Concrete and wood... How is it that two things so very dissimilar in both visual and tactile properties work so well together and flow so effortlessly alongside one-another? The answer lies in their differences.
Concrete is hard, cold, without scent and (let’s not forget) slippery when wet! Wood is soft, malleable, warm and it’s properties including smell evoke a reminder of all that exists on beyond our interior wall. Together concrete and wood make the perfect couple, they are the ying to one another's yang - and finding the balance between the two can totally transform and harmonisea space.
When we design an interior that is predominately grey, or 'achromatic' in colour meaning literally ‘a colour without colour'(using shades of black, white & grey), it may seem as though adding concrete is a natural choice. As a contributor to the grey-ness – concrete can provide both functional and aesthetic qualities, but you may be left with a cold, and often lifeless space.
When we come across an interior that is predominately grey, or 'achromatic' in terms of colour theory, meaning literally, a colour 'without colour' - it can appear a challenge. Add concrete as contributing to this grey-ness and suddenly you have a very cold, often life-less space.
By introducing wood as an accent to an overall grey scheme, or a concrete-heavy interior, we add a layer of warmth without the need to introduce a new colour. Essentially, we are adding some 'natural' colour. The fact that wood is effortless in its finish, timeless in its composition, and ages beautifully – its inclusion reduces the stresses associated with updating each season, or with the movement of a new trend.
Millennials may find themselves selecting a combination of concrete and wood as a fore-runner of design, particularly when it comes to those favoring a minimalist or industrial style. Grown-ups however, need not be afraid - the plethora of varieties and shades of woods that are available in the market, can really shape concrete fixtures and features into a mature setting.
By simply changing a light oak to a darker and warmer wood paired with a dark and rough concrete, a space can be transformed from something classical, to something industrial or grunge-y. And the same applies vice-versa for those who prefer a more toned-down neutral look; pairing a lighter, cooler toned wood with a light and smooth concrete is so dreamy.
On a side note of all things wood - getting to know types the of wood available before you make a chose is paramount, and I would recommend speaking with a designer or a carpenter before making a choice as each wood has its own very distinct set of properties. This is important as it ensures that the wood you chose is fit for purpose, will age appropriately, and more importantly, is sustainable. If you are feeling brave and considering going it alone, research is the key!
In short, what I went out to say is; when it comes to concrete and wood, I don’t think I will ever tire of the combination. It just works. In many situations; be it a residential kitchen, a commercial office, a little cafe, or even on a bespoke piece of furniture.