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Brutal? Industrial? Contemporary? How to soften the edges.

When you think of contemporary design, what comes to mind? Perhaps sleek lines, minimalism, and a focus on functionality? While these may be the defining characteristics of contemporary design, it’s important to remember that this style can be adapted and combined with other design elements to create unique and personalized spaces.

Brutalist Design

One such combination is contemporary design with Brutalist elements. Brutalist design is characterized by the use of raw, unpolished materials such as concrete, brick, and steel. The resulting buildings often appear heavy and imposing, with sharp lines and a rough, industrial feel

Incorporating Brutalist Elements

At first glance, it may seem like Brutalism and contemporary design are at odds with each other. However, when combined thoughtfully, these two styles can create stunning spaces that are both functional and visually striking

One way to incorporate Brutalist elements into a contemporary space is by using raw materials. Concrete, for example, can be used in flooring, walls, or even countertops to create a bold, industrial look. By pairing this with sleek, modern furniture and fixtures, you can create a space that is both functional and stylish.

Softening Brutalist Design

Another way to incorporate Brutalist elements is by using geometric shapes and lines. The sharp angles and heavy lines of Brutalist architecture can be softened by incorporating curves or more organic shapes in furnishings or artwork. This can create a more inviting and approachable feel to a space that would otherwise feel too harsh.

Bringing in Natural Materials

While Brutalist design may not traditionally feature natural materials, there’s no reason not to soften a Brutalist-inspired space with the addition of materials like bamboo, woven reeds, and rattan. These materials bring a touch of warmth and natural texture to the space that can help balance the hard edges and raw materials. Of these materials, bamboo is the perfect choice when trying to soften the harshness of a Brutalist-inspired space. Not only is it a renewable resource, but it is also lightweight and durable, making it ideal for use in furniture and decor.

One way to incorporate bamboo into a space is by using it for ceilings, flooring, wall covering and furniture.  A bamboo chair or table can add natural warmth to an industrial-looking room. Bamboo can also be used for window treatments, such as bamboo blinds or curtains, which can add texture and interest to the space while softening the hard edges of the room. 

Incorporating natural materials like bamboo can bring a sense of balance and warmth to a Brutalist-inspired space, creating a harmonious blend of industrial and natural elements.

As a result, Brutalist design and natural materials such as bamboo come together to create a unique and personalized space that is both functionally and visually stunning. By combining raw materials, geometric shapes and natural textures, you can create a one-of-a-kind space.

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