Decoding the Brutalist style interior design

Interior design is a book with many beautiful chapters, each unique from each other. From art deco, to cottagecore, we have explored many of these different chapters. Each of these chapters, essentially, is a style that talks about a certain perspective on design. Whether it is the perspective of an era or an individual, each style comes with a unique set of qualities, characteristic, purpose and aesthetic. 

Yet another leaf of the book is the brutalist style of interior design. A far cry from most interior design styles, the brutalist style is all about staying true to the roots, bringing simple objects down to their basic building blocks and presenting them as is. The style believes not in prim and proper aesthetic, but embracing a natural and shabby way to approach chic interior design. 

Primarily rising to fame in the 1950’s-60’s, the brutalist style of interior design is inspired by an architectural movement of the namesake. Brutalism emerged as an art movement at first, compelling people to take note of the unrefined beauty that design can have. Naturally, such a proposition shone in the design industry making the style a landmark in itself. 

Including this style in your home design could give it a unique and simply neutral look. Here are some features of the brutalist design to keep in mind: 


THE CONCRETE SAGA 

 

One of the most notable elements in brutalist interior design is its tendency to hero the material one would never think to feature i.e. concrete. Concrete is one of the central elements of this style.

While it is a building material that is part of so many structures, for brutalism it’s not merely a building component but an interior feature. Brutalism calls to include exposed concrete in the interior of a home in any and every way possible. The idea is to retain it’s natural color and texture as far as possible.

The natural hues of concrete are retained along with it’s gritty surface to add a bit of definition to any space. The exposed concrete look is not merely for the walls, but can also be extended to your ceilings, furniture and decor pieces to maximize the effect.

While most designs tend to retain the gray tones of natural concrete, in the modern era colored concrete has also become a viable option if you wish to switch things up. The central focus however, has to be on keeping things simple and maintaining the porous and gritty texture of concrete to preserve the look. 

MONOCHROMATIC MAGIC 

 

The brutalist style is all about exploring the beauty in simplicity. The love for simplicity is reflected in the color palettes that rule high in the design too. Monochromatic color schemes in particular are rather characteristic of the style.

In order to keep things natural and even, the monochromatic scheme offers a great way to have variation in the space without worrying too much about coordinating the colors. The basic principle of monochrome is to pick a base color and explore its varied hues and tones to go throughout the design.

To truly channel brutalism, you could pick monochromes that reflect the naturalist character of the style. You could look into black and grays, browns or neutral beiges to color your home.

You could go for a single color and play around with its tones around the house or designate a color to each room/zone of the house and explore the different monochromatic possibilities. 

CHANNEL THE INDUSTRIAL CHIC 

 

The industrial chic aesthetic provides one of the easiest references to the brutalist style of interior design. Industrial chic, follows a similar approach as brutalist design in the sense that both the styles believe in reducing architectural and design components to their basic building blocks and presenting them as is.

The industrial chic is somewhat a rendition of the brutalist and thus a great approach to apply to your design. To truly channel the industrial chic, you could firstly make way for elements such as exposed brick and metal in your design to get the gritty bare bones look.

You could extend the industrial approach to the fixtures you pick as well. In terms of the fixtures design, you could focus more on objects that have a very clean and natural look. You could favor materials such as metal, concrete etc to dominate your fixtures or light encasings so they can truly go with the brutalist theme.

In terms of the application too, the style doesn’t believe in concealing what goe behind a design, rather shows it off proudly. To do so, instead of concealing the wirings or pipings across your ceiling or even on your walls, you could skillfully show them off giving your home a brutal charm. 

EMBRACE THE GEOMETRIC FORM 

 

Clean and geometrical forms are a rather loved feature of the brutalist style. Extending onto the industrial and neat approach to design, brutalism design believes in maintaining the natural shape and form of things while also utilizing edgy geometric lines and forms to add definition and character to a space.

The presence of geometric forms is seen as a way to give the space something different while assuring that the neat and edgy approach sticks. The style thus calls for inclusion of lines and different shapes with clean finishes to be added to your design. To do so, you could simply form a wall mural that depicts different geometrical elements.

You could also extend this approach to your decor by opting for showpieces, tables, or even light fixtures that have a geometrical and clean look. Geometrical light encasings in particular are rather in trend nowadays and just on point for the brutalist style.

You could also go for the geometric route when picking out your furniture for a rather unique and precise look. Be it a hexagonal metal table or a rigid rectangular couch, there are a lot of different forms to explore and try to find the right fit for your home. 

MATERIAL MANIA 

 

The strength of brutalist interior design lies in conveying an impactful design by relying on natural forms, textures and hues. The textural input is very important to achieving a well rounded brutalist interior and the way to include textural definition while maintaining a natural form is to make use of different materials.

Each material brings a different textural and aesthetical definition to the space making it a good idea to layer and pair different materials. There are certain materials in particular that are key to the brutalist style and helpful in achieving the look. Wood is one of the first materials in the category.

Wood has a natural graininess and texture, not to forget the hues that can add beauty to any and every home with ease. Adding wooden elements in your design and decor can prove to be rather helpful. Try to maintain the natural grain of the material and simply polish for effect rather than altering it too much.

Further, metal and glass accents too have a huge place in the style. Metals arranged in geometric forms for furniture, windows, doors or simply wall design can have a lot of impact. Retaining the natural metallic tone is an added bonus to the look. You could also look into patinated finish/oxidized metals to add a unique charm to your home. 


Overall, the brutalist interior design offers a rather unique perspective to design. Natural, raw and gritty, the aesthetic is rather an anomaly to other interior design styles. Prominent through features and impact even in the modern era, the brutalist style is a great and viable option for homeowners who wish to convey a subtle charm through their home design. Keep the above factors in mind to hit the brutalist agenda bang on!

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