Brick and natural stone work exceptionally well in both traditional and modern homes. Bringing these materials into your home or landscape, designed and built by expert masons, will enhance the style and theme you have set for your home and make your home life more visually enjoyable. Here are some ideas on how to modernize old-world charm with classic brick and natural stone masonry in Amherst, NH.
Interiors: A Stunning Fire Surround
In many homes, the fireplace is a major focal point. But a dull surround can make your fireplace look dated instead of charming. Here is where you have an opportunity to completely rethink the masonry that exists in your home or consider ways to dress it up. Exposed brick walls are more known for being trendy in downtown lofts but are equally stunning in a more traditional setting. An exposed masonry wall is typically far more eye-catching than a painted feature wall.
Another way to modernize a fireplace surround is brightening up dated stonework with a faux finish. If the surround is brick and you love the look of old, worn, and distressed brick, a faux-antiquing technique called a German smear, which involves using wet mortar, is a possibility. Or, if you want to clean up soot smudges and achieve a slightly aged chalky finish, try a lime wash on freshly vinegar-scrubbed brick.
Other options include bringing in some history with a reclaimed mantel, which could be stunning in an otherwise modern setting. Or consider giving your home a modern twist, with the use of floating mantels, much like floating shelves, on a floor-to-ceiling fireplace wall.
A floor-to-ceiling fireplace surround made with larger stones could visually lift a low ceiling. Horizontally laid bricks may contribute to a “squashed” or heavy feeling unless they are light in color (a coat of whitewash can quickly modernize a dated surround).
Image Source - Unilock
You probably do not want to rely on ambient light to illuminate a fireplace or feature wall. For a modern touch, use spotlights to emphasize the masonry’s texture. Such lights will give you guests an opportunity to admire the beautiful stonework you have brought into your home.
Exteriors: A Truly Livable Outdoor Space
The old-school approach to outdoor living was a simple table with chairs, and a couple of lounge chairs. But that does not invite entertaining or enjoyable outdoor living day after day. Beautiful masonry can greatly enhance your outdoor space and lure you to spend more time in your landscape. Create a dedicated and sophisticated entertainment area outdoors, such as a recessed fire pit area or an outdoor kitchen with stone seating walls that define the space and provide overflow seating. You can also bring warmth to a large outdoor living space by using somewhat darker masonry tones.
If your home has a brick or stone facade, create a modern look in your outdoor living space by matching your hardscape stone to your roof and use the home’s existing masonry as inspiration for details or accents.
Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean admiration of your masonry features should end. Strategically placed lights that highlight your landscape’s best features while also alerting visitors to their existence are valuable assets in a landscape.