Have you been admiring lovely loft apartments from afar? Do you want to recreate that airy, industrial look for yourself? Here are some ideas for getting that loft vibe on a budget…One of my favourite character features in a home is exposed brickwork. Now, I’m not fussy; it can simply be the exposed brick of a chimney-breast, or the outside wall of the house inside a new conservatory. Any exposed brick just makes me feel all warm and cosy inside. It brings rustic charm to the traditional beamed rooms of farmhouses and, on the other hand, it adds an industrial, loft vibe to apartments. Just one wall of exposed brick can help to turn a simple square box into a characterful room.So, how do you get this look on a budget? Well, you could peel all the plaster off your walls and hope that there’s brickwork behind there. Although, more often than not, you’ll find breeze block construction, or a timber frame rather than a solid brick wall. Plus, you’ll be making a heck of a mess! But don’t worry, there IS another way to get the look for less.You can install a feature wall. Simply pick a surface that you’d like to cover with brick and measure up. It’s possible to get brick-effect wallpaper to give the impression of a rustic wall. It looks great from a distance but I always find this looks a little disappointing when you get up close to the wall. And if it’s in your home, it’s a good idea to choose a finish that you’d be happy to show off to visitors.So, the solution I’ve come up with is real brick feature walls. No, I’m not talking about getting a bricklayer build a new wall (I can’t imagine that would be the thrifty option!) Instead, I’m suggesting using brick slips or brick veneers. I found out about them through the UK Feature Walls website, and these bricks tiles are basically a ‘slice’ of brick that can be used to create a realistic looking brick wall. Brick feature wall tiles come in a huge variety of colours and finishes, so you can match it to your existing brickwork and make your new feature wall look really authentic. Or you can use a ready-painted white tile for that true converted-loft-apartment look. And you don’t have to stop at brick; stone feature walls look fantastic too, especially in bathrooms and on chimney-breasts. Applying thin ‘slices’ of stone to a surface is much more cost effective than create an entire stone wall.I particularly like the look of brick as a splashback in the kitchen. Whether you’re planning to install a rustic, farmhouse style kitchen with butcher’s block wooden surfaces, or are going for glossy black units with sparkling granite worktops, the brick backdrop will add character to your new kitchen. Plus, if you’re creating a bricked area above the floor cabinets, you’ll only need a small amount of brick slips to get a great overall effect. And don’t forget that these brick tiles are heat resistant too, so are fine to use around Agas, hobs and fireplaces.I’d love to add a brick feature wall in my living room. The old fireplace wall has been plastered over, so I’d love to cover this wall in brick slips in a mid-century style terracotta tone, or perhaps go for a sleek, grey finish. Like wooden floors, brick is basically a ‘neutral’ when it comes to interior decorating, so it can be paired with any other colours and styles.Add plenty of beech wood and white accessories to get a Scandi look like Danielle Moss’s apartment in the photos above. Pair brick walls with a chunky farm house dining table to get that rustic, country vibe. Garish mid-century colours are pared down by the natural brick finish. And bedrooms take on a holiday-home feeling with exposed brick behind the headboard. Let me know what you think about exposed brick feature walls in the comments below. Do you already have exposed brick in your home? Are you considering adding a feature wall to your living room or a splash back in your kitchen? And please tag me @cassiefairy in your Instagram photos so I can be jealous of your lovely brick walls!
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