5 Reasons Why Designers Love Exposed Brick

white exposed brick loft bedroom

Clair Esparros for Becky Shea

If you've long lusted over exposed brick walls, you're not alone. It turns out that designers love them, too, and they've shared the full list of reasons why. Whether you wish to keep your brick walls bright red or paint them to alter the mood of a room, the pros are on board. Here's why they think exposed brick is so great.

  • 01 of 05

    It Adds Intrigue

    exposed brick in kitchen

    Ariana Clare for Caroline Brackett

    "I love the dimension it adds to a space,” designer Desiree Burns said of exposed brick. And she noted that it doesn’t need to be bright red to make a stylish statement. “Even when painted white, it's an immediate accent wall without being too overpowering.” Designer Becky Shea also appreciates this approach to the style, and noted, “You can see some of the red permeating through in a subtle fashion, and it’s an easy way to brighten up a space without losing the texture of the wall.” 

    If you’re adding brick to a newly constructed space, the way in which you plan to decorate it may inform the color of brick you wish to use, designer Louis Duncan-He said. “If it's more modern and fresh, consider adding a white brick, versus something more timeless and classic and a terracotta colored application,” he stated. Of course, going darker in color is an option, too. “For dark and moody lounges I use a lot of black brick to add in depth and layer in tone on tone,” Duncan-He added.

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  • 02 of 05

    It’s Perfectly Imperfect

    white brick living room

    Tamara Flanagan for D Burns Insteriors

    Brick is a storied material and thus is full of character. “Brick is one of the longest-lasting and strongest materials in history, which is why it’s also one of my all-time favorite materials,” Shea stated. “Whether it’s natural or white-washed, the irregularities and natural imperfections are what make it so special, especially when you have the opportunity to expose brick that's been hidden away for decades.” 

    Designer Diana Rose agreed. “Each brick, with its imperfection, is actually cherished as the most precious treasure,” she said. “This is the only material that I would accept with flaws, because it actually tells a story.” 

    Consequently, exposed brick makes for a wonderful way to merge past and present within a space. “I like the feeling of exposed brick, particularly if it’s original,” designer Trisha Isabey stated. “That blend of old and new is quite wonderful.” In fact, the idea of old meets new can be an excellent theme for a space, Isabey said, adding, “Who doesn’t love inviting the past into the present when it pertains to design?”

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  • 03 of 05

    It Can Spice Up A Neutral Palette

    exposed brick and neutrals

    Heather Bien

    Exposed brick is an excellent way for those who tend to gravitate away from bright hues to still work some color into their homes—no extra purchases required! “Since I gravitate towards a more neutral color palette, having a burnt red brick wall would be my splash of color to contrast with lighter floors and textiles,” Shea noted.

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  • 04 of 05

    It Can Hold Its Own

    exposed brick wall with artwork

    Clair Esparros for Becky Shea

    Forget piecing together an intricate art display just so that the space above your sofa doesn’t remain bare. Exposed brick walls don’t need much added oomph—they’re best when kept simple, Shea commented. “I'm of the mindset that once you expose brick, whatever you add to the walls should be minimal since the true star of the show becomes your wall and its natural movement,” she said. “I love a good sconce with exposed wire—since you can't run wire through old brick—or large format art.” But just one nice piece is enough, Shea emphasized. “Save the gallery wall for another location!” And if you’re unable to adhere sconces? Fear not—“Floor lighting would also work fantastically to highlight the unique texture of the brick wall,” Rose commented.

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  • 05 of 05

    It Pairs Well With a Variety of Materials

    exposed brick paired with brass

    Kimberly Graydon

    Not sure how to best style a room featuring exposed brick walls? Fortunately, there are a number of possibilities when it comes to accent pieces. Rose noted, “I would also introduce other raw-like materials such as polished concrete, antique mirrors, vintage leather, burnished brass, as all these elements will highlight the richness of the brick.”