Coloured Concrete; How to add a touch of originality to any interior

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If you had said the word ‘concrete’ to me six months ago I would have envisioned grey buildings, grey sidewalks, and grey roads. I would never have imagined luxury blush pink concrete tables or polished winter white concrete worktops. Indeed, I would not be alone in conjuring up this stereotype of concrete as a drab, rigid material.

 In fact concrete’s reputation as an industrial material goes all the way back to the Roman Empire where it was used to create such buildings as the Pantheon. It’s natural grey aesthetic has since become synonymous with dusty sidewalks, congested motorways and impossibly imposing buildings. Finally, it’s association with Brutalism – a term which actually means ‘raw concrete’ in French – both literally and figuratively cemented it’s industrial aesthetic in our urban environments in the 1980s.

 It wasn’t until it’s raw, thread-bare aesthetic started to appear as an edgy alterative to gaudy decorative interiors in converted warehouses worldwide that it’s bland stereotype began to transform to its post-industrial aesthetic. Nowadays, concrete is used in both modern and traditional interiors as much for its versatility and durability as well as for its ability to blend old and new - to combine pre and post-industrial aesthetics.

 Indeed, as I have learnt since beginning to work here at Forma Studios, one of concrete’s many advantages as a material, and one which has led to its unwavering popularity throughout the ages, is its ability to transform. And just as a room can be transformed with a lick of paint so too can concrete be transformed with a pinch of pigment. In fact, pigmented concrete is fast becoming an interior trend around the world. Check out David Chipperfield’s ‘Ciutat de la Justicia’ which won the Coloured Concrete Works Award in 2018.

David Chipperfield’s ‘Ciutat de la Justicia’ which won the Coloured Concrete Works Award in 2018

David Chipperfield’s ‘Ciutat de la Justicia’ which won the Coloured Concrete Works Award in 2018

I was surprised to learn how simple the pigmenting process is and yet how impressive the results it produces are. Just as a painter mixes basic pigments to create nude, pastel and stark shades so too can the master concrete craftsperson. Winter white concrete worktops, blush pink concrete coffee tables, mint green concrete basins, even marbled tie-dye concrete tiles can all be cast, formed and fitted in concrete.

 The pigment dyes can be made from natural minerals, manufactured metal oxides or synthetic materials. Depending on the type of sand and cement used during the mixing process and the amount of pigment added, these shades can vary greatly and each have the potential to produce the richest and palest of colours.

Coloured concrete samples from Forma Studios

Coloured concrete samples from Forma Studios

The deepest reds, darkest of blacks, and most cobalt of blues can be transformed during the blending process to create pale pinks, charcoal greys and sky blues. Indeed, as the trend towards colourful interiors continues, and the recognition that using colour in your home is an unmissable opportunity to add warmth, atmosphere and individuality grows, investing in coloured concrete could be the choice of a lifetime. 

Colourful concrete tables, basins and worktops are available to pre-order from our website. For more information, please contact Tim at tim@formastudios.co.uk or call +44 (0) 208 611 2945

  • by Lynn Harvey, Marketing Assistant @ Forma Studios, London