Showcasing raw materials in your home

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Raw materials are so commonly covered in new builds that leaving them exposed can have the effect of making people assume you are opting for an industrial scheme. This needn't be the case, however, as it is fantastically simple to showcase the inherent beauty of your raw materials without going overboard.

Long gone are the days when plasterboard, wallpaper and paint were the only options for finishing your home, so we have put together some tips for making the most of your raw materials. Why not take a look and then pick and choose what you think will best suit your home and design ethos? Who knows, you might be surprised by what you like!

Don't hide the beams

A hugely popular interior design choice, exposed natural wooden roof beams are a fantastic way to begin your journey with raw materials, especially as they always look nothing short of spectacular.

This lovely space, created by VPS, feels warm, cosy and inviting, not to mention traditional and modern all at the same time. While the wooden beams take centre stage and ground the house in its own history, the white walls and modern furniture add a contemporary edge that is hard to beat. In all honesty though, you could install a neon pink stuffed zebra in the room and all eyes would still be on that stunning oak roof construction!

Expose the concrete structure

modern Houses by atelier m
atelier m

外観 夕景

atelier m

Do you remember when concrete was considered to be a purely perfunctory building staple that was cost-effective and immediately covered with something considered to be more aesthetically pleasing? We do, though it feels like a lifetime ago as concrete has really come into its own in recent years as a designers dream material.

Beautiful due to its simplicity, concrete is a raw material that is so eminently malleable that overlooking it in favour of cladding or 'perfect' finishes seems so archaic now. Plus, with a host of new decorative concrete options widely available, including wood grained, it is the ideal interior or exterior finish all on its own.

Show the metal framework

Now this does feel a little more industrial in flavour, but exposed steelwork can look perfectly at home in a sleek and modern build. Especially one that features a lot of white, such as the one pictured here.

A fantastic contrast to the light colours, soft edges and personalised objects in the room, raw materials such as exposed metal are great conversation openers and allude to the complex architectural processes at play in your home. We love these particular girders, with geometric cut outs, as they are almost an artistic installation in their own right, but also serve the most important of structural functions. 

Don't paint the bricks

The Great Lodge | Large Grey Painted Kitchen with Exposed Brickwork: country Kitchen by Humphrey Munson
Humphrey Munson

The Great Lodge | Large Grey Painted Kitchen with Exposed Brickwork

Humphrey Munson

We love the homely, rustic and downright nostalgic feel of this kitchen and while the neutral colour palette, checked blind and shaker style units are contributing, the main reason is the exposed brickwork around the cooker.

Raw materials don't come much more warm and homely than exposed bricks, as they offer an injection of deliciously deep red and an invitation to get tactile with your surroundings. Think about it for a second; have you ever encountered exposed interior brickwork and been able to resist touching it? No, neither have we! When raw materials look this at home, we can't imagine ever covering them with plaster or paint, so let's start a design standard revolution!

Show off your ducting

An undeniable offshoot from the industrial world, exposed ducting has begun taking hold of residential design schemes and the results are delightful, when completed well and as part of a larger look.

This kitchen and dining room absolutely calls for raw materials such as exposed polished metal ducting and against the white wall, white subway tiles and next to the black metal track lighting, looks perfectly at home. In fact, it would have almost looked bizarre to have opted for such industrial style accessories and then hidden the ducting! Far from looking too commercial or stark, it brings a cohesive legitimacy to the space as a whole and ties in with the polished cabinet handles wonderfully.

Celebrate stone walls

Perhaps exposed bricks, noticeable steel frameworks and out in the open ducting isn't for you, we think we have one more suggestion that might persuade you to embrace raw materials in your home; natural stonework walls.

Only completed by master craftsmen, we think you will agree that covering natural stonework, such as that shown here, would be nothing short of a travesty, especially when it can add such a stunning and eye-catching feature to your home, filled with rustic charm. No two will ever be identical either, so if you are keen to be unique, we can't recommend this enough!

For more natural material inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Utilising Timber In Your Home.

What raw materials are displayed in your home? Let us know in the comments, below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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