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Raw Materials – the Trend that Keeps on Going

When it comes to interiors there’s nothing I like more (apart from shopping for my favourite piece) is to discover the upcoming trends for the season ahead. I love discovering new patterns and colours, not to mention what the textures are going to be. Plus it gives me lots of time to save for my next purchase, just don’t tell the other half!

One trend in particular that caught my eye this year is the ‘weathered’ or ‘raw materials’ trend. Each forecasting company gives this theme a different name, but essentially they all draw from the same inspiration; raw materials. This mesmerising trend focuses on raw, natural materials and how their surroundings have affected them. Unrefined beauty I once saw it described as, and I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Even though we’re nearly at the end of the year, this trend shows little sign of stopping. If like us raw materials and textures are your thing, then listen closely. We’ve picked our favourites from this theme and here’s what you need to know.

Crushing on Concrete

2016 has been the year of grey and according to many trend forecasters, it’s a key colour within interior design. Many major paint and DIY stores have noted an increase in sales of grey paint over the past year. It’s not one particular shade that has sold, it’s various hues; from dark inky grey to pale almost stone grey. It’s the perfect neutral colour to support brighter hues within any interior.

So, when thinking about materials to complement your grey interior the natural choice is concrete. It’s a beautiful and hard-wearing material to use, and with varying finishes available. Depending on where you’re going to use concrete, there’s something for all tastes. Everything from polished concrete that’s as smooth as silk to something that’s more raw, eroded and rough. The latter would be perfect for a plant pot… just saying!

Like grey paint, there are varying shades of concrete available so it’s easy to contrast the two finishes together. Light grey paint fused with dark concrete and vice versa. Or for the ultimate interior finish, keep both paint and concrete the same shade, so it’s the textures that contrast. OK, I’ll admit I’m getting carried away here, but the potential is endless!

Not confident in adding great swathes of concrete into your home? Don’t worry I’m nervous about it too, but I am happy to accessorise with it instead. It’s now becoming increasingly accessible to purchase homeware items made from concrete including tiles, lights and lamps – even the kitchen sink! Sometimes it’s all about the little details. Take our concrete pendant lights for example. Designed by James, our founder and director, their design is sleek, understated and fits with many interior styles. By adding a Plumen light bulb to the pendant you create a high-end light that looks great in both a minimal and industrial-style interior.

Inky Effects

This particular finish makes me go “oooooh” and you can see why. It has an unusual pattern and the textures can be spectacular especially if they’re raw. It almost becomes a brand new product that takes on a tactile effect. You can create an ink pattern in many different ways – splatter, drips and contours to name a few. For us, it’s all about contours. The wonderful swirling colours and shapes the ink creates when combined together.

Ink patterns aren’t just limited to cloth and paper, the most popular materials for this effect. It’s now being incorporated into many different materials, including wood and metal. Elements you wouldn’t necessarily think of at first, but they work beautifully. We’ve incorporated the contouring finish on our Smoked Gold and Tarnished Copper ranges. These two finishes were created by mixing, or should we say attracting together metal elements with a secret ingredient. Sorry, we can’t give away our trade secrets! 😉 We think you’ll agree the finished product is rather attractive and you’ll notice that no two finishes are the same.

left image shows a collection of switches and sockets on a concrete wall, right image shows a copper and black double dimmer switch, copper and black double toggle switch and smoked gold and black double socket on a concrete wall

To truly appreciate the unrefined beauty of this trend you have to touch them, to feel each layer the ink effect creates.

Similar to concrete, you only need a small amount of this finish to create a bold statement in your interior. We think these inky patterns would look great in a room that’s dark and moody; think dark grey walls and wood floors. Then add smoked gold sockets and switches for a touch of raw, contrasting beauty. Add our tarnished copper cage light shades to an industrial-style bar. Hang them with lengths of black twisted fabric cable either on their own or in clusters to complement the raw interior. I can just see myself in this bar, cocktail in hand and photographing the interior for my next Instagram shot. OK, I digress! But just like concrete, the possibilities with an ink pattern is endless.

Rust and Raw Materials

Raw, organic and rusted materials are another key trend to keep a watch over. Especially those that have aged naturally over time without the intervention of man-made processes. By leaving products to age naturally, the finished look will have an almost grungy feel to it. Now, this is one trend that’s right up our street here at Dowsing & Reynolds HQ. We like nothing more than seeing something that’s rough and aged over time. Textured concrete, rust and eroding surfaces gets our hearts racing. If you can design products that incorporate these raw materials too, then that’s even better.

moodboard of raw materials

A visually striking aesthetic, rust and raw materials are becoming very popular for interiors and home accessories. When combined with highly polished, smooth surfaces the effect is wonderful and juxtaposed. I’m thinking a kitchen with polished brick tiles and marble countertops, accessorised with raw finished sockets and caged lights. Or create a show-stopping light feature using tarnished multi-outlet ceiling roses and bulb holders for a warehouse-style loft apartment. However you choose to use this finish you won’t be disappointed. The results are stunning and will definitely create a talking point in your home.

Looking Ahead

Many forecasting companies are predicting the raw materials trend to last well into 2017. So without sounding like a weather forecaster, I can see this trend really starting to flourish in the coming months. I’m already reading that grey will go through a small evolution. Instead of the blue tones we’ve seen in 2016, 2017’s grey will have a slight green undertone to the shade. We’ll also see more and more products readily available in raw, concrete and ink finishes. Now for the trickiest part, which one will I accessorise my home with?? Hmmm…. yes I know, all three! I’ve got enough rooms in my little house to accommodate them all. Again, please don’t tell my other half!

Avatar for Danielle

Written by: Danielle

Danni, our Marketing Exec, is a dab hand at design and social media. If you've ever tweeted us...it'll be Danni that replied. If you haven't tweeted us, why not?

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