When designing a home, it is natural to feel like something is missing or that no significant feature “pops out”. Adding a feature wall to an important space or to highlight something unique within an area may well be the answer. That distinctive feature will help give that “pop” feeling that is missing from many homes.
There are countless ways to design a feature wall and many materials we can consider when creating a feature wall from veneer, or marble, to bricks. Exposing a brick wall has a unique appeal that can complement many homes.
When designing a feature brick wall, there are several considerations to bear in mind:
When it comes to designing a house, the first thing to do is decide on the design concept of the home. With a clearly defined concept in place, design decisions are made easier, and things will fall into place more naturally.
Several common design concepts will be complemented nicely by exposing a feature brick wall in your house. We can achieve either a rustic, industrial or even modern look with an exposed featured brick wall by choosing the correct look and texture of bricks to complement the design concept. In fact, you can even use faux brick veneer to achieve this look of exposed brickwork without the mortar and mess if desired!
Achieve a rustic look by choosing bricks with a more vibrant tone such as Siena Venice Bricks. An Industrial look, on the other hand, will be complimented nicely with a lighter tone and a more even brick tone such as Light Earth Bricks.
Midnight Bricks or Tuscany Bricks create a more contemporary look. Modern technology has led to the development of a wide range of styles and textures. For more brick design ideas, Littlehampton Bricks based in Australia has a great selection of traditional brick designs that will inspire your next project.
The next step in the design process after we have settled on the design concept is to decide where to place our feature wall. Feature walls exist to highlight a distinctive feature of the space, for example, the height of a space, or to direct the occupants attention to a particular area of the space.
Feature walls are often (although not exclusively) placed in areas of high footfall and where human interactions take place. Living rooms, dining rooms, or TV rooms are all common locations to place an exposed brick feature wall. Feature walls are particularly suited to filling one side of a living room or dining room, or the TV wall of a TV room.
Spaces that feature a double volume ceiling are particularly well suited to being highlighted with the use of a double volume feature exposed brick wall.
Feature brick walls are not just limited to grand public areas but can equally fit well in a master bathroom or bedroom. The feature can help bring a focal point to the room.
When it comes to texture, bricks have a wide range of finishing textures. It is often a choice between going with a soft or a rough texture. A soft texture means a more even and soft finish of the bricks while a rough texture often consists of a more uneven, bare, and rough finish to the bricks.
A soft brick texture will go well with almost any design look you are trying to achieve. They are also safe for places that are occupied by children. If you are going with a rougher, raw look, and if the space does not have to be children friendly, we can choose a coarser texture of brick for our feature brick wall.
The choice of mortar is arguably just as important as the bricks themselves. A cheap grey mortar, for example, will not match rustic red bricks. Your designer will advise which mortar to use in a similar way they would specify paint for your walls.
It is not uncommon for a designer to include a pattern or design within the feature wall. This can be achieved with careful choice of brick colours/textures. If the wall is big enough, it is even possible to create images or photos through the cautious choice of brick shade. This is an advanced technique and requires close cooperation between the designer and brick supplier.
Another critical decision to be made is what area of the wall is exposed. You may go for a full 100% open wall, or you may choose to render certain areas to give a more aged look.
If you are employing an interior designer to design your property, they will often model the room in 3D so that you can see how it will look before construction begins.
Embellishments & Lighting
A feature brick wall will often include more than just bricks. Features and embellishments may be included. Lighting is also an essential consideration when designing a wall. Small spotlights are great for drawing attention to the feature. Whatever you choose, make sure you properly design it.
Doors & Windows
Doors and Windows should also be carefully considered. Some feature brick walls may include these items. They can either make or break the design. For example, a large metal door may set off an industrial-looking wall perfectly but would ruin a more homely design.
Many walls are hiding secrets behind them. Pipes and cables are the most common items. Make sure you consider any requirements on the wall for such utilities during the design phase. It can prove a costly mistake if this is not planned correctly and access is required later.
A common example is in a TV room where the TV is mounted on the wall. Consideration should be given to the required cables and trunking that need to run behind the wall.
To ensure your concept is implemented correctly, proper documentation should be produced. Typical deliverables for a feature brick will include:
- Storyboard of ideas – Pinterest is a great place to find these.
- Concept designs – this is the first point your designer will put ideas on paper for you to choose from. Usually, a couple of options are provided.
- 3D model – this shows you how the wall will look in the context of the room.
- Detailed 2D drawings – these include the technical details of the design.
- Lighting design – for complex walls and lighting designs, an expert lighting designer should plan how lighting will affect the wall.
- Construction drawings – these are broken down into the elements that individual workers will construct.
- As-built drawings – these should provide a record of what has actually been built.
The designer and contractor need to work closely throughout both the design and construction phase. As a feature wall is often considered an art piece, the designer needs to ensure it has been implemented correctly as per the design. It is also a good idea to visit the supplier, touch and feel the bricks, and agree on the specific batch of bricks being used. Buying off-spec or from the catalogue carries a small risk of not meeting your expectations.
Once your wall has been constructed, coat the bricks with a waterproof coating. This is advisable to prevent damp and stop leaks damaging the feature brick wall.
Performing an annual inspection on the feature brick walls is a must. Cleaning and inspecting the brick’s once a year is essential to maintaining the look you desired.
When designed properly, a feature brick wall helps give that particular focus and “pop” to those unique places in the home. To make a real feature, proper design processes should be performed. You will open yourself up to significant risk if you simply decide to buy some bricks and start laying.
Ensure your team produce all the necessary design documents. Cutting corners here will only lead to tears.
As with anything valuable, proper maintenance is essential to ensure long-lasting durability. Speak to the experts at your local specialist brick supplier to agree on the best maintenance regime.
Good luck with your first feature brick wall!
Author Helsa Josephine