​The beauty of building with brick

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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It is no secret that brick has been considered a decent building material for a long time – even that third little pig opted to construct his house out of brick to hide from the wolf. But whether it’s a fairytale house or a real-life construction site, brick presents a very original (and quite elegant) style. And it’s not just restricted merely to the façades of a building. 

Brick can adorn a multitude of spaces, including: hallways and entrances, fireplaces, renovation projects, loft areas, and verandas. It can coat all four walls of a room or simply decorate one wall, which will undoubtedly then become the main focal point of that room. 

Let’s take a look at some clever (and beautiful) ways how this raw material has elevated the beauty status of some architectural creations.

Perfect for select areas

For those who think that brick is only meant for walls, think again. Here, Hart Design & Construction spoils us with this charming fireplace setting that would definitely have been less cosy were it not for that brick coating. 

Refractory bricks (also known as fire bricks) are the ideal choice used for lining furnaces, kilns, fireboxes, and fireplaces. A refractory brick is built chiefly to endure high temperatures, but will also usually have a low thermal conductivity for greater energy efficiency. And the fact that they add a rustic look to an environment certainly doesn't hurt, either. 

So, to recap: select areas of brick can add a focal point to any room.

A discreet presence

No need to associate brick with a screaming red hue – it can have a very subtle and elegant presence as well. Case in point, this open plan space by Ricardo Moreno. Making use of neutral colours and quiet tones, the architect and designers here clearly went with a more soft approach in terms of their designs. 

Those brick walls do nothing to subtract from the gentle interiors (thanks to their sandy peach-like hues), yet add a beautiful material into the mix. 

Our lesson from this: Brick can be soft.

Contemporary creativity

What if you really love that image of dark red bricks, yet you don’t want your creation to seem too hard or raw? You simply contrast your design with some soft additions. 

As shown above by Sonja Speck Photographers, the building boasts a very solid presence and eye-catching façade thanks to its material. However, it is made much softer thanks to that spiral staircase situated on the outside. Notice how its curvy flow offsets beautifully with the brick’s rigid and linear design?  

A tranquil pond (complete with soft lighting and lush plants) offers up a romantic atmosphere, contrasting even more with that industrial-type building style. 

The lesson we have learned? Brick can exude a hard presence, yet it doesn't have to speak for the entire design.

A dual approach

Fabrice Commercon presents to us this modern creation that flaunts a striking façade of half glass, half brick. This combines modern design with classic creation, achieving a unique vision in one single residence. 

Not only do these two materials contrast with each other, they also complement one another. The textured surface of the brick makes the glass seen even more smooth and subtle, while the glass panes, in turn, do their job to make the red hues and linear patterns of the baked clay bricks even more compelling.    

The point we have made here? Brick mixes brilliantly with other building materials.

Ideal for the insides

 Living room by HARQUITECTES
HARQUITECTES

CASA 1101 by HARQUITECTES

HARQUITECTES

From a fiery façade to a lush interior coating, brick certainly possess a chameleon-like quality. Harquitectes shows off this comfy and stylish living room, made up of orange brick walls, polished concrete floor, and hard concrete panels for the ceiling.  

A wide open glass door, framed delightfully by some elegant examples of carpentry, allows for a dash of sunshine to accompany the interiors. See how magnificently that brick pattern offsets with the clean and tranquil surfaces of the furniture and décor? 

What have we learned here? Brick makes for one stunning interior material.

Prettified with paint

Even though brick possess a range of different colours, this exquisite material is not opposed to being painted. Case in point this example by R3ARCHITETTI. Choosing brick for the interior walls and ceiling, a pristine white was settled on for the colour. This adds a clean, tranquil vibe which fits in beautifully with the pale timber chosen for the décor and furniture pieces. 

Our point being: with a coat of (the right) paint, brick can still look marvellous. 

homify hint: Before painting your brickwork, make sure it is clean. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before bringing a paintbrush near it. Do not use acid cleaning solutions for cleaning – rather stick to simple water and soap. 

Brick wall or not, we’ll share: The Secrets Of Painting A Wall Evenly.

Fit for kitchens

How often do we shy away from bricks and instead choose smooth surfaces for our kitchens? Too often, apparently, when looking at this chic kitchen layout courtesy of Sonja Speck Photographers

Combining that brick texture with the stainless steel surfaces makes for one unique area, especially when joined by a delightful wooden floor. Contrast is key when creating noteworthy surfaces, both exterior and interior. And with that unique texture that a brick wall possesses, you already have one half of your contrasting materials checked off your list. 

The brick wall in this kitchen ensures that no additional decor is necessary, as this heart of the home already flaunts a very stylish look. 

So, our lesson for the day: whether you want to opt for a rustic space, a modern environment, or a host of other styles, brick can be the model choice to consider, as its raw beauty, natural appearance, and striking ability to fit into (or stand out from) any setting makes it a top-notch building choice.

Like it? Hate it? Share with us your thoughts on adding brick to your home!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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