It's not yet clear whether concrete will become a bathroom trend mainstay in 2014, but one company is launching a new line of sinks that makes it all seem possible.
Native Trails has come up with a cement and jute fiber material called NativeStone, which resists staining and cracking while maintaining a cool, silky exterior. It also provides a lower price-point for customers who desire the look and feel of concrete but can't afford a custom project.
"Concrete is an emerging home design trend that we see used far more often for countertops, floors, furniture, and even home exteriors," says Native Trails CEO and founder Naomi Neilson Howard. "NativeStone makes great use of concrete's natural beauty and its natural color—gray—which is also a hot design trend right now, and avoids all of its previous downfalls. It is gorgeous and silky to the touch. For the first time, concrete communicates luxury just as powerfully as it does function."
Howard, together with Native Trails president Tim Blair, came up with the product after spending time with artisans in Vietnam and researching their methods.
In keeping with Native Trails' Eco-Social Positive company ethic, the addition of jute (a natural, renewable vegetable fiber) makes the sinks stronger and more sustainable than other concrete alternatives -- generating less waste and requiring less energy to produce.