Truth to materials is a major tenet of modern architecture. Concrete is one place we see this axiom in action. Historically concrete that was used in construction would be clad to make it appear as something other. Modern architecture uses concrete where appropriate and then exposes it. The Brutalist Movement was the height of concrete celebration.

Pros: Concrete countertops are durable, resistant to heat, and can be less expensive than natural stone, especially when completed as a DIY project. 

Cons: Concrete must be sealed before being used; otherwise, its porous nature means that it will stain very easily.
Along with its durability, concrete requires very little maintenance.
Yumi (left) and Maya (right) cheese around on the steps leading into the front door. Inside, there is ample space for removing and leaving one's shoes, another Japanese element.
Stepstone's narrow concrete pavers add a graphic touch to the garden.
Six-year-old twins Nicolas and Constanza use Pentimento as their “little battleground,” says Pasternak. “They have some options here that they will not find anywhere else.” Among those options are a climbing wall offering easy access to the roof.
When Belgian fashion retailer Nathalie Vandemoortele was seeking a new nest for her brood, she stumbled upon a fortresslike house in the countryside designed in 1972 by a pair of Ghent architects, Johan Raman and Fritz Schaffrath. While the Brutalist concrete architecture and petite but lush gardens suited her tastes to a tee, the interiors needed a few updates.
A spacious deck was created as part of the addition. A cantilevered concrete bench stretches out to the rear garden and complements the adjacent concrete wall.
Looking back on the home from the concrete patio, its verticality becomes apparent. The zinc, cedar, and glass extension erupts from the base of the old brick envelope—diminutive but disruptive.
The Perth residence of Renee Coleman via the Design Files.
Concrete stairs leading up to a sleeping loft are illuminated with wall sconces.
An important aspect of the home’s design is the seamless flow between inside and outside, which is enhanced not only by large windows and doors, but also by the home’s materials. The majority of the surfaces and structural elements in both the interior and exterior are composed of concrete, stainless steel, and wood, ensuring a unification between the two while guaranteeing durability. Concrete floors require little maintenance, while local wood helps the home blend into its surrounding landscape.
Meili and Anais lounge on a Transform sofa by Moroso.
Taking cues from this home's Japanese-influenced slatted screen, Hufft Projects applied a ring of ipe wood around the perimeter of this outdoor fire pit.
In their concrete-walled courtyard, Yuka and Aaron watch as twins Emerson and Jasper, daughters Maude and Mirene, and Alfie the dog play. The house is painted in Black Bean Soup by Benjamin Moore, a color in keeping with the period of the original architecture. The garden was designed by Lauren Hall-Behrens of Lilyvilla Gardens.
Guess used inexpensive graded pine plywood so that he would get heavy grain patterns on the surfaces. One of the main goals in the kitchen was simplicity. To that end, he opted for a poured-in-place concrete island. "We didn’t know if we could afford to do that, but we found a great subcontractor [Nate Francis of Countertop Creations] here who had never really built anything like that," Guess says. "Because he was interested in giving it a shot and adding it to his portfolio, he didn’t charge an exorbitant amount of money because it was sort of an experiment for him as well." The kitchen features a GE Profile refrigerator and KitchenAid range, microwave, and dishwasher. The sink and faucet are from Kohler. The project's builder was Joe Doherty with Custom Homecrafters of Austin.
Large, dramatic openings bring transparency and contrast to the 10-inch-thick concrete facade, framing perspectival views of the landscape.
The kitchen features a concrete island topped with marble. Deja-Vu stools by Naoto Fukasawa surround the island. A print by Guy Gormley, as well as a painting bought during holiday in St. Tropez, hang on the walls.
In fall, the color of this backyard in Charlottesville, Virginia, changes daily with the foliage. Elizabeth Birdsall marvels how new outdoor spaces on her property, like a patio furnished with upholstered seating from Gloster, make enjoying the woods an easy experience: “It’s like comfortable camping, all the time.”
At a seaside New Zealand house, the simple kitchen has strandboard cabinetry and an MDF island that conceals a fireplace at one end. The bright green cabinetry of the island are a happy pop of color that references the native greenery outside.
A palette of stone, concrete, and greenery greets guests at the home’s front entrance.