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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Bricks in kitchen - too outdated?

kjohnsonmiJanuary 14, 2013
We remodeled our home about 30 years ago and added a new kitchen. At the time we gathered and cleaned bricks from the demolition of the Cadillac Hotel. In addition to a fireplace in the family room, we created this brick tower to hold the oven and microwave.
We are now updating our kitchen and are being told that the brick is outdated and should be removed. What do you think?
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Jonathan Hress Design
I don't think your brick looks bad. I would replace the floor.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 10:49AM
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Frank Webb's Bath and Lighting Center
I love the bricks! If you are going with some nice wood cabinetry it will look very warm and inviting!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:15AM
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I love the brick, and think it would be a nice contrast to a modern/updated kitchen.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Sonya Stepanovich
It depends on the look you are going for and the rest of your house - I'd plaster over if it were me...
1 Like    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:24AM
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I rather like the brick, but would add a large piece of ironwork above the top oven. It should be simple but would balance the heaviness of the ovens at the bottom of that wall. Love white kitchens, but not the white tile floor. Could you put wood floor in? If price prohibitive or you just don't want that, there are beautiful new tiles that have a wood effect. I feel the floor need to be darker to "ground" the room. Plus, white tile is extra upkeep. I have white in master bath and I hate the upkeep,
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Like the brick
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:36AM
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I think the bricks would look very nice if you used them as the focal point in your kitchen and worked the room around them. Plus they come with a cool story. Can't beat that! Maybe others can suggest ways to work them into your new design. What are your plans for the kitchen?
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:44AM
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I like the brick too. I really like that it's reclaimed brick with some character. What kind of updates are you making?

I'm curious to see the comments you get. We have a large wall of brick in the kitchen and I'm curious to see what ideas folks have for making it work.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:46AM
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I like it, but I think it depends on the look you want. If you keep it, I think you should tie it in with the rest of the kitchen decor either with other items that have more of a rustic/natural feel such as natural wood or materials, or bring in some of the warmer colors of the brick for other parts of the room in order to make it an integral part of the kitchen.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:53AM
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I love old brick and think it looks beautiful. I would definitely keep it and incorporate it into the new design.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Scott Design, Inc.
What goes around comes around. It's about that time being 30 years and all. I like the brick. You can't beat natural materials whether it's brick, granite, slate, wood, marble, metal...they all work together. I agree with changing out the floor. What are your plans for the rest of the kitchen?
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Sue Ann Stevens
I think your brick was the scapegoat. It adds character and with other updates will look lovely with many looks. I can see it with cherry cabinets for a traditional look and wood floors and black granite counters.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 11:59AM
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I guess the question I would ask you is...Do you like the bricks?
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Michele Lister
I am trying to figure out what to do in my kitchen too but with reclaimed bricks are over 300 years old, they are the only thing I'm sure I'm going to keep. At the end of the day if you like them keep them. They add character.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Crestview Homes,LLC
Dear K Johnson, Brick is a timeless material that can be used effectively in different styles of architecture. I have used it in contemporary homes ( see 205 East Cowan) as well as traditional homes to great effect. Your use of the brick as a surround for your modern ovens is a clever play o the idea of traditional brick ovens.

In order to develop a useful response to your query it is important to know what style your are working towards in your new renovation. Also, it would be very important to see a more comprehensive photo of the entire space with the brick tower to know how it functions in the kitchen and how it integrates with the rest of the design elements of the proposed renovation as well as its relationship to the reclaimed brick fireplace.

I would add that in the event that you decide to retain the brick column, its warmth would be enhanced by using warm materials around it, as has already been suggested in some of the comments. This would include adjusting the palette of colors to more earthy tones, including replacing the floor, if that is in the budget. The glazed white tile appears to me to conflict with the brick in a way that is not cohesive. If replacing the floor is not an option, staining the brick a darker, grayer tone, might be a solution that would enhance the relationship between the various materials. Staining the mortar and the grout might also help to create better relationship between the glazed tile and the brick.

One final idea: if you keep the column and the existing ovens, I would strongly urge you to re-configure the units so that they appear to form one oven/ micro unit with no brick between the two. The separation of the appliances diminishes the power of the brick column. if you can place the micro below the oven it will look better yet, as the black control panel of the oven will be on top ( like an eyebrow) and all of the stainless steel will be below. It will look neater and cleaner and more solid. be sure that the appliances remain conveniently accessible for you and your family.

If you are buying new appliances, Jenn -Air has a beautiful coppery fininsh available that would look lovely in the brick. And some manufacturers have microwave cabinets that integrate with the ovens and conceal the micro wave from view. They are pricey ( around $550.00) but they can be aesthetically rewarding.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 12:40PM
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I agree to keep the brick.
NEVER let someone else TELL you what to do with your own home! Of course, suggestions are great, but at the end of the day, you are the one who will live there.
Sometimes other people may try to bully you into doing something you don't want to do. Don't let them get away with it.
Crestview Homes, LLC, is suggesting things, not TELLING you what to do, I appreciate that!
I've done things in my home that others don't like and I've done things that others are crazy about. If my husband and I like our home, that's all that matters. Same for you, for anybody.
But, if you have it in budget, I'd get rid of the floor. You might be able to sell the tiles and even if you break some, somebody might want those. I try (though I'm ill and can't do much) to do demolition like that myself so that I have something to show for even that (un-smashed tiles to use for something else)!
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 12:54PM
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