In interior design, there are a few guidelines that make a lot of sense. (And some that are just ripe for breaking.) One of them is that if there is an architectural detail in a room which you don’t like you can either camouflage it, ignore it or change it,
Camouflaging involves disguising, which isn’t the same as fixing. If you can’t change something, can you ignore it? If you can, that’s often the easiest way to deal with the elephant in the room, but suppose the elephant is the orange brick wall.
If you can ignore the problem and just pretend it isn’t there, good for you. But because an orange brick wall is the boss of the color scheme, you will never be truly free of it unless you change it. But change, in this case, doesn’t mean you have to remove it. You could paint it.
Paint the brick. There, those words alone are enough to send some homeowners into apoplectic shock. Painted brick does not have to be one flat color washed over the whole surface in an attempt to disguise the brick and make us think it’s not a brick wall. That is what we used to do, but paint techniques now produce a natural look that mimics new brick.
My friend Jami painted the brick on the front of her house. It was the dreaded orange, but she smooshed and sponged and dabbed and now the bricks are gray-based mottled, very modern-looking and complement the gray siding perfectly. Perfectly. You’d never know they were painted.
So, here is the consideration. Brick can add warmth and depth to a room and painting it one flat color will make it look like another wall; that may be what you want. But if you want to retain the texture and warmth of a brick wall, take some time and paint the brick layer by layer.
Start by looking at some bricks you like and pick three or four colors that exist in that brick. Make some sample boards; get the hang of painting with small bits of sponge and get used to the idea that painting brick is all about building up layers to get the right effect.
Here’s another example of the wonders of paint and brick. Jami painted the grout, not the brick. Just the grout.
Grout colors before- left, after- right.