Q. My husband and I are planning on redoing our lower level recreation room and I have seen pictures of interiors that have whole wall areas that are made out of stone or brick. My husband says it will make the space feel cold and uninviting. The present space has a fireplace that has a small surround that is brick that is outdated. Have you done work with interior use of stone and brick and what should we look for? — A reader in northern Indiana
A. Brick and stone have become much more common as interior spaces have become larger and more open.
The use of masonry on the interior can be gorgeous. It is amazing how an interior brick wall can change an entire room, giving it a new modern look or a country style and feel.
No, they don’t make a space feel cold. The combination of decorative elements and floor covering can give a warm homey feel.
Often we have used masonry walls in hallways, kitchens, living rooms and even bedrooms. The input of an architect or interior designer is important to get the results you’re looking for.
Many times the use of stone around a range hood in a kitchen can expand into an inviting alcove for the range/oven area. Recreation spaces that expand the masonry around a fireplace can be expanded to include the whole wall. Living space book shelves that are integrated into a brick wall back drop can be an impressive use of different textures and can make a space feel special.
Entry ways can be very inviting if a primary wall is brick. A contemporary style is common with a painted plain brick wall and the use of glass and tile.
In your recreation room the use is probably much more warm and fuzzy. The use of wood ceilings or accents, carpets or shaggy rugs can accentuate the homey feel and is very inviting.
If you have an existing masonry wall, it can be cleaned and its brightness can be increased by putting a coat of gloss sealer on it.
Jeff Deahl is past president of the Builders Association of Northeast Indiana. Questions for the Square Corners column may be submitted at ba-ni.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for more columns by Jeff Deahl.