So Over Exposed Brick: Let’s Stop the Masonry Madness


We think this is exposed brick done right—in a historic Georgian townhouse in London. But not everyone is so convinced. Photo via The Modern House.

Since the start of our weekly decor rant series, readers have sounded off on overexposed kitchen trends (chalkboard walls and open shelving were the trends least liked by our readers) and whether or not putting a TV over a fireplace is a good idea (crowd consensus: no). But one ubiquitous interior trend—especially in our current crazed rental market where every third apartment is a conversion (former barns! former factories!)—exposed brick walls remain a lightning rod. Does the presence of exposed brick increase your sense that, yep, this was definitely a place where printing presses ran, thereby tying your apartment to its place in the history of your city or town? Or is it all just a real estate ruse to get people excited about a landlord’s disinterest in doing the extra work of putting up drywall?

Curbed editors are divided on the issue. Some have suggested that a whitewashed exposed-brick wall is fine, while others say no, under no circumstances is such a thing ever okay. Just put drywall over it. One particularly passionately anti-exposed brick editor gets even more practical about it: It is a pain to maintain when sections chip, crumble, or trap dirt. This editor feels that exposed brick walls are an especially egregious ill in a home when it’s evident that the “bricks” in question are really just a prefabricated panel meant to mimic the look of the real thing. But! All’s not lost. We’ve seen a few examples of rather nice use of (legit) exposed brick, like in this four-level London townhouse in the city’s Clerkenwell area. Maintenance concerns are probably not as big an issue when you can afford a $6.4 million townhouse, wouldn’t you say?

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Exposed brick as seen inside a Detroit condo.

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Whitewashed exposed-brick walls in a South African farmhouse. Photo via Nuevo Estilo.

So, where do you stand? Are you over exposed brick? (See what we did there?) Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments, below!

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Must All Houses Have Open-Plan Interiors Now? [Curbed]
Are You a Minimalist, a Maximalist, or Somewhere in Between? [Curbed]
Which Kitchen Decor Trends Would You Do Away With? [Curbed]
What’s Wrong With Putting a TV Above the Fireplace? [Curbed]
Which Decor Trends Are The Most Overexposed Right Now? [Curbed]
All Weekly Decor Rant posts [Curbed]

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