Concrete is in, folks.
Whether you’re a new homeowner looking for design inspiration, or just an avid fan of interior designs and architecture, you’ve likely seen the word “brutalist” floating around, followed by images of dark homes filled with raw, organic materials.
But what is a brutalist home, exactly? And why is it gaining popularity? To understand this interior design style better, here’s a breakdown of its characteristics:
What is brutalist interior design?
Brutalism first became popular in the United Kingdom after World War II, when builders were looking for cost-effective materials in the aftermath of the war. And the most affordable material they could find? Concrete – which is why you’ll find them used in abundance in many modern brutalist homes.
In general, the key components of a modern brutalist home includes:
- Raw, organic materials like concrete, glass, metal, and stone
- Exposed/textural surfacesto create visual interest
- A focus on minimalism and function, without excessive decorative elements or ornamentation
- Eye-catching geometric shapes
- Monochromatic colour schemes, usually in neutrals or black and whites
Homes in Singapore with brutalist interior design style:
1. This maisonette in Hougang
With its monochromatic colour palette, textured surfaces, and minimal decor, this maisonette is a brutalist home done right.
Note how almost none of the walls (and even the ceiling!) are left bare. Instead, they’re either coated with cement screed, faux stone surfaces, and fluted panels – all of which create depth and visual interest in a home where pops of colour are absent.
2. This 4-room BTO flat in Punggol Northshore
Brutalist homes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s usually because such spaces tend to look sombre and clinical. However, the same can’t be said for this 4-room BTO flat.
Here, curved walls, beams and furniture introduce flowing edges that break up the monogamy of sharp, clean lines, while soft textures like boucle and rattan inject the space with eye-catching textures that stand out against the cement-coated walls.
Together, they soften the otherwise dark and minimalist home, giving it a surprisingly welcoming vibe!
3. This 4-room resale flat in Tanjong Pagar
Less is more in brutalist interior design, and that it’s all too apparent in this 4-room resale flat. Take a look around, and you’ll realise that it has little in the way of furnishings (they don’t even have a coffee table or TV console!).
What it does have are interesting features like an arched wall niche and concrete half-wall in the bedroom. But rather than being purely decorative features, they each serve a function as a storage/display area and headboard respectively, thus showing that everything in this home has a function.
4. This 3-bedroom condo in Telok Blangah
Every interior design style can be adapted, and Brutalism is no different. Take this particular home as an example, which boasts a ‘tropical brutalist’ interior style that heavily relies on sandy beiges, warm woods, and lush greens to create a more welcoming vibe.
Despite the departure from the usual black and grey hues, it nonetheless still possesses the hallmarks of a classic brutalist-style home. To complement the beige walls, wooden shelves – that also function as climbing spots for the homeowners’ three cats – line the otherwise empty walls.
You’ll also find interesting geometric shapes that make the space even more striking – like the uniquely-shaped pendant lights and mirrors found around the house.
5. This 3-bedroom condo in Marine Parade
While most brutalist homes are generally monochromatic in palette, that’s not to say that variation of colours don’t belong in them. With the swaths of green blending in seamlessly with the overall earthy tone of the space, this condo is one shining example.