4 ways to embrace the modern industrial design trend on a budget

(BPT) – If you like exposed brick, neutral colors, metal accents, glass and concrete, you’re probably a big fan of modern industrial design. By starting with a few details, it’s easier than you think to integrate this on-trend aesthetic into your home décor — without breaking the bank.

Try these ideas for incorporating industrial elements into your home.

Have a light bulb moment

Whether you use Edison-style light bulbs as string lights or swap out some of your regular bulbs, the exposed filaments of these bulbs instantly transport you to the early industrial age. Today’s Edison-style LED bulbs come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit a wide range of fixtures.

Enter the neutral zone

A coat of paint easily transforms any room’s appearance. For the industrial aesthetic, choose a monochromatic look using white, black, gray or brown, then add a few accents like light fixtures, art or vases that use metal, brick, glass or wood.

Put the pedal to the metal

Switching out drawer and cabinet hardware with mixed metals is another quick and easy way to emphasize the industrial feel. Opt for matte black and brushed metals to create visual interest.

Set it in concrete

Creating a concrete countertop is a simple project to undertake — and easy on the wallet. Concrete countertops are also not just for kitchens anymore. You can create a concrete countertop for a bathroom, living room, outdoor kitchen, entryway — if you can imagine it, you can make it.

Concrete is very versatile, so you can create a one-of-a-kind statement piece as a simple weekend project. All you’ll need is Quikrete® Concrete Countertop Mix and a base. You could build your own base like this iron bar table, or repurpose something you already own or find at a thrift store. Because concrete is endlessly customizable, Quikrete Concrete Countertop Mix can transform an entry table, patio island or coffee table into a signature masterpiece. Whatever you build will be extremely durable and practical — while also enhancing your modern industrial look.

Here are basic instructions for creating a concrete countertop for your home:

Safety first: Before beginning any concrete project, make sure you have proper safety gear like eye protection and waterproof gloves.

1. Determine the dimensions of the countertop. If it will serve as a bar, make sure it extends at least 6 inches beyond the base to allow room for stools.

2. Build the countertop forms. Design and construct the forms in multiple sections to allow for the weight of the concrete. For example, if you’re creating a concrete countertop for an entry table, build forms from 3/4″ melamine-coated particle board by screwing four 1.5″ strips to a base sheet according to the countertop dimensions. Another advantage of smaller sections is that if they’re less than 4′ rebar is not required.

3. Apply a bead of silicone caulk in the seams of the forms. Then smooth with a caulk tool or your fingertip to give the countertop a smooth edge.

4. Mix the Quikrete Concrete Countertop Mix by following the directions on the bag. Then pour into the forms in two 1″ layers. If necessary, place metal rebar or wire mesh between the two layers for additional strength.

5. Overfill the forms slightly before pulling a 2×4 in a sawing motion over the surface several times in each direction. This process, known as screeding, will level what will be the underside of the countertop.

6. Consolidate the mix and remove air voids by tapping the forms with a rubber mallet or vibrating with an orbital sander without the pad.

7. Remove the forms after 18 hours. Once each countertop section is removed from the forms, smooth the edges with fine sandpaper.
Note: Although you have to wait a few days before the countertop fully forms with many concrete mixes, Quikrete’s Concrete Countertop Mix doesn’t have to sit for more than a day.

8. With the help of another person, place the newly formed countertop pieces on top of the base. If your countertop project requires any hardware or appliance installation, make sure you follow the manufacturer instructions.

9. Seal your concrete countertops with Quikrete Acrylic Concrete Cure & Seal to protect them from stain-causing contaminants like dirt, oil and grease.

Pro tip: To customize your concrete countertop, add liquid cement colors during the mixing process and stain the surface. You can also fill air holes with Polyblend Non-Sanded Grout from Custom Building Products.

Ready to get started? Watch this how-to video on Quickrete.com.

Using these tips, you can become your own interior designer, creating a modern industrial look that’s visually appealing, minimalistic and flexible for just about any space in your home.