Three experts discuss the triumphs and challenges that come with this polarizing design.
There are two types of people in the world: those who love exposed brick and those who hate it. Few design details stir up such strong passions the way exposed brick does. And, regardless of which side you fall on, you probably have a long list of reasons for your stance.
We asked three design experts for their take. Here's what Susana Simonpietri of Chango & Co., Robert Highsmith of Workstead, and Homepolish interior designer Justin DiPiero say are the biggest pros and cons of the style.
Pros of Exposed Brick
1.Your home will never go out of style.
If you want a timeless touch in your home, an exposed brick wall will help you get it. "To me, a beautifully finished space with exposed brick is both modern and elegantly nostalgic of the past," Simonpietri said.
2. It's easy to cover.
It's just like any other wall, which means you can paint it. As Highsmith puts it, "Paint can unify the tone of a room, and allow the exposed brick to simply act as texture, rather than color."
3. It provides instant warmth.
Simonpietri and DiPiero agreed that it adds a certain charm to a space, and brings a cozy element to even the sparsest of rooms.
4. You get a pre-existing accent wall.
DiPiero notes, "you get all the benefits of dimension in a room without having to do any of the work of installing wallpaper or having an intricate paint job done."
Cons of Exposed Brick
1. There's long-term maintenance involved.
When you're dealing with brick, you can't just slap on some plaster and call it fixed. "If it is unhealthy, this may lead to moisture retention or the crumbling of the brick and/or mortar which can be costly to repair," DiPiero cautions.
2. It can be hard to find the perfect balance.
Mixing your personal aesthetic into a space with a brick wall can be a challenge. When done wrong, Highsmith finds it can feel "forced, chopped up, and competitive with new elements."
3. Forget the gallery wall.
DiPiero says his "least favorite thing about exposed brick walls is that it is more difficult to hang or install anything on top of them. Professional help is recommended."
4. You're stuck with it.
As in, removing it requires a structural overhaul. "Brick – unless it's a faux brick, which is something no one, nowhere, should ever use – should not be removed," Simonpietri says.
Source: House Beautiful via ELLE Decor, 8/23/2015