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BRIANA: Concrete and faux concrete finishes have steadily been gaining popularity over the past year – Stylus recognized concrete as a High Point Trend, and Liz and I spotted these pieces at ICFF. But what do you think of the trend? Is the concrete look cool or does it leave you cold? Is it industrial chic or way too bleak?

Do you like the look of concrete? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: I seldom use concrete due to its lead time and also the finish costs associated with getting it just right; however, when I opt for concrete, I think its success is all about juxtaposition. Usually, I’ll pair a concrete table with super textural seating, like boucle upholstery. Concrete also warms up a lot when it’s paired with wooden pieces, either with rustic or refined finishes. Dammit, all this talk of concrete now has me wanting to use it again.

MARIANNE: Brrrr. Way too cold for me. Concrete counters in a kitchen can work in a lot of spaces, but even that is not my style. Plus I would break all of my wine glasses.

HANNAH SLAUGHTER: I feel like concrete chairs (or tables, or vanities) are only for the people that buy entire rooms out of a catalog and indulge in way too many classes at the gym. There’s nothing better after a day of boot camp and Zumba than making a green drink in your Vitamix and curling up in your concrete chair. Clearly I’m not cool enough.

LEANNE: I want a set of these in my guest room so no one [in-laws] overstays their welcome. Is this style available in beds? If so, I want one of those for the guest room, too.

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: I miss my concrete countertops in our Birmingham house so much. They withstand hot pots, wine spills, even turmeric stains. But I don’t know about that concrete chair. It looks like a torture device. I do, however, love concrete in the garden. Like terra cotta, concrete is a great material for containers because it retains moisture but not too much, so soil and plants can breathe. It’s actually a fairly sophisticated look that crosses the line between contemporary and traditional. Although, apparently it’s more palatable if you call it “cast stone”…

I love this cute little planter:

Do you like concrete decor or think it's way too cold? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

These are a nice DIY twist:

Do you like concrete decor or think it's way too cold? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

These are even a cheap, but fun, take on the old plant-it-in-a-concrete-block idea:

Do you like concrete decor or think it's way too cold? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Oh, and will someone please buy me this “cast stone” necklace?

Do you like concrete? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

ALYSSA: Just too Fred Flintstone for me.

JESSICA: I’m certain this is influenced by the grey skies of my Seattle hometown, but I love the grey and I love concrete. Especially concrete countertops: I went to the Dogwood Home & Garden Show back in the wintertime and finally “met” one in person. I may or may not have put my face on it…

I really like how thick the countertops in this kitchen are. It looks like a crane just dropped it onto the counters.

Do you like the concrete trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens!

However, that concrete chair is the exact opposite of what I want in a chair, and must be from a Saw movie, right?

Now that we’ve solidified our opinions about concrete, tell us what you think!

24 Responses

  1. RSS says:

    Cold as ice.

  2. norma fay says:

    I don't think that Concrete Furniture is necessarily cold. Some of it can really have a warm, almost modern touch. They have some really pretty sandblasted pieces at Mecox Gardens. I love the look they offer and they are SO easy to take of.

  3. Sherry says:

    I agree with Kelly & Jessica – great for outdoors, and practical for walls & countertops. Best thing, besides the durability, is that it is an inexpensive alternative. But, alas… (is that even in the dictionary anymore?) when things become "trendy", the price goes up.

  4. Marc Prentice says:

    Here is what we have learned over the course of much research into concrete elements: They are heavy, and you must consider weight loads in your project.
    If the new concrete is placed on concrete slab flooring (ie: furniture) the piece will conduct cold from the slab and be uncomfortable to the touch. If a concrete countertop is placed on cabinets (ie: insulated from the slab floor) it will absorb the ambient room temperature and feel quite comfortable to the touch. Also, countertops do not feel nearly as cold, or hard, as one would expect–and much less so than granite. In the right color, with the right placement, in the right scale, concrete is a beautiful, long wearing luxurious and comfortable material. We would choose it again in a heart beat.

  5. janevir says:

    Leanne, your guest room idea is hilarious! :) I do love concrete surfaces such as countertops (especially outdoors) but not concrete stain, and I especially like concrete pots outdoors.

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Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...


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