminded at how concrete provides a unique and fashionable accent to any space. I can also see how it can be evolved, adapted, and improved. Concrete is a talking point. Your return on investment really does pay off. In fact, the concrete table I have in my showroom looks better everyday!
So yes, concrete is still going strong and it is here to stay, whatever the trend.

Daniel Wanat

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