By Elly Leavitt

Published on October 17, 2018

For design devotees, there’s nothing quite like the freedom that comes with a total renovation. Knowing that everything, from the backsplash tile to the door hardware, was cherry-picked specifically for you makes for a space that feels totally and completely personal.

That said, a gut-reno can also be super overwhelming, especially if you have no idea where to start. And when the room in question is the kitchen, the pressure to get the remodel right on the first try is intense. Which is why we’re here with a suggestion for a grounding material that’ll make any kitchen instantly elevated and style-driven: concrete.

Equal parts sophisticated and rustic, timeless and contemporary, concrete is definitely one of the coolest materials with which to design right now. We’ve seen it used as minimally as affordable lamp fixtures and as elaborately as bathroom countertops; part of the brutalism movement that’s currently enjoying a resurgence. We can’t get enough either way.

Granted, the material may not be the most budget-friendly for a kitchen reno, but there are so many ways to incorporate cement that we’re confident you’ll be able to find some way to use it. Keep reading for some serious design envy—the industrial minimalist kitchen of your dreams is just within reach.

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Photography by Devon Banks | Design by Denise Lee Architecture

Take a more innovative approach to design with concrete, and designate it for your backsplash. More accurately, use it in lieu of tiling for a cleaner look. Especially when paired with unfinished wood cabinets and hardwood flooring, the natural vibe it evokes is particularly stunning.

 

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Modern concrete meets Mediterranean rustic in this Venice home. Built-in open shelving in concrete—as opposed to going with the traditional wooden route—makes the kitchen instantly elevated. With assorted bowls and sculptural accent pieces sparsely lining the shelves (other distractions, like wall art or rogue pots and pans are kept hidden) it almost feels like a museum—in the best way possible.

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Photography by Shadowplay Media Ltd. | Design by Shadowplay Design Ltd.

With the floor and breakfast bar uniting through the use of concrete, it’s as if the kitchen island has melted into the floor. We also love the use of ceramic tiles as a backdrop for the breakfast bar—it blends more traditional kitchen design with the contemporary sleekness of cement.

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Photography by Tiutiunnik Artem and Chernova Yuliya

On the more involved end of the spectrum sits this stunning kitchen. An entire floor-to-ceiling block of the kitchen that includes the range, and what appears to be an oven, brings concrete sky high; heightening the ceiling and adding visual interest to break up the whitewashed walls. With a breakfast bar that juts out from the stove and plenty more cement counter space, the whole room feels completely connected.

 

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What we love most about this London kitchen is how effortlessly it blends material. Wooden shiplap walls and slanted ceilings contrast against the white-painted brick—making the concrete island stand out all the more.

 

 

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A different way to two-tone. By using different shades of cement for the countertops and drawer fronts, you add layers to even the smallest of spaces. With bursts of color in deep teal and coral pink, this take on a concrete kitchen is more fun and unexpected than something strictly minimal. Try mixing your cement pieces with vibrant colors—a sunny citron would balance out the serious-feeling material, while a dusky rose would be a great way to mix feminine and masculine styles.

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Courtesy of Sapienstone

Concrete floors are always a win. In this case, they bring an industrial charm to the expansive kitchen, with wooden cabinetry adding dimension to the space. If you aren’t sure how you’re going to love concrete counters or cement bar seating, start low with the floor. You can always warm it up with layered throw rugs or jute runners, though we quite like the bare look for an effortlessly chic vibe.

See more on-trend materials we love:
The Material We’re Stealing from Fashion Week

Terrazzo Is Trending—Here Are 8 Cool Finds, at Every Price Point
The One Luxe-Looking Material You Haven’t Tried Yet

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