The Exposed Brick Effect: 5 Ways to Get it & Where to Use It
“I love the brickwork!” It’s often the first thing people say when entering a room with exposed brick, but what is it about stripping your home interior back to core materials that we love so much? Is it the sense of history that exposed brick brings, reminding us all that sometimes buildings were once something else, or have their own past? Or perhaps it’s more about minimalist living with a not so ‘try-hard’ vibe that appeals?
Whatever it is, this is one trend that’s sticking around for the long-haul. Beginning way back in the 70s, pioneering interior creatives continue to transform derelict industrial buildings into stunning living spaces for the likes of you and me. And, as a result, large open spaces, high ceilings and characterful brick detail have become a sought-after requirement for many homeowners in the UK.
While we all agree exposed brick is cool, it can be messy, hard to maintain and, unfortunately, not always a viable choice, especially if you’re in a new build. Sound familiar? Fear not. We’re on hand with our top tips on adding this must-have trend to the home with a lot less effort.
1. Brick Wall Tiles
For the times when wallpaper just won’t do – moist environments such as bathrooms and kitchens are probably a no-no – the humble ceramic tile is ready and waiting to take action.
Replicating the authenticity of real brick, our HD collection provides the perfect tiled alternative to exposed brick in the home. Printed in a range of brick designs and colours using 3D HD technology, you can rest easy knowing it’s super practical and covers all bases for achieving that desired look and feel.
Easy to maintain, versatile and with a premium feel, brick wall tiles are a great contender for those fearful of having the real deal in their home.
2. Brick Wallpaper
Yes, it’s not actual brick. But it looks like brick, and that’s the end goal here, right? Plus, with brick wallpaper you have total control over where your exposed brick design begins and ends.
Create statement feature walls by using it on living room alcoves and chimney breasts, or use it to keep small rooms, such as offices and utilities, on trend.
It’s an affordable choice and undoubtedly less commitment for those who like to re-decorate every couple of years. Just be sure you’ve got the wallpapering skills to see it through (or employ the professionals!).
3. Brick Veneers
If you’re looking for a truly authentic exposed brick effect without all the commitment that comes with it, brick veneers might just be the one for you.
Applied in the same way as tiles, mortar is spread across the wall with the brick veneers laid on top, evenly placed with plastic spacers ready for grouting.
Not only do brick veneers create the same warmth, charm and character as solid brick, but they’re also lightweight, cost effective and offer additional insulation in the home – which is never a bad thing when it comes to those bills.
4. Brick Effect Stucco Wall
Can’t resist a down and dirty DIY project? If you’re the committed type with a steady hand and an eye for detail, pulling off the exposed brick effect without any exposed brick will be a doddle.
This technique works best for those after a ‘whitewashed’ brick wall, particularly suited to monochrome or Scandi-inspired interiors. A quick Google will reveal everything you need to know about achieving this look, but the basics consist of drawing your bricks on your chosen wall, outlining the shapes with tape, applying stucco – a plaster often used as a decorative coating for walls - before pulling off the tape to reveal your brick pattern and finishing it all off with a lick of paint. If you’ve got the time and patience, then a realistic faux-brick wall shall be yours.
5. Brick Stencil
Brick wall stencils are nifty, quick and the finished results might just pleasantly surprise you.
The stencils themselves are easy to come by at most DIY stores along with your paint, brushes and rollers; one trip and you’ll be ready to go! The task itself is quite a fun one too, with a tons of satisfaction for you once the job is done. Likewise with all these options, you can choose where your brick-look goes; accent feature wall or allover design, the choice is yours!
The best bit? If you go wrong or change your mind, a super simple cover up job will result in you wondering if it ever happened at all.
Brick Effect Inspiration: Where to use it in your home
Need some inspiration? Here’s the best of the best when it comes to adding exposed brick to the home...
Nothing says ‘statement’ more than an exposed brick feature wall like this one! Perfect for creating an extra cosy vibe in your living room.
Simple, but equally stunning, exposed brick on a fireplace can dramatically transform your interior, making it the focal point of your room.
Making the most of what you’ve got means pulling out those characterful pieces in the home, just like this stunning brick kitchen pillar. It adds so much to the room with only a little effort.
Around a window
When you’ve got a large space to fill, dramatic windows surrounded by brick detail is a surefire way to subtly blend high-opposing structures with the rest of your decor.
This make-shift staircase with tonnes of storage is made even better by the fact it’s against a stunning exposed brick wall. Adding lots of personality, it requires few touches to complete the overall look.
Combining textures and the need for practicality can be a little challenging at times. With brick effect tiles you can get the finish you want without all the worry.