Exposed Brick Walls: Design Inspiration

Many people love the character and charm that exposed brick walls lend a room, but find it difficult to decorate and design around.  Fortunately, there are plenty of options to help you out. 

One of my favorite looks is the watercolor or "brick ruins" look, as pictured above. It gives the room an artsy feel that perfectly balances brick with an updated look.  To finish this look, pair it with a rustic farmhouse table, simply chairs, and pendant lights above.

Another option to decorating a room is adding an accent ceiling.  While many people have seen an accent wall, accent ceilings are it's lesser known sibling.  They can transform a room and allow its other features (ahem exposed brick, rug, and furniture), to really shine.  The room pictured above has a beautiful wood ceiling.  Opt for a chandelier orb light in the corner instead of a floor lamp to give it some extra charm.

For a low-budget decorating tip, be sure to add indoor plants. They help to broaden the color palette of a room with exposed brick and give it warmth.  To perfect this look, be sure to add 3-5 plants per room to give it a lush feel, like the one pictured above.

Bathroom with exposed brick

Bathroom with exposed brick

Another low budget option is to add plenty of mirrors. Pairing large and small mirrors on the same wall can help create interest and break up the brick pattern.  To add texture to the room, lightly and randomly stain some bricks away from the natural light source like the bathroom pictured above.

Another cool, yet budget-friendly option for an exposed brick wall is to make it your canvas.  Simply white wash the brick and pick up a stencil at your local art store.  

Moving on to windows!  Windows are the best design choice one can make.  If you're building from the ground up or have the budget when remodeling, definitely (and I mean DEFINITELY) go big or go home.  Oversized windows will transform any room from blah to drool worthy.  This kitchen and dining area has industrial paned floor-to-ceiling windows that compliment the character of the exposed brick.  It is paired perfectly with neutral tones in the concrete floors and countertops, and table.  To retain some character, be sure to mix and match the chairs as pictured above.

Again, assuming you are remodeling and looking to add a window, consider adding an arched window.   Be sure to have the brick match the arc or shape of the window to highlight it as a focal point, as pictured above.

Skylights are a glorious way to brighten up a windowless room and highlight the beauty and charm of exposed brick walls.  Consider adding some in your kitchen, hallways or bedroom.

If small adjustments are more up your alley, consider a marbled rug for an artsy flair (similar to the flooring above), oversized floor lamp, and three dimensional pieces like the faux deer head pictured above.  Other neat 3D choices include hanging a vintage bike, mixed media art from your favorite artist, or large clocks.

To section off a room, consider painting a portion of the brick wall.  Then hang a large piece of art, photo, or chalkboard to give the room its own distinct feel. 

If you're not allowed to hang items, consider adding a buffet, sofa table, media console table, or entry table to support decorative accessories. 

Keep in mind that you don't always have to paint brick lighter.  Feel free to opt for a moody blue or matte black.  Furnish with some midcentury modern chairs and sofas to give the room an updated midcentury look.

For an industrial loft feel, go ahead and install dark track lighting as pictured above.

Matching your furniture to the walls and rug create a neutral palette.