Brick Love, Part I

I see posts on design blogs all the time, written by people complaining about their brick wall “eyesores”. They’re seeking advice on how to remove/cover/disguise their brick. Personally, I think they’re nuts and should just replace those brick walls with padded ones. I love brick walls. Beautiful, vintage, NYC loft kind of brick. The kind of brick that looks like it’s been around the block a few times. (Metaphorically speaking, of course. Brick walls tend to stay put.)  I guess you always want what you don’t have because, while those crazy people are taking brick out, I am putting it in. Like, on purpose…

From the moment I stepped into my crappy house, my brain started to rehabilitate it. Oh, this sad, little, crappy house. I knew it could be so much more! I used my mad 3D skills to create some renderings to see how it might look post decrapification. If you’re interested, you can see my whole plan in the post, The Plan (I was really thinking outside of the box for that title…), but basically I wanted to go from this:

to this:

What I didn’t show you in The Plan was the view from the dining room. This is how it looked before:

And this is what it will look like…

The renderings look pretty good, right? But don’t be fooled. The images are not real and do not represent the actual state my crappy house is in right now. While the basic remodeling is done (see that here), I don’t have wood floors (unless you count plywood). Or a kitchen. Or even a railing around the stairs, so I’m basically one trip over the cat away from death or paralysis. (If you’re confused about where those stairs came from, you really should check out The Plan…)

Anyway, doesn’t that wall look fantastic as brick? I was originally only planning on bricking the wall in the dining room, but I decided to do a rendering with the brick wrapping the corner and going into the living room just to see how that might look…

And I love it! I think it adds so much to the view when you walk in the front door. Another texture to keep things interesting. (So what if it doubles the cost… *sob*)

I’ve actually already started this project and it’s coming out freaking awesome. Here’s a sneak peek at the brick I chose:

I will tell you all about it in Brick Love, Part II. Make sure you subscribe (below) so you don’t miss the big reveal! It’s going to be legen… (wait for it…) dary. Legendary!

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  • dbmojo

    LOVE the renderings! Also love the brick wall, but I’m partial, having fond memories of brick walled NYC apartments back in the day.

    The brick looks awesome with the gorgeous wood floors. Big open space w/brick reminds me of a SOHO loft.

    Are you planning on keeping the walls white?

    • My Crappy House

      Thanks! I’m so happy with the brick. It’s looking fantastic I made the walls white in the renderings because I wanted keep to the focus on the remodel and brick, not the decor (and to save my color scheme for another post!). I LOVE color and would never choose to have white walls. Even in the apartments I have lived in, I always had to put color on the walls. Color rules!

    • My Crappy House

      Whoa! That’s quite an inspiration piece! Those colors are a leetle intense for me, but if you like it, go for it! I’m working on a mood board for my living/dining/kitchen space. What color did you end up doing at your place?

  • dbmojo

    Lol they ARE intense – thought it would make a cool pillow. Or something. Maybe it’s just rebellion against “Landlord White”. That would make a good color name.

    For the LR/DR area wound up with a nice shade of grey, with a darker shade on one wall as accent. There are 5 windows in that area that are going to need something besides crappy plastic blinds, plus I’d swapped the original rug for a tribal that’s MUCH bolder. Kinda like floor art. I’m also painting the ceilings grey (think it’s called cement grey) bcs I think it will go well with the (eventual) white crown molding.

    For the kitchen I’m liking a Benjamin Moore color called Caramel – kinda orangeish. It didn’t look too good on the chip but on the sample board – 2 coats later – it looks great!

    It really works with the crappy greenish counter tops; I might just use it in the bathroom too, bcs the same crappy counter tops are in there as well.

    For the bdrm – I got stuck. Really STUCK. I happen to like purple/yellow combo – not so great in a bright bdrm. I also happen to like Damask. AND I also love that Anthracite color as well as the purple in that wall paper. But as much as I like that design, it seems better for a dressing room or something. I dunno, the potential accent wall is a 9×10 wall, and I can’t figure out what to do with it right now – too many options.

    So….I might just be boring and paint the entire room the same pale yellow that was in the old place – think it’s called Lions Mane. OR, I might go with the deeper shade with more gold in it. Like it a lot, not sure if an entire bedroom that color might cause dreams of police tape.

    OR…and here it gets a little whacky, I found this wallpaper on ebay that seems to have it all. Yellow,Burgundy,Damask, texture, pattern. Just ordered a roll to check it out.

    Assuming the shade doesn’t suck, I don’t know if it would be good in the entire room. Haven’t thought about wall paper in a LONG time. This idea might just turn out to be another wtf moment. Had quite a few of those during this process…

    here it is

    THANKS for asking!

    • My Crappy House

      Landlord white! I love it. Totally should be a color! I’m on a gray kick too. My office is gray and I picked out a color called Stamped Concrete for my living room, but I don’t know if it’s too dark. I love that you’re painting the ceiling! I’m considering that myself…

      I think “orangy” colors are so warm and inviting. I bet Caramel looks great. I do like wallpaper. I may use some in my bedroom, but I’m not quite there yet. It was a no brainer for my dressing room. The one you linked looks almost vintage. Could be really nice for a bedroom…

  • dbmojo

    YAY. Thanks for that! About the wallpaper. Pulled an all nighter to find it. Seemed like a bad idea to be buying a roll as the sun was rising, but at least I was sober.

    About gray. I did a little research into how the Renaissance masters chose color (just curious). I discovered they never started with a white canvass. They always first painted the whole thing some shade of gray.

    It worked for THEM

  • KDud

    I have so many questions but I’ll keep it to one or two for the sake of me not rambling. In reference to the awesomely cool brick work. Were the bricks already pre-cut? I know HD sells them online that way. I’m also confused a bit on the corners. . . did you cut those bricks. You really made this wall seem very doable! Like I’m over here. . .like, lets do this! At any rate. . . I digress. . . once the wall was done did you do any type of sealant?

    • My Crappy House

      Hi there! I’m glad you’re interested in my little project… If you click here and scroll down to the bottom, you can see what the bricks look like. They come that way, like 20 or 30 to a box. (I can’t remember the exact count.) I bought the corners individually – they’re “L” shaped. Click here for a picture of those. For the other corner (which I’m now thinking is what you were actually asking me about), I cut those on a regular tile saw. I did use a sealant, but I did some research to find one that wouldn’t add any gloss. I wanted the brick to stay natural looking. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was, but I think it’s in my garage somewhere, so if you really want to know I can go on an expedition. If you have any more questions, feel free to email me directly (use the contact tab up top.) Good luck!

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