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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Berlin - Concrete Walls

In the December 2011 issue of Ellle Decor
I found this couples home in Berlin

I have been researching on how to get this 
BIG CONCRETE look on standard walls.

It has it's place....
and I feel  it can make a dynamic statement.

Check out the fireplace.
And those are poured and scored floors I think. me are being drawn to the warehouse/loft look.
I would love to do a space with these walls.
I will figure it out.
I will let you know when I find out how to do it.
Already I have found some wall coverings...
but, I have my doubts about it looking authentic.
And isn't everything really about authenticity?

Actually if I didn't tear up my elle decor mag to scan these pictures
I could really tell you what the floors are.
On closer examination...
they look like granite floors from large slabs.

At any rate I wanted to share these walls with you
and get your opinion.


kisses, Renee

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her Blog of her Adventures in Design,Owner of 'The Trade' Interiors, ,Boca Raton,Palm Beach,Boca Raton Florida,All custom upholstery,case-goods,window treatments,Antiques, Accessories and Antique accessories, built-ins, and all built in seating, concrete walls in berlin, concrete walls in berlin, elle decor dec 2011


  1. For a long time, I didn't like this look. Then a couple of years ago, when looking for a new house, I fell in love with one (home of a designer, of course) that had a concrete ceiling in the den. The room was somewhat traditional, but I loved the contrast of the concrete ceiling with the hardwood floors. I like the first photo with the books, chairs and rug. It shows how you can "warm up" the "cold" concrete.

  2. jmw

    it's true.
    you can warm it up.
    i think that is key in the approach to this look.


  3. Long before the current infatuation with greige--forty years before, in fact--Louis Kahn showed how warm concrete can be in his landmark library for Phillips Exeter Academy. That building's walls, inside & out, were either plain brown brick or raw concrete, all the furnishings unstained white oak and the carpeting & upholstery plain undyed wool. The only decoration--if you can call it that--was the rhythmic grid of the concrete walls' tie-rod holes & the rough, damask-like patterning of the concrete that came from the plywood forms used for the pour. And yet the interiors felt warm & elegant.

    Thirty years later--and right here in Chicago--the Japanese architect Tadao Ando designed a spectacular all-concrete house that elevated the material to a whole nother plane. Under Ando's touch, there's no longer even a hint of anything rough or industrial about concrete: the stuff is as smooth as satin. And that's not even talking about the design of the place, which is incredible. Ando truly is a poet of concrete. I've only been in the house once, but when it comes to concrete walls, the Ando house spoiled me for life.

    Landmarks like these may be hard acts for regular people to follow, but they--and their lesson--will still be around after today's rough gray 'Industrial' look goes the way of the tawny-hued 'Tuscan' look of a decade ago. That lesson? If something isn't in style, it can't go out of style.

  4. I love the look when used in lofts or in homes with the right design. Love the juxtaposition of the concrete with hardwoods, or lots of texture!!

  5. Have seen similar places in NYC, Seattle, San Francisco,London and Paris. The floors often have radiant heat which helps to keep the rooms warm since heat rises.

    They all had the great windows letting in lots of light and I think that is what makes the style work. One place had a huge red area rug, while another room had a huge white wool rug.

    I personally like open areas since I don't do well in closed in places.

  6. Love the images here. Motivates me to do something fun.
    I am seeing more and more concrete for EVERYTHING these days. I love the look, and there are so many different ways to create looks.
    Have a nice evening, Renee.

  7. I LOVE this look Renée and, if I ever buy myself a loft or warehouse, this is the look that I will be going for !!
    Sorry that I've been absent for a while Renée.... I've been a little busy, helping our son, daughter-in-law and grandson move.
    Hope that things are moving in the right direction.....I do think about you a lot and hope that The Trade is beginning to become the place to visit. Lots of love. XXXX

  8. Anonymous20:14

    Layering matte paint in shades of gray, cream, etc., with some paint texture medium in random spots, would be easy to replicate, but tedious. I'm sure your research on this was interesting! Wall covering is a great way to bring in the aura, without the work of creating a faux painted walls. I love grass wall covering with a gray sheen. Chic, yet industrial.

    Long-standing believer that affordable housing, i.e., rentals, should be made from concrete block. I have never seen it as a deterrent to decor; but rather, a blank canvas to show of your space.

    Keep us posted as to what you've decided. Intrigued.

  9. mother

    i do agree about the open spaces.
    i need them as well!!!

    ; )

  10. i must say....
    i am thrilled at the response about the concrete walls.

    thank you

  11. I do love these walls... Though I think if I were to actually have them in my home, I might feel a bit as though I was living in a factory!


  12. Recently I was watching a home being built and they were putting in place concrete walls just like these...they came in pre-cast panels and were slotted in neatly. I watched in fascination and did think they looked rather cool, wondered if they were going to polish them...returned several days later as the were finishing the plaster render!!!! Whilst these people didn't want the look maybe that is how you do it with the panels...or cement render?
    In my stage of life I want warmth and comfort but there was a time....!!!!! xxx

  13. andrea (my daughters name btw}

    i think that is what is so cool about it.
    maybe if you just did the family rm, & kitchen like this....
    and if you could have it blend smoothly into the rest of the house....
    it would be great!

    thanks for the comment

  14. jules

    you are warm , sweet and cozy enough!!!
    you could live in an igloo
    and still be warm from your sweet heart!

  15. Renee--------
    I won't say what I think.

  16. Bear in mind when you look at the photos, imagine a room that is warm, temperature wise. Not cold like when you are in a cement garage. Also know that cement can be tinted to make it whatever colour the customer wants. Think of cement counter tops or cement floors in new homes. Some are tinted very light colours.Add in sky lights and lots of windows and a fireplace and this type design can be wonderful.

  17. It looks cold. I hate being cold.

  18. I love the look. I'm drawn to anything stone or concrete. Looking forward to seeing what you design. XO, Mona



Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



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