Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Softer Side - Softening Exposed Brick Walls

courtesy of raleighweddingblog.blogspot.com  

The question is simple:  What to do with exposed brick walls and how to soften them!  Abandoning fear of the "harsh, cold brick" is the first step.  Once you pass through your fear, you can begin the decorating!  Art work always works well when softening the walls.  Like the picture above, shine halogen lights directyl into the artwork.  This allows the art work to stand out allowing the brick walls to take a secondary view perspective.

Trendy London Shop from keepcalmandharryon.com

Placing color on the walls either on shelves or with items you love to display (as in the case above, retail items), detracts the eye.  You are immediately drawn to the color and afterward, you notice the wall.  Of course, you may not see the brick at all if you only are focused on the awesome items that are on display!  :)

Kitchen from atticmag.com

Hanging floor to ceiling curtains over an "imaginary" window softens the walls as well.  In the cae of the kitchen above, the stainless backsplash "softens" the brick on either side.  Adding artwork further takes the brick down several tones.  Imagine a wall where you have two panels, a faux fireplace then two more panels - you may never see the brick walls at all!

 Living Room from BrickUnderground.com

Of course there always is the one of the best tricks - glue wainscotting on the wall!  Before attaching the wainscotting, glue the top rail in place then install the entire unit.  From about 36" down there will be no more brick!  This also give the room an early 1900's feel - like you have walked into a Victorian Parlor.  You can also apply lincrusta at the dado level using heavy wallpaper clay.  Once set, a paint technique or a rub that will look like leather will indeed make the walls softer.

Marvimon House  from 100layercake.com

Softening the walls of exposed brick is just a matter of taste.  From the sublime, to the modern, Victoriana to Edwardian, or even a wedding venue as above at the Marvimon House, plants, colors and lighting make the walls less cold which means they will stand out less.

MaryLay Lonneman from cincinnati.com - mktotebags

Defining space - not dividing space, as Mary Kay Lonneman from mktotebags did on her shoppe as pictured above, defines vignettes in wide open areas.  The vignettes create intimacy and intrigue.  Try creating each vignette around a color pallet - pinks, baby blues, smoking room burgundy.  Separate wide open spaces with display shelves - try simple book shelves with wallpaper inside the shelves on the inside back, and then again on the exposed back to the shelf so each side has a point of interest. 

Softening those exposed brick walls is as simple as using your own design esthetic, color, and some unique ways of "hiding" some of the brick!  And don't forget the floor as well.  Adding area rugs, or better, painting the floor with link squares, will add to the softness of the entire space - softening the exposed brick as well. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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