Au Naturel: the allure of natural materials in design
April 20, 2017

Mankind has achieved some spectacular inventions in our time – the printing press, Dyson hand dryers, the wheel – but sometimes, actually often, the best inspiration can be found in nature itself. Judging by our Pinterest feed, currently flooded with gorgeous organically-inspired spaces, designers seem to be taking this ethos to heart. The team at Collecdev certainly is, letting natural materials take centre stage in the amenity spaces of their developments, with stone kitchen countertops, warm wood finishes, and myriad other accents that are making our indoor spaces feel like a luxurious, refined, and sophisticated interpretation of the great outdoors. Today we take a look at this design trend and the materials that are shaping our lives.


Photo via Bo Bedre

Let us begin with wood, the quintessential element of organic design. Mother Nature designed wood to be the warm counterpoint to all of life’s harder elements, and while it was once relegated to country farmhouse style, today wood is beautifully integrated into contemporary design. Advances in engineering and technology have made wood a more affordable option for builders, banishing the days of wall-to-wall carpet and heralding a new age of rich, expansive, beautifully sleek wood floors. Today’s wood is moisture resistant and more impervious to scuffs and scrapes, meaning it will look as good in 10 years as it does today. In addition to the now de rigueur wood flooring, designers are experimenting with custom wood furnishings and fittings, like built in storage, wall accents, and entertainment units that act as a focal point for open floor plans.

Ideal for: Flooring, built-in furniture, cabinetry
Special considerations: The types of wood are almost endless. Consider the colour, texture, type, and grain when deciding on the wood that will best suit your needs.


Photo via Pinterest

In the hands of Michelangelo, marble was a raw material that gave birth to artistic masterpieces. It’s use in architecture, art, and design can be traced back thousands of years, to some of the most famous historical sites like the Parthenon, the Pantheon, and the Taj Mahal. Today, designers attempt to live up to that extraordinarily high benchmark, using marble and other stone surfaces to add sophistication, elegance, and a touch of the golden renaissance to residences around the world.

Stone in design can run the gamut, from the famous white and grey Carrara marble of Tuscany, to rugged Brazilian slate, and every granite, limestone, travertine, quartz, and sandstone in between. The options are endless. A Vogue profile on design trends for 2017 confirmed, marble and brass will continue to dominate and the natural, tough edge of stone surfaces, combined with glamorous accents are slated (pun intended) to show up in elegant amenity spaces everywhere like lobby feature walls and the envy-inducing chef’s kitchen at Westwood Gardens, featuring sleek, state-of-the-art appliances juxtaposed with countertops made of natural stone.

Ideal for: Countertops, backsplashes, bathrooms, décor accents
Special considerations: Marble gives a beautiful look but can be delicate to care for. If you want greater durability, consider granite or engineered quartz.


Photo via Decor Facil

While your grandmother may not understand the appeal of raw concrete, it’s clear that many homeowners do, because this look has held a steady position at the top of the most popular interior design trends since the first warehouse/loft conversion hit the market. What was once thought of as a construction material used for building foundations has quickly become synonymous with industrial chic. And far from creating a cold, hard atmosphere, concrete can actually help bring a warmer feel to your home, providing the perfect juxtaposition for softer furnishings, warm colours, and rich textures.

Ideal for: Countertops, ceilings, floors, accessories
Special considerations: Avoid clichés and instead embrace alternative ways to balance raw concrete with softer pairings like pastels, metallic, and wood.

Experience timeless design and innovative use of natural materials in a Collecdev home. For a look at our current offerings, check out our communities page.

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