Brick is a timeless and versatile design element, as attractive as it is durable. It can be used as flooring, in walls, as an accent, and in fireplaces. Whether going for a classic or a modern look, it can add depth and warmth to any room. It is also an affordable and green option, particularly when using recycled bricks.
While raw bricks have undeniable charm, an easy way to do a quick facelift on an older brick wall or fireplace is to simply paint it. Even newer brick designs often benefit from some carefully chosen color, which can turn the vibe from traditional to modern to shabby chic, all depending on the paint treatment used. For example, a tidy painted brick fireplace can fit easily into a warm country decor, and also bring texture to an otherwise plain room.
Older bricks tell a story. Whether personally rescued from a historic building or picked up from a brick recycling center, recycled bricks are both beautiful and eco-friendly. A wall of this material fits equally well in a New York style loft or a cozy cabin, and they can elevate the space instantly. It is actually a very modern choice, albeit one with ties to the past.
Brick is not a material that needs to stand alone—it combines beautifully with many other design elements. For example, brick combined with metal can be modern and slick, and look particularly good in large open areas such as lofts. A wood mantle can soften rough or rustic brick, and can make it either more traditional or more rustic, depending on the design. Brick accent walls complement standard drywall rooms, and are rustic and inviting, particularly in kitchens.
While known more for being an excellent outdoor paver, brick flooring is actually great for high traffic areas such as kitchens or mud rooms. On a practical level, they are good at hiding dirt, while simultaneously adding visual interest. This style of flooring also tends to be more affordable than classic tile or wood, making it a triple threat choice.
Modern or traditional, sleek or cozy, brick can do it all, and has. It is a timeless design element that was being used by our ancestors as early as 4400 B.C., and it is still relevant and beloved today. Whether used as a practical building material or a decorative accent to a larger look, it adds appeal to any room in which it is used.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.