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Unusual Materials Used in Interior Design

Erickson AsphaltNovember 30, 2021

Unusual Materials Used in Interior Design

Over the years, we’ve seen interior design trends come and go. Some have stuck, such as tasteful laminate flooring, whilst others have mercifully gone away never to be spoken of again (goodbye floating stairs)...

However, there are new trends emerging all the time. Some of them, at first glance, seem unworkable - but actually bring great depth and dimension to a home. For instance, sustainability and the repurposing of materials around the house is one trend that everyone seems to be on board with. 

Also, stoneware (and with it, the use of neutral, natural colors) is another trend that always seems to evolve, being ‘on point’ for those people wanting to make conscious, and lasting design choices that suit a range of tastes and budgets. 

These types of decisions often help sell houses too - neutral palates can be easier to work with than some of the more out-there color decisions we see all too often on real estate sites.

There’s always an appetite to discover some of the more unusual design trends that are coming through and ways to use them in your home that won’t look too out of place if you want to have a go at utilizing some of the latest ideas without breaking the bank. 

We’ve put together a few tips for you here and got some experts to weigh in with their answers to some questions surrounding the most unusual materials, currently being used in interior design, too. What are you waiting for? Read on!

What are some unusual materials you're aware of that are being used in interiors?

“Shiplap - we use a lot of the materials for a fun way to change up your basic painted drywall.  We like Great American Spaces - they have several shiplap options to choose from including wood tiles and barn-style wood finishes for a rustic look. Another unique interior design element we have come across quite often these days is utilizing barn doors or pocket doors for closets, bathrooms, pantries, gyms, laundry rooms and etc. as a space saving technique.  We recently installed a double barn door for a new home gym as a way to bring some focal point into the adjacent Family Room.   When both doors were slid open, both the Gym and Family Room felt nice and open without having to sacrifice for typical swing arm doors.” Sara Grenier, Amber Valley Construction

Tell us about unusual paint and decorative ideas that are being used in interiors right now?

“Unusual materials used are epoxy coatings for fences, metallic paints for interior accents, and deep accent walls with neutral colors on other walls. ” Chris Heerdegen

Current interior design trends

One of the biggest trends emerging during 2023 is one we briefly picked up on above and that’s the idea of neutral, natural colors that invoke nature in home design. 

This is to give a feeling of bringing outdoors, indoors - to uplift and relax at the same time. 

People are looking to generally have a greater connection to the natural world, and they're doing it by using reclaimed wood and greenery in amongst the decor. 

Textures and layering are another big trend for the coming year, with the use of multimedia materials in rooms to give a feeling of cosseting and comfort. Mixing fabrics with leather and layering wooden floors with soft, wool rugs is the way to go here. 

Our final pick of the trends is the use of stoneware throughout homes. In kitchens and bathrooms, marble and soapstone are being used as hardwearing, yet beautiful additions to things like worktops, and shelves. 

Let’s now take a look at what a few handpicked experts are recommending for some of the more unusual interior design materials, now.

What’s an example of an unusual product used in interior design projects over the last few years?

“Concrete, which is typically used as a structural element in buildings rather than for interior design, is used throughout some spaces to create living rooms with interesting textures.

These projects use the robust material in a variety of different ways – for walls and built-in storage solutions, as well as to divide up spaces.” Courtesy of James Parkes writing for Dezeen

What metals and gemstones are being used in interiors?

“Agate comes in multiple colors such as white, green, red, black, etc. The formation of Agate lends it natural stripes of color, making it an excellent mineral to use for interior design due to its natural patterns and colorful marbled effect. The advantage of using Agate is its natural hardness which makes it ideal to withstand daily use in wet places like bathrooms and kitchens. The highly polished surface also resists chemicals and stains well. 

Brass is a solid and durable metal that does not suffer from iron-like rusting and hence needs replacement. Brass is used in 3 different ways: bright - which has a golden hue for decorative components, antique - that comes with a deep bronze color whose coating mimics years of wear for a classical look, and brushed, which has fine parallel lines that add dimensions to any brass fixture”. Courtesy of Anchal, writing for Infurnia

What are two more really unusual materials used in interiors? 

“Three-D gypsum board! Fibre glass-reinforced gypsum board panels come in tiles and are screwed to a substrate. The seams are mudded and sanded by a skillful dry-waller to create a continuous effect. Stainless steel Steel has amazing potential and can take on many different personalities, from modern and stark to tactile and warm. Stainless steel isn’t used just as a sheet metal today. In new applications, stainless steel pieces are linked like chain mail or woven into screens.” Courtesy of Ines Hanl, writing for Houzz
If this has given you inspiration to update your home interior, or make some lasting changes to the outside of your home then we can help. Let’s get the conversation started today.