Do you have a brick home that’s in need of a bit of a facelift? Perhaps the colour or style of brick is starting to look a bit dated and in need of modernising. Most homeowners assume the only way to update a brick home is by rendering it, but there are other ways.

A good start is to paint the trims, fascias, gables and bargeboards. Your colour choices here depend upon the colour of the bricks, but aim to contrast and accent rather than blend; blending results in a ‘blocky’ feel to the house, making it one big, dark blob without any contrasting features.

If you have dark coloured bricks, aim to accent and brighten by painting the trims in a lighter colour such as a fashionable beige or light grey to. Avoid white window trims as many older brick houses have this and it can look dated. If you’ve got light to mid-coloured bricks, use a darker colour such as charcoal, grey or black.

First impressions count, so pay attention to your entrance door, especially if it’s at the front of the house. You could install a modern timber door or paint the current door the same colour as the trims. Alternatively, create a focal point by painting it in a contrasting colour.

Brick is a visually heavy material. (If you don’t understand this concept, compare the look of a timber house to a brick house – you’ll find the timber house looks visually lighter than the brick.) Because of this, you need to anchor the brick visually, and one way to do this is through smart landscaping.

While I don’t recommend using flowers as part of your landscaping plan, I do recommend a mix of colour. If your house is a dark brown brick, use predominately mid to light coloured plants so they stand out against the brick. If you’ve got a lighter brick, use darker shades of plants.

Landscaping does not have to be symmetrical, but it does need to balance the house in other ways. You could try using visually heavy plants at the base of the house or either side of the entryway to anchor the house. However, often the location of the plants is less important than the density of them; don’t choose plants that are light and spindly like roses, and steer away from spiky plants. Instead, choose something with a bigger, thicker leaf and use a combination of plants of different species; it will soften the entire appearance and make it more appealing.

Take a look at your fences, awnings, portico and porch to see if there is anything you can do here to further modernise and soften the exterior. If you have a fence with palings, consider painting the palings the same colour as the house trims so there is a sense of cohesion. If you don’t have a fence, consider erecting one along the front boundary line to break up the blocky look of the front of the house.

The aim is not to cover but to contrast the harshness, density and fullness of brick with lighter, visually softer materials.
Window dressings on the interior of the house can also have an impact on the exterior. If you’ve got curtains on the front windows, it can present as a big, white block from the street so go for something more linear such as timber blinds, white wooden blinds or a combination of blinds and curtains.

So, there are a few ideas to get you started. If you want an in-depth plan or some further information, give me a call (1300 908 890) or email me (jane@hotspaceconsultants.com).

Love to find out more?

For a home renovation professionally designed for you by an award winning designer – without the exorbitant cost, get in touch