European Flooring

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Three Design Boards using Reclaimed Veneer Belgian Red Bricks

There are a lot of bricks on the market today.  Brick has been a building material for centuries across the globe for exterior structures, but thanks to the industrial vintage trend, finding an exposed interior brick wall is like discovering gold.

Reclaimed Belgian Veneer Bricks for Focal Walls, Back Splash and Fireplace Surrounds

Of course, if one is building a new structure, one has the opportunity to erect an interior brick wall. But why all the fuss?  What makes these brick walls so loved by so many?  In terms of design, it's about texture and color.  However, not all bricks are alike and getting the wrong color and wrong texture of brick will not allow for too many design successes.
This is where I want to lavish praise on our Reclaimed Veneer Belgian Red Bricks.  As a veneer, one does not need to create a standing wall of brick to achieve that focal wall - one simply needs to install the brick with cement and use a grout bag to fill-in the joints. The market is inundated with veneer brick so this is not too ground breaking.  But what is ground breaking, is the fabulous texture of the reclaimed Belgian brick and it's inherit color ranges. 
Here is the first of three design boards I created using our reclaimed veneer Belgian bricks. Thanks to time and the clay used over 150 years ago in Belgium, we are witnessing a brick that has inherent oak and stone colors within the soft reds.  This allowed me to create a design board with a tone-on-tone theme while highlighting textural contrast for interest.  The Maison d'Isabelle Aged French Limestone Flooring has a satin and hammered patina that holds the eye while it's color variation remains minimal. These beautiful stone oak colors within the Maison d'Isabelle French Limestone partner perfectly with the stone oak colors inside the veneer bricks.  I then chose in our Kings of France 18th Century Oak Flooring Collection the wide plank floor called Vintage Oak.  The Vintage Oak color is again at play within the veneer brick and the same tonal value as the Maison d'Isabelle French limestone, just a richer color saturation.  This is a circle that they eye finds so appealing.  
Onto Design Board 2:
In this design board, my intent was to highlight the creams and whites inherent in our reclaimed veneer Belgian brick.  This is a twist on a traditional kitchen using our Perfect Cream White subway tile that remains a classic, but definitely with a European vintage feel due to it's soft edging and crazed texture. I love the reflection and smoothness of the subway tile contrasting with the opaque, brick texture of our veneer reclaimed bricks. The eye loves this, for we love contrast - but not a too extreme contrast. Thanks to the soft reds and creams within the veneer reclaimed bricks, our Perfect Cream White subway tile has found a perfect partner for a focal wall. I wanted to continue with a light ambiance so I chose in our Kings of France 18th century Oak Flooring Collection the wide-plank floors in Aged Cask. These lighter white oak colors, like that of a cask oak barrel, keeps the light values on the floor while synchronizing with the cream whites of the subway tile and the creams within the veneer reclaimed Belgian brick. We have completed another circle for the eye and this makes us happy in the interior design world.
Final Design Board...Design Board 3:

This last design board is classic in terms of a Belgian interior design color path.  Mixing oak + blue + red is seen throughout Belgium interiors and not only that, but blending modern with farmhouse styles, hold interest to the eye due to contrasting textures.  In this design board I chose our Mid-Century Modern Aged Belgian Bluestone because I love the satin, smooth patina with slight reflection against the opacity of the bricks and wood flooring.  This modern element, that contrasts with the vintage textures, is sublime.  When it comes to the red element of this style, I love our Belgian veneer reclaimed red brick because it's not the primary color red that screams so loudly, "I am red!".  This is not the goal to mix two primary colors - red and blue - like from a crayon box.  The goal is subtlety - meaning soft reds and hopefully other colors within the red brick, like ours have with the stone and oak colors.  These oak colors, within the veneer brick, are the bridge to the Belgian bluestone, for oak and black blues together have the same light value on the light to dark value scale.  This means our eye reads two colors - but our mind feels a unison of one color group.  This is why I chose Cèpes this time from our Kings of France 18th Century Oak Flooring Collection.  These deep oak colors are drinking in the rich blue blacks of the Belgian bluestone - so again, two colors but one color group.  Finally, having a focal wall or back splash of the reclaimed veneer Belgian bricks adds a light value that brings up the depth of the blues and oaks, keeping the contrast of light and dark at play. The soft, opaque brick textures contrast to the smooth aged wood floors and the satin patina of the Belgian bluestone - which allows a final, third circle to be completed in this study.
Phew! This is a lot of information and perhaps you got through the entire blog?  I hope so and I hope you have become inspired.
Thank you for your time,

Emmi Micallef
Co-Founder, Historic Decorative Materials, a Division of Pavé Tile, Wood & Stone, Inc.

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