Brick Accent Walls

Is it a classic or is it a craze?

By Melissa Mauzy
Photography by Anne Matheis

 

For our September Before/After issue, we asked local design professionals if brick accent walls are a classic or a craze. 

Classic
“Exposed brick walls are always a classic when they are authentic and original, in my opinion. It's a less expensive way to have an accent wall and gives a loft-feel to the space. The texture also creates warmth and a bit of nostalgia. However, because brick is so dense and substantial it does pose problems for electrical wiring and hanging art. Luckily we always come up with clever solutions.” Joni Spear, Joni Spear Interior Design.

“Classic. Three years ago I sold my home and moved into a wonderful townhouse. The master bedroom had a brick accent wall that seemed very dated to me, but I liked the color of the brick so I decided to live with it. I had an upholstered headboard custom made, used my previous living room lamps and end tables for nightstands, repurposed sections of a room divider/screen behind the nightstands, had an existing area rug with the same colors as the brick, added a piece of art, then purchased new bed linens and accent pillows.  I now love the room – very cozy, retro/industrial/loft/mid-century modern and classic.” Marcia Moore, Marcia Moore Design.

“They are absolutely a classic that is here to stay. The character and authenticity that they add to homes, especially urban lofts and condos, is undeniable. As long as Americans continue to revive/repurpose older homes and buildings, the edginess and appeal of brick walls will continue to be a part of it.” Patrice Munden, Patrice Munden Interiors.

“I feel that brick accent walls are a classic trend! For many years brick has served as a part of residential design and architecture as both a structural component and a decorative finish. It’s only natural to bring this product from nature into our interior designs. The trendy part of a brick accent wall is how it is finished.  Historically, interior brick accent walls were used to bring colors and elements of the outdoors inside. They also were painted opaque and utilized them for their texture. Now, we are seeing many more options, even changing the color by staining it.  Whether it is fashionable to leave it exposed, painted, white washed or even stained may evolve a bit over time, but this timeless part of our architecture is here to stay.” Tanya Yaacoub, BaumHouse Design, LLC.

Neither
“I don't see brick walls as a craze, but I also don't see them as classic. Brick walls have been part of design for years. They come and they go. When I was a kid in  the '60s people in the suburbs were putting fake brick walls into tract-built subdivision homes.  Brick walls are organically part of rehabbing old buildings that were constructed with multiple layers of brick - or plaster over brick that has been removed — and choosing to appreciate them rather than cover them with paint or sheet rock. Brick walls that are not organic — that are built for effect in new environments  — are out of place and destine to be replaced in a relatively short period of time.” David Schneider, Interior Design Associates.