Embracing Brutalist Design: The Industrial-Inspired Bathroom Trend
In the world of interior design, it's often the unconventional that piques our interest and sets a space apart. And this trend isn't confined to just homes. Emerging hotels and restaurants leverage unconventional designs to spark conversations on social media and generate excitement leading up to their grand openings. Admittedly, embracing the unconventional in our personal spaces might evoke some apprehension. However, when done thoughtfully, the reward is well worth the risk. So, if you’ve been searching for a way to make your bathroom stand out from the rest, brutalist design might just be the trend you’ve been waiting for. Specifically suited for risk-takers and lovers of industrial design, this unique design aesthetic breaks away from the ordinary to make room for the extraordinary. And today we’re sharing exactly how you can infuse your bathroom with the raw and captivating beauty of this unconventional design trend.
What exactly is Brutalist Design?
Now, you probably have a lot of questions, so let’s start at the beginning. Born from the architectural realm, brutalism is an industrial aesthetic that celebrates the authenticity of materials and embraces functional forms. While minimalist at heart, this design aesthetic strikes a careful balance between harsh, industrial elements and soft warm tones and textures. Picture exposed concrete, clean lines, and warm accents coming together to create an atmosphere that's both captivating and inviting. As unconventional as it may sound, brutalism has become a popular design choice for those who appreciate raw materials, simplicity, and function. But enough about how this design aesthetic came to be, let's dive into how you can create use this aesthetic to create the bathroom of your dreams.
Getting Started: Key Elements of Brutalist Bathrooms
Concrete: Whether it's the walls, floors, or countertops, the rugged texture of concrete is at the very core of brutalist design. And while most of us would likely consider concrete a cold, uninviting material, it can actually create a sense of warmth when paired with contrasting elements. Think plush towels, wooden accents, and strategically placed plants. This combination of raw and warm materials creates a welcoming space without the distraction of complicated design — which is why it’s perfectly suited for your relaxing bathroom oasis.
Neutral Palette: To soften the industrial aesthetic of brutalism, it's crucial to weave in a neutral color palette. Using various soft shades of gray, black, and white will balance out the harsher industrial elements of this unconventional style. A muted color pallet also provides a neutral backdrop that allows other elements (such as exposed pipes or ductwork) in the room to shine.
Form Follows Function: The design principle known as "form follows function," prioritizes practicality above all else. To utilize this principle in your bathroom redesign, lean into the utilitarian nature of brutalism by emphasizing (rather than hiding) functional elements. This could look like drenching your entire bathroom in one color or material (like concrete or stone) or selecting a showstopping black toilet (or both!). Remember, brutalism doesn’t leave room for unnecessary frills or decorative elements, so you’ll need to get creative with essential bathroom fixtures like your toilet, shower, and tub.
Exposed Fixtures: Now, in addition to highlighting the key bathroom fixtures discussed above, we can go a step further by exposing functional elements that are typically hidden. For example, rather than hiding plumbing behind drywall and tile, you could expose it to add an industrial, raw aesthetic (without sacrificing function). Industrial light fixtures can also enhance the overall aesthetic while providing functional lighting. Together, this combination seamlessly marries functionality and style by transforming ordinary fixtures into captivating design elements.
Admittedly, brutalism isn’t for everyone, particularly those who value traditional design. It’s a style that breaks free from traditional norms to create a simplistic space that is somehow both functional and fierce. Even if this design aesthetic isn’t your cup of tea, allow it to provide you with the inspiration you need to take a design risk in your own home. After all, it's typically our riskiest choices that yield the most rewarding results — so go ahead, dare to be different!