Is exposed brick still on trend? Designers debate whether this 'timeless' look really is a classic

Spoiler, yes it is

deVOL sebastian kitchen with exposed brick wall
(Image credit: deVOL)

Exposed brick was a huge trend around 10 years ago, giving that very cool industrial loft vibe to any space, or bringing a rustic touch to even the most modern of homes. But in 2024 is the love for exposed brick still going strong, is it still on trend?

Lending itself to many different interior design aesthetics, brick walls are considered a timeless design choice that will forever be on trend. Requiring zero maintenance and just a touch of design prowess, exposing the natural beauty beneath your drywall can seem like an obvious win-win. But the look has been around for so long is it starting to date?

We’ve spoken with design experts who weigh in on whether exposed brick is an interior design trend we want to be trying at home in 2024 - and how best to style it in a way that feels both current and classic. 

Is exposed brick still on trend?

'Exposed brick is a timeless treatment and can convey everything from rustic simplicity to chic city living depending on how you style it,' says designer Bethany Adams. Beloved for the natural texture and warm, ruddy tones they bring to a space, exposed brick walls are a classic design feature. 

When left bare, a brick wall can bring a lived-in aesthetic to any room. Full of character and history, brick is a storied material that when uncovered and blended with modern finishes and colors, will add a layer of texture to any style home. 

deVOL kitchen with exposed brick backsplash

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

A popular place to embrace a brick wall is in the kitchen. Exposed brick is great for adding texture to rooms that traditionally are made of up clean lines, cabinets, and endless storage, such as your kitchen. Lending itself to the charm of a modern rustic look a brick feature will help build an organic color palette and inject some much-needed warmth to an otherwise modern-looking room - great for making the space feel cozy without dating it.

For deVOL's Creative Director, Helen Parker, it is important to treat 'every tiny piece of the building with respect and integrity,' particularly with a heritage building like this project. 

'We stripped the walls of plaster and found a beautiful brick that was exactly right for our Sebastian Cox cupboards, so we cleaned it up and left it alone. Its rural charm has been treasured and brought back to life in a painstaking renovation, full of careful and time-consuming decisions,' says Helen. 

By incorporating cooler tones in this kitchen, deVOL has perfectly balanced the space without the brick absorbing too much light - or looking too brown and dull. Exposed beamed ceiling, antique brass hardware, organic elements, and a stripped-back decor style all help to lift this kitchen scheme from looking too rustic. The result is contemporary and calm.

kristen fiore designed kitchen with exposed brick backplash running underneath window

(Image credit: Kristen Elizabeth Design)

Kristen Fiore of Kristen Elizabeth Design, is also a fan of a brick kitchen backsplash. Having recently completed a project littered with exposed brick detailing, Kristen was able to lend an industrial meets traditional aesthetic to the entire home, but the kitchen is really where this material sings. 

'Exposed brick never ever goes out of style. It is a classic industrial material that has been used to build structures for hundreds of years. An exposed brick wall adds warmth, dimension, authenticity, and a nod of respect to classic materials and elements', says Kristen. 

By opting to restrict the brick detailing to just a backsplash or singular accent wall, you can, in turn, open up your kitchen to a myriad of design aesthetics. For homes lucky enough to have a rustic charm with which to ground the design, look to introduce further reclaimed elements within the smaller details such as timber cladding, antique pieces, and reclaimed hardware that will build up a rustic patina over time. 

More of a minimalist? Fear not. Exposed brick walls don’t need much added oomph - they’re best when kept simple, and allowed to sing. Not requiring any additional dressing, primping, or styling, a brick wall is a standalone feature in itself and is employed by many a designer in place of wallpaper, bold color, or artwork to add natural texture and impact on a space.

Designer Kristen Fiore of Kristen Elizabeth Design
Kristen Fiore

Kristen Fiore is the founder of Kristen Elizabeth Design, located in Sacramento, California. Her firm creates beautifully livable interiors that achieve a deep sense of harmony, balance, and inner happiness. The process is authentic and original, rooted in classic design principles balanced with fresh contemporary ideas.

banquette seating with great cushions and exposed brick gallery wall

(Image credit: DATE Interiors / Photo by Kirsten Francis / Styling by Katja Greeff)

On the contrary, if you prefer your walls to be filled with life and personality, a gallery wall - as styled in this whimsical Manhattan apartment by Molly Torres Portnof from DATE Interiors - will help retain the inherent warmth that comes from a home well-lived in.

In her approach, exposed brick is seen as a staple element, used quietly in the background of the design in a way that makes the beauty of natural materials the focus 'Much like other natural materials like marble, wood, leather, and wool, brick is beautiful in its imperfections and infuses a space with warmth and charm,' says Molly. 'It has a charm – and the exposed bricks transport you to an older time', she shares. 

Not sure how to best style a room featuring exposed brick walls? There are plenty of possibilities when it comes to accent pieces. Utilizing a mix of contemporary finishes, marble, and a good dose of green velvet, this joy-inducing banquette seat is fuelled by vintage style - made all the more charming with gilded frames hung mismatched in this gallery style formation.

Molly Torres
Molly Torres Portnof

After moving next door to the Empire Stat Building, designer Molly Torres Portnof founded DATE Interiors (an acronym for ‘Designing A Tiny Empire’). Her design style brings together her background of fashion, pop culture, and music to nearly every space she designs. 

kathy kuo painted exposed brick living room design

(Image credit: Kathy Kuo)

By choosing to make a feature of a brick wall, you’re signing up for a ready-made color palette fuelled by earthy red, brown, and terracotta tones. Unless, of course, you paint it. 

For Kathy Kuo, interior designer and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home, she chose to take a more modern approach to this living room scheme by whitewashing the exposed brick. 'Exposed brick is sort of the little black dress of the interior design world - it never goes out of style,' says Kathy. 

When leaving it natural, Kathy finds 'both red and brown brick offer such a nice warm neutral look to frame a room - plus, the warm earth tones mean you can bring in just about any additional colors in your furniture and decor,' she adds.

Alternatively, by painting the brick, the focus is taken away from the natural hues of the brick and instead lends itself to adding a layer of texture and character to the space - without dominating the scheme. Consequently, Kathy selected natural materials like wood and leather to sit alongside the muted neutrals in the space. 'It just instantly makes a room feel very stylish but also inviting and not too stuffy,' she adds.

kathy kuo home
Kathy Kuo

Kathy Kuo is a celebrated interior designer and international guru within the home and lifestyle space. She has 20+ years of experience in the design industry.


Is exposed brick in style for 2024?

The simple answer is: yes. Exposed brick is an age-old material that adds character, texture and warmth to any space - and lends itself to a myriad of design styles. 

While mostly synonymous with lofty New York apartments with an industrial feel, an exposed brick wall (whether raw or painted) can be styled and tweaked to fit the aesthetic of any home. 

Take guidance and inspiration from our experts above to truly make exposed brickwork for your home. Whether that's leaning into the warm rustic style by pulling colors found in the bricks to further accentuate it or styling it out with cooler tones to balance the earthy feel, or even adding a layer of lime wash for a muted palette. 

Does exposed brick add value?

In terms of adding actual value to your property, it can be hard to pinpoint an exact figure but what we can be sure of is; that exposed brick walls are a timeless, trending detail that's likely to always be in style - and therefore will help to add a coziness to your home that any prospective buyers (or visiting guests) will love.

Style is subjective, and while some people love a feature brick wall, to others it might not appeal so much. But, as with all design choices: you win some, you lose some. 

A divisive design choice like exposing a brick wall, be that on a large or tiny scale, is a big decision to make when it comes to decorating your home. The best approach is to start small and work with the existing characteristics of your home - leaning into period features, or juxtaposing a builder-grade room by making your brick wall a textured feature all of its own.

It's truly a style that stands the test of time and can be translated effortlessly into any aesthetic by incorporating pieces that you love and treasure - after all, the key with any style is just to ensure you create a house that feels like you. Be rest assured that this is an interior design idea for the ages.

Charlotte Olby
Style & Trends Editor

Charlotte is style and trends editor at Homes and Gardens, and has been with the team since Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she has worked at many women's glossy magazines including Grazia, Stylist, and Hello and most recently worked as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with her passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome