The exposed brick wall; a tried-and-tested visual that brings texture, character and colour to any interior space. Brick walls, in their natural state, possess a certain charm, which is why so many homeowners (and architects, designers, decorators, etc.) choose to take advantage of their presence.
The exposed brick surface is especially popular in the industrial style, modern lofts and historical buildings, but because of their texture and natural colours, bricks fit into a variety of different styles and looks, from modern to rustic. And because of their visual quality, they can be altered to make your room look warm and inviting, aged and timeless, chic and modern… whatever you desire.
But the brick wall offers so much more, if you’re willing to let your creativity flow and experiment (and put in some work, of course).
Herewith some tips to broaden your horizon the next time you hit a brick wall.
Having an exposed brick wall in your interior provides you with a major visual element that is welcome in a lot of decor styles, especially if you’re leaning towards industrial.
The industrial style prides itself on exposed raw materials like brick, rough wood and metal. These materials are regarded as prime features and a lot of homeowners go to great lengths to make these visible in their interiors for optimum effect.
So why not give your house/apartment an industrial look with your exposed brick wall by adding some wooden and concrete materials? Or add some contemporary furniture designs for a modern and chic space. Otherwise, opt for vintage furniture if you want your space to be more classical. Either way, you’re already ahead of the curve with your exposed brick wall.
Feast your eyes on some visual inspiration when it comes to industrial-style living rooms.
A brick wall can really accent your space and add an old-word feel to the room. But what if your house (or wall) is relatively new and you want that deteriorated look right now? Simply use clever painting techniques to make it look distressed:
1. Start by vacuuming the entire wall with the hose attachment and dust brush. Remove remaining dust/debris by scrubbing the brick with water and a nylon brush. You may have to wait a day or two for the porous surfaces of the brick to dry completely.
2. Tape off the trim with painter’s tape. Remember to lay newspapers on the floor for protection.
3. Paint a bonding primer over the entire brick and mortar surface. Use a primer specifically designed for masonry surfaces and a heavy-nap roller to reach into all the crevices. Allow to dry overnight.
4. Add your light paint colour to the brick. Allow to dry for at least four hours before adding a second coat.
5. Mix one part brown or black latex with three parts glaze. This dilutes the paint colour. Dip a paint sponge into the mixture and dab it onto the bricks. Slide the sponge along the edges of some bricks to enhance that weathered look. Allow the glaze to dry.
6. Sponge on a second round of glaze if you feel your wall doesn’t look distressed enough. You can also mix a different colour with the glaze (such as a rustic red) to add some dimension to your wall. Dab it on identically to the first round, overlapping the existing colour randomly.
Updating a brick wall will, at times, require more than a fresh dash of paint. Should you feel the need to add an outdated look to your walls, consider partially covering your brick wall with some cement (or plaster). This will give your wall a look and feel of antiquity, and will be a striking element in your rustic space.
However, accomplishing this look requires certain steps (cleaning the brick surface, allowing it to dry, mixing the cement, spreading it over the walls, etc.) that need to be followed with precision, so be sure to enlist some professional help if a rural wall is what you’re seeking.
From a perfect wall to some perfect adornments, take a look at these 6 Creative & Cool Picture Walls.
Who says you’re limited to one type of brick on the same wall? But be careful before you start mixing and matching different brick types. Treat the brick’s colour as you would a fabric-, paint- or carpet colour, and use the colour wheel to direct your palette.
The greater the contrast between the two bricks, the more attention you’ll draw to the brick. Be sure to incorporate touches of one of the bricks (or both) elsewhere in the room, such as fabrics or decor, to have it flow into your design scheme.
Instead of trying to counteract the dominating effect of dark brick by re-cladding some parts with a lighter colour, choose a neutral colour that’s in the same range as the first brick. This will help to integrate both brick styles into the room, creating a more harmonious, unified environment.
homify hint: If the walls are the darkest element in a room, the space can feel small and cramped. To prevent this, include a darker element in the furnishing, decor, rug, etc.
You already have one fantastic raw material in your house – who says you can’t have two?
Adding a wooden element to your exposed brick wall, either in the form of furniture, beams, or floors, can add a dramatic, masculine touch to your interior. Pairing dark wooden touches (think walnut, mahogany, ebony) with the deep tones of a natural brick wall adds a striking dimension to the space, ensuring a dramatic yet organic flow.
And don’t be scared to experiment with wall accessories whose colours mimic the hues in the bricks!
homify hint: Pair a dark wooden floor with a pale grey brick wall. Hang dark wooden decorative elements on the wall, and add grey furnishings (couches and lounge chairs) for a two-tone, natural appeal. Now, dare to sprinkle in a spot of colour here and there (i.e. a red scatter cushion, a green potted plant, etc.) for an eye-catching effect.
Love your brick texture but not too crazy about that red colour? Brighten it up with some light paint! A white painted brick wall invites the eye to notice the unique pattern, without which that neutral colour can sometimes appear quite plain. Besides, white paint forms a great canvas for colourful decor fabrics, various furnishings, and bright accessories.
However, before you grab that white paint bucket, assess the condition of your wall. If it’s crumbling or deteriorating in any way, chisel off the damages and add a new mortar in-between the bricks. After scrubbing the wall clean and dry, prime the wall with a brick-friendly masonry primer to help with water resistance.
homify hint: Brick often looks best painted in a slightly glossy finish, highlighting its texture better than a matte one. It’s also easier to wipe clean. Use a 100% acrylic paint and roll or spray on one to two coats of your chosen colour.