Bricks...... Why every interior should have some.
I have always had a thing about exposed brick in the home, that whole NYC loft vibe really gets the juices flowing, if you know what I mean! (The only other thing that would have quite the same effect at the moment is the thought of an early night, large gin in hand being given a neck massage by Chris Pratt whilst discussing his shower scene in Passengers.....or is that just me?) Sorry, back to interiors..... If I had to describe my dream home, an old original feature brick wall would be right at the top of the list. So, when we first viewed our current home, which would need heavily extending and renovating to accommodate a family of five, I knew it was the one as soon as we walked through the door and I saw the painted brick in the hallway. Our home started life as a garage for the nearby Manor House, most of the walls downstairs were put up to section off the rooms when it was converted (we've since moved or taken down over three quarters of them again) The previous owners also put insulation around the internal walls and plasterboarded over them. (Not helpful- well, unless you want a warm house I suppose....) However, the original outside wall on one side had only been plastered internally thankfully so we have been able to chip that off and reveal the original brickwork underneath.
I also knew without doubt that the kitchen extension would feature a reclaimed brick wall..... I project managed the build myself and still remember the builders looking at me as if i was mad when I told them they had to build with bricks on the inside too! I sourced the reclaimed bricks from a yard in Sussex, rather than ordering them online, as I wanted them to be local to where I live and wanted to see the quality. It is, of course, fine to buy them online especially if you know exactly what you are looking for, but I would say it's definitely always worth getting a few samples to be sure for colour, and above all, quality.
I absolutely love the rustic feel the brick wall gives the kitchen, it adds a real warmness to the space and is the main focal point of the room. To be honest, over the last couple of years I think my interior style for my own home has changed a lot because of the brick we have in it.... Originally I was thinking along Industrial style but it has evolved from that and is now more modern meets rustic..... I love natural textures and rustic items sitting against shiny new things...... The way the metallics, plants and natural textures sit with the brick on the shelves in the kitchen make it one of my favourite spots in my home.
After building the wall we had bricks left over so I also got our brickie to build a fireplace surround at the other end of the kitchen and the plinth the woodburner sits on in the sitting room.
Ok, enough about my home for now..... lets take a look at some inspiring home owners who have bricks in their homes. We'll be looking at those lucky enough to have old original brick walls in their homes too.
Instagram, as we know, is a great source of Interiors inspiration and some of my favourite rooms of the wonderful interiors people I follow have original exposed brick walls......
Exposed Real Brick Walls
1/ Sue Miller- www.madcowinteriors.com
This fabulous Kitchen belongs to Sue Miller, she runs her own Interior Design company madcowinteriors.com, known for her eclectic blend of colours, patterns and textures, Sue creates edgy but comfortable spaces, and I have to be honest is one of my major style crushes!.... I first saw this kitchen in Living Etc magazine in October 2013 and fell in love with it, I couldn't believe my luck when I found Sue on Instagram at @madcowinteriors...... I think all Interior lovers should be following this talented lady for 'wow' interiors and inspiration!
I asked Sue what she loves about exposed brick:
'I love juxtapositions of shiny and new against raw, old and distressed and an exposed brick wall acts as a great foil to the shiny appliances and sleek lines of this handleless kitchen by Roundhouse. The brick colour brings warmth, character, age and texture and feels more durable. For me, the more distressed the better. I love how it brings another dimension to the kitchen with artwork and open shelving which makes it like another loved and much used room in the house.'
2/ Jane Rockett - www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk
Jane Rockett needs no introduction in the world of Interiors, one half of the fabulously stylish eclectic online store Rockett St George, which she launched in 2007 alongside Lucy St George, Jane's home is the stuff of Interior dreams. ( Find her on Instagram @rockettstgeorge )
Jane loves the beautiful wall of old bricks in her Kitchen and so do I that's for sure! ...... Sitting alongside the white walls and metal cabinets and with both rustic and quirky items sitting against the old brickwork, Jane's kitchen is a mix of eclectic styles that work together so well- Can you tell I'm a fan?! ..... I would also like to point out at this stage that we have the same 'Rockett St George' stools which, without me sounding too much like a crazy stalker person, makes me happy!
More of Jane's and Lucy's homes and many other inspirational homes, can be found in their recent book 'Extraordinary Interiors', where they share their insights, advice and expertise..... If you haven't bought it yet, seriously...... why not?!
3/ Charlotte Thrower - www.huxleyandhus.co.uk
Charlotte @charlotte_thrower is one half of interiors store Huxley & Hus, set up by two friends with a love of Interiors it's an Interiors store with the aim of giving us unique, eclectic products for the home. I met Charlotte at an interiors workshop run by the fabulous @_lisa_dawson_ and @deecampling at my home and we spent time chatting about our love of the brick walls in our kitchens, unlike my kitchen wall, Charlottes is original to the house. I asked her what she loves about it;
'Many years ago, we lived in a converted factory in Shoreditch and I think our love of exposed brick started then. It was always a key part of our renovation and kitchen design which I am sure is probably an attempt to both try and create that same Shoreditch vibe here and also a way of denying that we have grown up. But from a design point of view I love it. The sense of history it provides - this is the original wall - but also it gives that all important texture which I think kitchens in particular can struggle with. In our own kitchen I think it hits off the concrete and wood brilliantly and thinking about it, it’s almost 2 years since our renovation and I still love it - which is a bloody miracle!'
Ahhhh Charlotte..... you sound like me! If I'm not changing something within 2 years then it must be something I really love, and lets face it, these bricks should certainly be here to stay!
4/ Lena Torres - @torres_house
I'm so glad to have recently found Lena's renovated home on Instagram at @torres_house ...... Lena picked up her bricks from a local scrapyard and as she lives about 12 miles away from me in Sussex they're pretty similar to mine in colour and texture though they may be just a little more rustic.... which of course I am not jealous about one bit!.... I absolutely love the brick wall in this room, it looks gorgeous behind the bamboo hanging chair with the natural textures of the plants and sheepskin rugs working beautifully next to the brick and offsetting the concrete floor. I asked Lena how she's found having a real brick wall in her home;
'We got the bricks from a local scrapyard, they were about £1 each, pricey but absolutely worth every penny! We love them! It's an absolute feature and everybody comments on them. We were told to seal them but we didn't as love the rough look. i just brushed them down 2-3 times and now they don't dust anymore.'
I didn't seal my brick wall either and I have to be honest we haven't had any issues with dust- It's nice to be able to keep them in their natural state I think.
5/ Reena Simon - @hygge_for_home
If you love modern rustic, scandi, boho vibes then I'm sure you'll be following Reena on Instagram @hygge_for_home...... Reena also runs Interior workshops along with her co-host @malmo_and_moss and you can find out more about these at their Instagram page @hyggeforallseasons.
Reena says of the fabulous original brick wall in her bedroom...... 'Exposed brick was high up on my list with original features and an older property when we bought this our very first home. Although we don’t have many original features left in the house the exposed brick adds so much character & warmth, there was never any question who was having this bedroom!'
....... Isn't it an absolutely beautiful room? All the textures make it feel so cosy and inviting, and the brick pattern that has been exposed is such a wonderful feature......
5. Kay Prestney @kinship_creativedc
Kay is a stylist and interior designer, she also runs various events through Kinship Creative Design Consultancy. When it comes to her own home Kay wanted to create a scandinavian style, family-friendly, light filled space using vintage pieces and natural materials to add character. Kay says of the brick feature in her sitting room;
'I chose the exposed bricks as I wanted to add character to a modern house. I feel a strong affinity to the natural world and try to use natural materials where possible. I also like to have a tactile environment which I create by layering natural soft furnishings such as sheepskins, woollen blankets and linen cushions, within this, brickwork, stone and wood play a part. I love the tactile nature and texture of exposed brick and the brickwork here, as well as being beautiful, has created a defined fireplace for the woodturner and a focal point for the wall which is very long. I hope our home is a welcoming place where friends and family feel relaxed and at home.'
Kay's home is one of my favourites on Instagram, each room feels so calm and inspiring, I would love to just curl up with a book here...... Pop the kettle on Kay!
So there we have it, some fabulous examples of how exposed brick can really add the wow factor to your home! Thanks to everyone featured for allowing me to use the photos of your homes and for taking the time to tell me about them.....
I hope you've enjoyed the post, and perhaps I may have converted a few of you into brick addicts too..... Next time we'll be looking at home owners who have added brick to their homes by using brick slips, brick effect wallpaper and metro brick tiles in the bathroom.
As always do let me know what you think and thanks as always for taking the time to have a read......