Red Brick Walls: A Timeless Design Choice

CEO Khai Intela
You may think an exposed red brick wall is an old-fashioned style, but you'd be wrong. In recent years, architects, home builders, and designers have begun incorporating the beauty of a brick wall in their...

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You may think an exposed red brick wall is an old-fashioned style, but you'd be wrong. In recent years, architects, home builders, and designers have begun incorporating the beauty of a brick wall in their projects more frequently. The texture, timeless character, and undeniable charm of red brick have made it a popular choice for interior design. It's no longer limited to rustic farmhouse aesthetics or fireplaces. Today, you'll find brick used in a variety of home styles, from ultra-modern to industrial, contemporary to colonial, and even traditional. Whether it's an entire brick wall or a simple red brick backsplash, using exposed red brick adds elegance and personality to any interior design, breaking away from the dominance of tile and stone. And it's not just for fireplaces anymore.

Four red brick samples Four red brick samples, each with a distinct texture and tone.

Red Brick Walls Are a Growing Trend

Gone are the days when exposed brick walls were covered up and painted over. Interior red brick is no longer considered old-fashioned. Instead, it is being used in new homes of various styles. Despite the growing popularity of red brick walls, many still associate them with living rooms or fireplaces. This misconception stems from the belief that bricks are difficult to clean and suitable only for rustic settings. However, this outdated notion couldn't be further from the truth.

In reality, an exposed brick wall often becomes the star of the room. Bricks provide a perfect backdrop to highlight architectural features and other elements. The versatility of a red brick wall allows it to be used in any room of the house. While most popular in living rooms, you can find them in kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, offices, and even bathrooms. A red brick wall adds boldness and beauty to any space, becoming a design choice that stands the test of time.

Is Your Brick New or Existing?

Including a red brick wall in your home adds an extra layer of detail and dimension. However, finding the perfect colors and accessories to complement the brick can be a challenge.

If you already have existing brick somewhere in your home, things become a little easier. You can coordinate your colors with the tone of the bricks, limiting your choices but ensuring a cohesive look.

On the other hand, if you're planning to build a red brick wall, you have more freedom to create the exact look you desire. However, this freedom comes with more work. You'll need to pick your brick as well as all the other colors for your design.

A pro tip is to start by picking up brick samples from your local masonry supplier. Seeing an actual sample in different lighting conditions will give you a better sense of how it will look in your home. Take your time to find the perfect color combination and red brick tone before making any final decisions.

Red brick samples Four red brick samples, each with a different texture and tone.

Red Brick Comes in a Variety of Colors

Did you know that red brick comes in various colors? The term "red brick" actually encompasses a wide range of bricks that vary in hue. From super red firehouse brick to rustic reddish-brown varieties, and even brick that looks almost purple, there is a diverse selection available. Even brick veneer, which is commonly used inside homes, comes in a wide variety of colors.

A pro tip is to start your design by choosing the brick first, and then select your other colors and accessories. Compared to the thousands of paint colors, there are only a few dozen brick colors, making it easier to start with the brick. Since a red brick wall becomes the focal point of the room, nailing the color is crucial.

If you have an existing brick wall, your decision-making process becomes simpler as one of the choices is already made for you.

Red Brick Walls: A Classic Design Choice

A red brick wall is a classic design choice that has stood the test of time. Traditional red brick fireplaces still find their place in living rooms, often accompanied by built-ins or decorative surrounds. However, brick is no longer confined to fireplaces alone. It has found its way into other rooms of the house, including kitchens, dining rooms, offices, and even bathrooms.

Regardless of the room, a red brick wall becomes an undeniable focal point. With a little creative thinking, it can become the centerpiece around which you design the entire room. Whether you want to accentuate your existing brickwork or create something radically different, a red brick wall offers endless possibilities.

City apartment with red brick walls City apartment with red brick walls that are slightly whitewashed. Black frame windows, drywall, and concrete floors give the room a modern feel.

Red Brick Walls: A Great City Look

A red brick wall adds contrast and character to an otherwise plain and boring space. If you're used to seeing plain walls covered with drywall and painted white, consider spicing up your interior design by incorporating brick.

Look at the city apartment in the image above. Red brick is commonly used in urban areas because many buildings were constructed with bricks. It's important to note that many red brick walls you see in city photos are actually structural walls, not just facades. Older buildings were built with layers of concrete, block, brick, and steel to create strong walls that could support multiple floors. While modern buildings mainly rely on steel frames, the charm of older constructions can be found in Brooklyn or Queens.

Recreating this look is now easier than ever with the availability of brick veneers. They can be easily installed over existing drywall, mimicking the look of real brick. No matter where you live, you can achieve the appearance of a chic city apartment.

Red brick accent wall in a monochromatic gray living room Red brick accent wall in a monochromatic gray living room.

Red Brick Accent Wall

An accent wall can elevate the design of your living room, and a red brick accent wall does just that. Take a look at the example above. The room follows a monochromatic gray color scheme, with white and black accents to provide contrast. The wood floors and plants add warmth and life to the space. However, it is the red brick wall that truly stands out, bringing depth and color to the room. The brick serves as a wonderful contrast to the sleek and modern design of this space.

Notice how the wall was left bare, without any decorations or furniture. This was a purposeful choice to allow the beauty of the brick itself to shine. When using brick as an accent wall, resist the urge to cover it up. Red bricks draw plenty of attention on their own, so there is no need for additional embellishments.

Beautiful living room featuring gray walls and red brick Beautiful living room featuring gray walls and red brick. White-washed wood flooring.

Red Brick Main Wall

In the example above, we can see the reverse of the previous design. The main wall is red brick, while the accent wall is gray. Both options look great and showcase the versatility of using a red brick wall as a design element. Gray paint is currently a popular trend that pairs wonderfully with red brick. The white-washed wood flooring adds a touch of uniqueness. The combination of colors and materials, along with a vintage-style area rug and minimalistic artwork, creates a harmonious design.

Red brick wall in a modern home Red brick wall in a modern home featuring an all-glass bedroom wall, dark hardwood floors, and white walls.

Red Brick Walls Add Contrast

If you're looking to add contrast to a room, a red brick wall is an excellent choice. In the example above, the mid-tone red bricks contrast beautifully with the white walls, black window frames, and furniture. Incorporating rustic elements into a modern room is a fantastic interior design choice. Using elements that contrast with the overall style of a room immediately draws attention and adds character.

Red brick comes in a variety of finishes, colors, and styles. Some bricks are smooth and vibrant red, while others are more muted with a tumbled appearance. By choosing the right brick, you can achieve the desired effect in your room. Consider adding contrast not only in terms of tone but also in terms of style. Embracing contrast ensures that your red brick wall will truly stand out.

Red brick accent wall next to a stone wood-burning fireplace Red brick accent wall next to a stone wood-burning fireplace surround with a tan brick insert. Thick timber floating mantle.

Red Brick & Stone

By combining red brick and stone, you can create a stunning design that adds contrast to your room. In the example above, notice how the red brick wall contrasts with the light fireplace stone and white walls. Additionally, the irregular shapes and thicker grout lines of the stone provide further contrast to the uniformity of the brick. Red brick walls create an appealing aesthetic that goes beyond just color.

Modern apartment with red brick walls Modern apartment with red brick walls, exposed black steel, wood cabinetry, and concrete floors.

Red Brick Walls Are Modern

Contrary to popular belief, interior red brick is not limited to traditional or old-fashioned styles. It is often used in modern, urban, industrial, and contemporary homes. Combining old red brick with clean and crisp finishes creates an intriguing design. Take a look at the example picture above, showing a city apartment with an existing red brick feature wall. Exposed steel beams and concrete slab floors contribute to the modern aesthetic. The inclusion of real wood and glass adds warmth and texture. Natural materials like brick and wood, with their warm hues and various textures, bring life to a modern home design.

Red brick kitchen wall with dark wood flat-faced cabinets and cream-colored stone countertops Red brick kitchen wall with dark wood flat-faced cabinets and cream-colored stone countertops.

Red Brick Kitchen Wall

Did you know that a red brick wall looks just as fantastic in a kitchen as it does in a living room? Consider the beautiful modern kitchen shown above. It features dark-stained real wood flat-faced cabinetry, cream stone countertops, and a red brick accent wall. The black-framed windows complement the brick beautifully and add a modern touch. The absence of hardware on the cabinets emphasizes clean lines and refined design.

Including red brick in your kitchen design is a great idea, regardless of your chosen style. It adds color, texture, and contrast to any room, working well with a wide variety of styles.

Modern kitchen featuring gray flat-faced cabinetry with no hardware Modern kitchen featuring gray flat-faced cabinetry with no hardware, white countertops, and a red brick wall.

Modern Kitchen With Red Brick

Here we see another example of a similarly designed kitchen with a red brick wall. The gray flat-faced cabinets with no hardware, white stone countertops, and a backsplash create a modern aesthetic. The backsplash, in particular, complements the gray paint and other gray accents. The stainless steel exhaust hood is the perfect choice to give the kitchen a sleek and contemporary appearance.

A pro tip: When adding a red brick wall to your kitchen using veneer, make sure to detach and reinstall any appliances or cabinets against the wall. This way, the bricks can run behind them, ensuring a clean and authentic look.

Open floor plan living room, kitchen, and dining area with matching red brick wall and fireplace Open floor plan living room, kitchen, and dining area with matching red brick wall and fireplace.

Open Floor Plan With Red Brick

If you have an open floor plan and a red brick fireplace, consider adding a red brick accent wall. This design choice creates a sense of connectivity throughout the space, making the entire home feel united. The fireplace surround and the red brick wall in the dining area are built with the same brick, creating a cohesive design. Extending this element to other rooms, such as the bathroom or office, adds continuity without overwhelming the space.

A pro tip: As an interior designer, I recommend using common design elements throughout a home. While you don't need a red brick wall in every room, incorporating small accent areas, such as a backsplash, can tie the design together.

Beautiful contemporary kitchen design with cathedral ceilings and exposed wood beams Beautiful contemporary kitchen design with cathedral ceilings, exposed wood beams, real wood flat-faced cabinets, and red brick walls.

Bricks Are a Contemporary Design

Exposed red brick is an excellent choice for contemporary designs. Many people mistakenly believe that modern and contemporary styles are the same, but they have distinct differences. Both styles share similar characteristics, but red brick walls are a common element in both.

The beautiful contemporary kitchen shown above features red brick walls that extend two stories high. The city loft boasts high ceilings, ample natural light, and large windows. Red brick looks especially stunning when bathed in sunlight, with its subtle tones and textures complemented by daylight. Combining red brick with other natural materials, such as real wood and stone, creates a harmonious design.

A pro tip: Real materials almost always work well together, so if possible, incorporate them into your design.

Gray kitchen color scheme with a red brick wall Gray kitchen color scheme with a red brick wall. Modern-designed cabinets with flat faces and no hardware.

Red Brick Walls Are Versatile

Gray is an excellent color choice to pair with red brick. The monochromatic gray kitchen shown above features light gray flat-faced cabinets without any hardware. The white stone countertops go beautifully with the red brick wall. Gray has the advantage of being a neutral color, making it compatible with almost any other color in your kitchen. It offers versatility, with various shades to choose from to ensure a cohesive design.

A pro tip: When working with a monochromatic color scheme, vary the values of your chosen color. Using light, mid, and dark shades prevents the design from becoming boring or one-dimensional.

White farmhouse double sink with marble countertops and a red brick wall White farmhouse double sink with marble countertops and a red brick wall.

Red Brick Backsplash

Marble pairs beautifully with red brick. The white farmhouse double sink in the image above showcases how the red brick backsplash pops against the white marble countertops. Contrast is key when you want specific elements of your design to stand out.

The chrome faucet with white handles is the perfect choice, complementing the under-mount sink. The black cabinets complete the look, harmonizing with the red brick backsplash and marble surfaces.

In conclusion, a red brick backsplash is a unique and striking design choice that works well in a wide variety of kitchen styles.

Existing red brick wall in the kitchen incorporated into the design Existing red brick wall in the kitchen incorporated into the design.

Existing Red Brick Kitchen Wall

If you have an existing red brick wall in your kitchen, consider incorporating it into your design rather than covering it up. Brick is a beautiful feature that can easily harmonize with various design styles. Choose colors and materials that complement the texture and tone of your brick, rather than clashing with them. Take advantage of your brick's unique characteristics, especially if it has vibrant colors. When selecting colors, it's beneficial to have a sample of your brick with you or a high-resolution image to ensure everything coordinates well.

Red brick wall in an open floor plan modern home Red brick wall in an open floor plan modern home with vaulted ceilings and a glass roof.

Red Brick Sunroom Walls

Red bricks aren't limited to interior walls. If you have an all-glass enclosed sunroom, consider using brick as your wall finish. The combination of brick and glass creates a captivating indoor-outdoor space.

One of the advantages of using red brick in a sunroom is its ability to absorb and retain heat. During the day, the bricks absorb sunlight, storing warmth. At night, the bricks release the accumulated heat, helping to keep the sunroom cozy. This feature contributes to energy efficiency by reducing heating and cooling costs.

Custom built wine cellar with red brick walls Custom-built wine cellar with red brick walls, floor, and ceiling. Custom-built wood racks.

Red Brick Wine Cellars

When designing a wine cellar, consider incorporating red brick walls. Apart from their aesthetic appeal, brick walls provide several functional benefits. Wine cellars require specific temperature and humidity controls to ensure optimal aging conditions, and brick walls help maintain these conditions.

Thicker walls with good insulation, such as those made of brick and cement, help regulate temperature and humidity more effectively than standard drywall. By using red brick in your wine cellar design, you not only create a stunning visual element but also contribute to ensuring the right conditions for proper wine storage.

Beautiful wine cellar with red brick walls Beautiful wine cellar with red brick walls and dark wood.

Red Brick Walls Are Beautiful

At the end of the day, we all want our homes to be beautiful. The photo above exemplifies how red brick walls can be paired with the right accents. The black doors, rich real wood cabinetry, and exposed beams accentuate and contrast with the brick. By making thoughtful design choices, you can create stunning spaces that truly highlight the beauty of red brick.

Red brick wall and fireplace surround painted white in a sunroom Red brick wall and fireplace surround painted white in a sunroom with vaulted ceilings.

Painted Red Brick Walls

If you have existing red brick walls or a fireplace and are not fond of the color, consider painting the brick. While it's a daring choice that requires careful consideration, it can completely transform the look of a room. Keep in mind that once you paint brick, it's very difficult to restore it to its original state. Therefore, take your time to ensure that the new look aligns with your desired style. Painted white brick or the German Schmear technique are popular options, but they may not suit everyone's taste.

In conclusion, a red brick wall is a versatile and timeless design choice that can elevate any space. Red brick adds elegance, warmth, and character to an interior design, making it a popular option among homeowners and designers alike. Whether you opt for a traditional or contemporary look, a red brick wall will undoubtedly make a statement in your home. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us. We'd love to hear from you.

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