Try this Brutalist wallpaper!

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Above and below, wallpaper brings Brutalism inside. (

Brutalist wallpaper brings the concrete dream to any room“!

Ah, that concrete dream! I must really hand it to Kristen Richards, founder and editor of the indispensable She sent me the link. “You’ll love this – not!” she writes, capturing my feelings precisely. Yes, I love this – because I’m an ornery bastard who loves wallowing in the sheer folly of the idea that anyone but a masochist would want to surround themselves with Brutalist architecture – at home!

Don’t you just love that tilt? At least it is tilting away from you. Imagine walking every day into your living room with this “concrete dream” about the collapse on your head! Where to hang art, and what kind, offers a dizzying conundrum. To dodge the choice by hanging no art at all might be the easiest way out.

Brutalism “nearly always uses concrete exposed at its roughest,” goes its entry in the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, “with an overemphasis on big chunky members that collide ruthlessly.” The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture states: “[Kahn and Stirling] loathed the term (unsurprisingly) as it put clients off, especially … where oversized rough concrete elements, crudely colliding with each other, were visible. …”

Which suggests that the Brutalism offered by Murals Wallpapers’ Concrete Effects Line is not exactly “heroic Brutalism,” as the style has attempted to rebrand itself. Perhaps a lame, tame Brutalism that could read as a wallpaper pattern may be for the best, interior decor-wise.

But if you don’t already live in a Brutalist building, or have one lurking in the view from your window, don’t despair. Bring it inside! I’m sure that’s what the folks at the website would say. “Ahh!” I can hear them chanting “Hate myself! Hate people! Hate myself! Hate people!”

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About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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One Response to Try this Brutalist wallpaper!

  1. Vertigo just thinking about that…


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