Have you ever heard of brutalist design? I know it was certainly a new design concept for me when Vogue dropped it in their article predicting the hot new trends of 2023. Well, apparently Brutalism is real and it’s making a major comeback in 2023. Of course, I had to learn all about it and I’m excited to share my research with you so you can help incorporate it into your home (if you want, obviously).
What is Brutalist design?
Brutalism became popularized after WWII in the 1960s and 1970s when many low-cost and government housing structures were built with raw, unfinished materials. Steel became expensive at the time, so concrete became quite popular with many buildings sporting blocklike forms with this plain, unfinished look. This ultimately led to the inception of the term “brutalist design,” which is defined as an architectural style characterized by deliberate plainness and crudity.
I know this doesn’t sound too enticing, and you’re probably wondering why this would ever come back in style in the world. I promise brutalist design shares some extremely beautiful qualities that blend well into the modern farmhouse aesthetic. Don’t believe me? Keep reading as I share some unique ways to incorporate this trending design style into your modern farmhouse.
Embracing Bold Shapes
First things first, start embracing those asymmetrical shapes in your home. More now than ever, is the time to create bold, haphazard shapes in your home, and in this case, the bigger the better. If you have a large fireplace with an awkward (and some may even say ugly) shape, you can now fully embrace it and make it a focal point of the room. No more painting the brick or covering it up!
This also applies to your furniture. Thick and heavy furniture with sharp edges will help you achieve a more brutalist design. I do recommend, however, that you balance some of these bulkier pieces with more sleek furniture options with clean lines so the space doesn’t feel too overpowering and crowded.
Limewash has been an emerging trend for quite some time now, but it’s the perfect soft intro into brutalist design. Limewash provides a faux texture and gives that raw, unfinished look without actually being raw and unfinished. It’s classy enough to withstand the test of time and provides the perfect backdrop for almost any color palette.
I also love how easy it is to DIY! You can find a plethora of tips, tricks, and tutorials anywhere online to help you with all of the ins and outs of getting that flawless limewash finish.
Concrete Almost Anywhere
Concrete remains the most utilized and prominent material of brutalist design. Concrete is also an extremely popular material in modern farmhouse design. This makes adding concrete to your home a no-brainer! There are so many practical and beautiful ways to do this, let me give you a few ideas:
- Concrete countertops
- Concrete flooring
- Concrete finish over fireplace
- Concrete backsplash
- Concrete style wallpaper
Obviously, concrete isn’t known for being the easiest material to work with. It takes a lot of time and prep work, but the end results are often worth the effort. Today, there are also a ton of unique concrete substitutes and neat ways to get the concrete look without the concrete effort. Do a little research and you’ll be surprised how easy your own concrete DIY could be.
Exposed Brick & Stone
Raw brick holds a magic power in interior design. A beautiful, unfinished brick look can transform an ordinary space into something quite extraordinary. Although it may not be a traditionally brutalist material, the concept is there. If you only want to dip your toes into brutalist design, without fully committing, try brick. It’s timeless, and classical and is extremely easy to implement into the floors, walls, or fireplace of your modern farmhouse.
Stone is another raw material that isn’t necessarily exclusively brutalist, but can definitely be considered as such depending on how it’s used. If you find a natural, raw stone without that “fresh” finish, you can certainly embrace a more brutalist designer look. I also love utilizing stone because I’m seeing it everywhere! Interior designers are loving using it for doorway trim, kitchen and bathroom backsplash, fireplaces, and much more.
Minimalism is not new to the interior design world. As a matter of fact, the low-clutter design trend has taken the world by storm recently. Whether that’s in part due to an upcoming recession or just a typical cyclical design trend, I’m living for it! I love de-cluttering my space and the idea of reducing unnecessary decorations.
As a part of brutalist design, you will want to take minimalism to a new extreme. You will want less furniture, less decor, and absolutely no clutter. This type of minimal design will require more thoughtful pieces and a good eye for design. However, if you take the time to really lay out your space and find the right pieces, you will find yourself with a well-curated, designer space.