Trendy and textured brick-effect wallpaper has re-emerged as a reaction to sterile interiors. Offering raw character, exposed bricks are a desirable option for both Country Style and Industrial looks. More
Brick Wallpaper: The Guide
Initially a trend prevalent in renovated lofts and stylish modern homes, today the brick wall is considered a staple in contemporary interior design. It brings texture and character to a plethora of styles. First created over 7000 years ago, fired clay bricks are among the longest-lasting and most aesthetically pleasing building materials still in use. The familiarity of brick creates a positive psychological response, adding a feeling of gravitas and history to the room. Bricks make us think of historical buildings, country houses, factories, or warehouses, and they introduce character and texture to otherwise sterile interior design styles. Of course, this coveted look cannot be achieved just anywhere, as not too many homes have brick walls that can be uncovered. Thankfully, modern brick-effect wallpapers are practically indistinguishable from original brickwork. They recreate the deep reliefs and tactile characteristics of old clay bricks in a variety of colours and designs that work with many different styles.
Table of Contents
- Why should I install a brick wallpaper rather than exposing real bricks?
- What are the best uses for brick-effect wall décor?
- Which other decorative elements pair well with brick-effect wallpaper?
- Which types of looks can I create with exposed-brick wall décor?
There are many advantages to putting up brick-effect wallpaper rather than exposing real bricks: it allows you to choose which type of bricks works best for what you are trying to achieve in an affordable and less maintenance-heavy manner.
It requires less maintenance
You might think of real bricks as sturdy and not requiring much attention. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth, as exposed brickwork is actually quite porous. Unprotected by plaster, bricks are susceptible to absorbing both dirt and moisture. In order to avoid deterioration and mould issues, a sealant needs to be applied, and they require regular cleaning. With brick wallpaper, none of these steps are necessary, making it an appealing option particularly for high-traffic areas.
It’s more affordable
Provided your walls are made of real bricks - which is far from common in the average home - exposing brickwork is a time-consuming job that requires the help of a masonry specialist, plenty of chisel and hammer action and several process steps. A brick-effect wallpaper will provide an almost undistinguishable result for a fraction of the cost and without the need to start a full renovation project in your home.
It’s more versatile
Even assuming your brickwork is in excellent condition, you will be stuck with the colour and the shape of the original bricks, which might not match well with the interior design style you are planning to achieve. Brick wall décor offers you the choice to pick the right type of brick (its shape, state, and colour) and allows you to find the perfect match without having to compromise.
A wall covering featuring exposed bricks can make your faux fireplace stand out, create an attention-grabbing feature wall, make for a unique kitchen backsplash, and add a layer of contrasting texture to the room.
Complete a faux fireplace
For centuries, families gathered by the fireplace which served as a focal point to the room - and in terms of interior design, its psychological effect is still significant. Whether you already own a fireplace that is not in use, or plan to add a faux one, treat it as the heart of the room and adorn both of its sides with brick wall décor to make it stand out.
Provide an interesting feature wall
The three-dimensional effect of exposed-brick wallpaper makes it an ideal candidate for creating a feature wall that transforms the look of a room. In the bedroom, adding a wall of exposed-brick wallpaper behind the head of the bed makes for an attention-grabbing element with an inviting, rustic feel. Decorate the other walls in muted tonalities to let the feature wall shine as the centrepiece.
Add textural contrast to a room
Modern brick wall décor reproduces the original effect of masonry in minute detail. Its porosity, cracks and texture appear deceptively realistic, with deep reliefs and tactile characteristics appearing in 3D, offering true-to-life effects. As such, it provides a fantastic textural contrast, for instance in a kitchen or a living room featuring streamlined furniture.
Create a kitchen backsplash
A backsplash featuring an exposed brick design is a classic way to add texture and visual interest to your kitchen, making it feel more lived-in and less like a photograph in a brochure. Brick wall décor is the perfect way to achieve this look without the expense and hassle of exposing a real brick wall. Check the characteristics of the model you intend to use and make sure to pick one with a robust vinyl coating which is able to withstand heat and humidity. In addition, dirt and fat splashes can simply be wiped off the vinyl surface with a wet cloth.
Depending on the type of energy you wish your room to radiate, you can match an exposed-brick wallpaper with metal accents, different types of wooden furniture and flooring, or plush upholstery for a cosy effect.
In terms of materials, metal is a traditional match for brick wallpaper if the goal is to create an industrial or rustic feel. The type of metal accessories you choose depends on what you are trying to achieve: pick copper or bronze accents and combine them with a warm-toned brick wall décor for the popular Country House style, or opt for silver, chrome or black metals paired with brick décor in cooler hues for the sought-after loft look.
The warmth and texture of natural wood complement exposed brickwork extremely well. If you are looking for a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, choose a brick wallpaper model with warm hues and match it with oak or pine. Cooler wood shades such as ash, poplar or maple work best with darker brick wall décor. A wooden bookshelf or a coffee table with some chairs, positioned by the wallpapered wall, will create a cohesive and appealing look.
If you love the idea of a trendy brick-effect wallpaper but are worried it might make the room look a little too harsh or cold, consider mellowing its effect with soft, plump upholstery in a warm colour and complementing it with other soft furnishing elements such as rugs, throw pillows, and curtains in matching hues. The contrast between the two will add interest to the room while still exuding an inviting energy.
From charming rustic interiors to streamlined minimalist lofts, from rooms oozing vintage charm to trendy Industrial Boho Chic looks, a brick-effect wallpaper offers immense versatility.
Country House rustic
An enduring look that seems immune to trends, the sought-after Country House style focuses on the beauty of natural, aged materials, seeking a balance between formal and cosy which creates a homely atmosphere. A brick-effect wallpaper is a befitting backdrop for these looks, especially when featuring clay bricks in warm, earthy hues such as red or brown with a distressed finish for a more authentic look. Keep the rest of the room uncluttered and pair it with natural materials and reclaimed or upcycled furniture pieces.
First used in Paris in the mid-19th century as artists' ateliers, lofts became a popular choice when creatives started reclaiming these abandoned spaces in cities like New York and London in the late 1980s. Offering a unique combination of industrial charm and modern minimalism, the loft look is a staple of contemporary interior design that can be reproduced in your home by adding a feature wall with an exposed-brick wallpaper, a signature element of this style.
A weathered, distressed brick wall with exposed clay bricks in multiple warm hues providing an authentic retro and vintage energy, is the perfect backdrop for vintage furniture such as a rustic wooden table or an antique, second-hand armchair. Add layers of authenticity by incorporating old photographs, a library shelf full of antique books, and vintage flea market or antique shop finds to add further touches of history to your space.
Industrial Boho Chic
An emerging interior design trend, Industrial Boho Chic is a style that combines the raw, edgy elements of industrial design with the soft, natural, and eclectic elements of the Boho look, creating a sense of sophistication and elegance. A wallpaper featuring exposed bricks can be matched with reclaimed wooden furniture, the “Chic” element being provided by the use of high-end materials such as brass, marble, and luxurious fabrics to balance out the rough and bohemian elements.