On this week’s Milkshake, we talk to Aussie-born, California-based Kate Balsis, creative designer of Concrete Collaborative, offering “next-generation concrete and terrazzo surfaces like floor and wall tiles, exterior pavers and pool copings, countertops and vanities, and more.” That means gorgeous terrazzo tiles, chic concrete floors, and beautiful collaborations with designers like Sarah Sherman Samuel.
Like Balsis’s adopted home of Southern California, Australia represents the Concrete Collaborative aesthetic: easy living between indoor and outdoor, sophisticated but always natural, never pretentious. “I think the Australian design and architectural industry is very mature,” she says. “It has its own aesthetic. Every time I’m on Pinterest or Instagram, if I see a design I like, it’s guaranteed to be an Australian architect or designer. It’s very architectural, even though it has really contemporary colors and finishes and a very clean kind of style.” Basing the company in California means a new, complementary vibe: “We’ve been very inspired by California in terms of color palette,” Balsis says. “We just love anything that references nature and kind of builds off that mid-century modern aesthetic but brings it into current times.”
Also in this episode, Balsis shares why she thinks concrete is such a beautiful material: “I think what I find most inspiring is that it has form and function – it has these industrial roots where it can be a material that really serves an engineering purpose, and is a foundation, and then it can also be a beautiful finish and really pretty and elevated and sophisticated,” she says. “I love that juxtaposition.”
So do we – tune in for more, plus a show-and-tell of some of Concrete Collaborative’s gorgeous tile.
Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.
Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.