Weekly Design Topic: Brutalism

When you hear of the style Brutalism, you probably initially think of the word “brutal;” however, the word originated from the French word “beton brut,” meaning raw concrete. Over seventy years ago, an architectural design of raw, bulky concrete structures arose in the European design market.  These massive buildings had an aggressive approach to modern and contemporary styles yet grounded by their simplicity of concrete-only structures. 

The modular concrete structures became a movement which focuses more on functionally and economically friendly builds.  As the structures strayed from abstract and focused more on amplifying the current environment, the interiors became very reflective of their location.  

This interior design style is sometimes associated with styles like Industrialism and Urbanism designs because its focus on the raw constructs of the room being exposed and the style of the outward atmosphere being reflected indoors.  Here are some tips on making this unique design come to fruition in your home today: 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

With the most unique and robust styles, Brutalism has many mixed reactions with designers.  The raw style approach can be interpreted as a strength just as quickly as some would classify it as a weakness. Glass structured buildings started becoming the norm in cities yet usually were quickly associated with wealth and sometimes arrogance in structure.  

So, Brutalism’s approach was to take the overly ornamented and make a more unpretentious, modest look by staying faithful to raw, rugged material.  This architectural philosophy then quickly poured into the realm of developing the style of interior design Brutalism.  Functionality and simplicity are the key components to this design so prepare for a minimalist approach. This raw style will focus on a more eschewed portrayal of neutral tones.

Dystopian Décor

Certain design styles have made their trademark into distinct Hollywood movie genres. When you think of a Fantasy film, it is usually associated with a Whimsical Design Style, whereas Horror films have the recognized Gothic Styled Design used throughout them. Well, Brutalism has made its trademark in many Dystopian Styled films. Think of films that have a “post-apocalyptic” feel.  Using elements in your design and decor that feel distressed, worn, torn, brushed, and even unfinished strengthen this look.  Handmade or “scrap-like” decor pieces are excellent to enhance this style.


How you furnish your space in brutalism should be simple and functional.  Raw woods and concrete are ideal for capturing this design style.  Adding to this industrial design with jagged mechanical scrapped furniture and asymmetrical rough exposed metals are fantastic additions to help capitate the style of Brutalism.  Furnishing the area with concrete end tables and steel wall sconces are one of many ways designers use raw materials in this design feel.

If you are considering adding a Brutalist Design Style to your space, consider your layout. Having architect that already compliments the industrial feel will help take this style to the next level.  No matter what, remember raw materials like concrete is key to making this space feel complete.  For more tips and tricks, visit us at From The Floors Up

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *