Cool, modern and industrial, today's concrete homes are almost nothing like the cold, dark bahay na bato that our parents and lolos lived in last century.
Since concrete is the most basic and cheapest of durable home-building materials, concrete houses in the Philippines were mainly associated with the common folk—ordinary homeowners who neither has the time nor inclination to appreciate the aesthetic possibilities of living in a block of raw semento. Well, those days are gone.
Simplicity is at the heart of every concrete home's design, but its core attraction lies firmly in the primary material's affordable availability and unparalleled durability, which affords homeowners a higher sense of security (i.e. protection from the elements, nature or otherwise).
Design-wise, bare concrete is the foundation of every hip and modern industrial-themed home. Not a fan? Paint over it or put up a pretty wallpaper. Check out homify's industrial homes and you'll see the vast design potential of concrete, especially when combined with a different theme.
Today, homify takes you on a tour of a modern detached home in Thailand that was completed in less than three months. Take notes and open your eyes to the stark beauty of good ol' concrete.
Today's two-level inspiration comes from the Thai countryside. This simple detached comes fully equipped with a bedroom, bath, kitchen and central hall. The walls, floor, ceiling and surfaces are all done in concrete, giving this raw beauty remarkable strength. Doors and windows are made of clear glass that invites natural light for an airy atmosphere—a must if you're living in a 100% concrete structure.
Outside, the lush greenery of the rural setting softens the cool starkness of this concrete home. A gravel pavement facilitates easy, dust-free access from the open shed garage to the road. Meanwhile, a balcony offers breezy relaxation.
On the other end of this home, a back door leads to the backyard. The balcony extends to the back, providing shade to the back patio. Apart from providing residents multiple areas to kick back, the backyard also hosts utilities such as the water tank and pumps. All walls on this side come with windows to ensure there's enough light and air entering the house.
Upon entering the house, the central hall welcomes us with the complementary contrast of smooth, pristine ceramic flooring and textured walls and ceilings. Furniture choices may depend on how you choose to style the stone walls—bare and cool, or dressed with paint or wallpaper.
The hall is pleasantly bright, thanks to natural daylight streaming through the windows from two sides. The doors, staircase and wall-mounted shelves are all made of warm wood, which softens the cool hardness of the mortar. The same design approach is implemented to all the rooms of the house, ensuring a cohesive look.
Adjacent to the central hall is an open space with wide sliding glass doors that open to the front yard. The doors and windows are framed in black jambs, further amplifying the industrial vibe of the house. This may be the most cheerful room of the house, basking in natural light and the breeze that blows in whenever glass doors are slid open. It makes a nice dining area, but we would prefer to turn it into the main living area due to its bright airiness.
Who doesn't love an industrial-designed kitchen? As you can see, the kitchen counter is also done in mortar, with the same texture as the walls, giving the whole room a seamless look. Imagine how easy to clean and maintain cement counter tops. We also love that the heart of this home enjoys a generous amount of sunlight. Windows in the kitchen ensure that you won'y have to suffer odors and bacteria that usually linger in stuffy kitchen spaces.
Steel rope railings hold up wooden steps that connect the house's two levels. The industrial design of the staircase is certainly arresting, but safety is also given due attention, with wall-mounted metal hand bars to make sure nobody gets caught in the open steps. This definitely helps if you have elderly parents living with you.
Even the bathroom is beautifully done in bare cement. A wall partition provides privacy in both the shower and toilet areas. White ceramic for the toilet and wash basin keeps this space looking clean and modern.
Upstairs, a spacious lounge space leads out to the balcony. A floor-to-ceiling glass wall that separates the interior from the balcony is the focal point of this part of the house. No matter what time of day, you can be assured that this room in the house will always give you a refreshing, cheery view of the lush outdoors and more than a sprinkling of natural light. We especially love the gabled high ceiling.
What more proof do you need to believe that you and your family can build a home with cheap, accessible and durable material in just less than three months?