Love it or hate it, the exposed brick wall is making a come-back and it’s here to stay. Brick walls and modern interiors have been at odds with each other for a number of years but the rise of cottage core and loft style have inspired a new-found appreciation for the humble brick. We thought we’d seen the heyday of exposed brick walls but architects and homeowners alike have been gravitating to this growing trend to install unique character and timeless charm; we love the warm texture it brings into design schemes.
Exposed brick wall ideas can be a controversial design choice, it’s a bit of a marmite element in the interior design world. Some love them for their rustic warmth and texture. Others see a dusty building material and would opt for the finish of a plastered wall over it in any situation! For some the exposed brick wall in the living room is an expression of the rich and historical past of the building and a blend of the past and the present. For others, it’s a way to add elegance and personality to an otherwise boring interior dominated by glass and stone.
So why the sudden surge in popularity? Like many trends, the growth stems from our childhood memories and the increasing movement for spaces to feel familiar and welcoming. Everyone, from Grandma to your nephew, knows what a brick is and how it’s used. From an early age, we are pre-programmed to recognise that houses are built from brick especially in the UK. Some of the first toys we play with as children are building bricks and this creates a core memory and association which we never really remove. Team this with the surge in nostalgia being used in design and it’s easy to see why the exposed brick wall is back. As human beings, we thrive on having emotions and time attached to products and the truth is brickwork offers a comforting and natural ambiance which is hard to replicate in any other material.
Using any 3D wall covering, like bricks or stone, helps create a story for your interior, it adds interest and history. Texture on walls can help creates a true focal point, particularly around fireplaces and in new-builds where there are less features such as alcoves and chimney breasts. It also allows you play with other surface elements to complement or contrast against the colour and patterns of the wall. You can create fantastic juxtaposition in a space by mixing industrial elements, like brick and polished concrete, with chic fittings such as chandeliers and luxurious rugs.
Many people worry about the risk of dust from an exposed brick wall or the thought of them attracting dirt. If you decide to expose or install a brick wall in your home, ensure that you brush it with sealant as bricks are naturally porous which can lead them to crumble over time.
You may, of course, live somewhere that doesn’t have a natural brick wall. Don’t worry! There are tons of faux-brick options that allow you to perfectly stylise your space. From wallpapers to brick slips (thin tile like bricks), there’s an option for every room.