Bricks are becoming a common alternative in finishing a house. They not only add beauty to a house but they also offer a vintage look.
Architect Simon Peter Kazibwe says although the architectural design for this three-bedroom house provided for exposed brick only as a finishing touch, the client was so impressed that he was asked to incorporate it into the living room as well. “Exposed brick juxtaposed with modern clean lines brings an antique element that adds warmth, colour and texture to a room,” Kazibwe says, adding that the overall aesthetic marries historical styles with clean lines and modern materials.
The architect says he designed this three bedroom house for a client whose children had grown and left home but visited often.
To give the children their privacy, he placed their bedroom on the lower floor while the master suite is on the upper floor.
This spacious modern house’s living area is designed to flow into each other portraying a cozy, intimate atmosphere that has a strong connection to its rugged surroundings. The spaces have an open and airy feel with a layering of light textures, a mix of rustic and modern with stylish touches throughout.
Boaz Kukundakwe, an architect, observes that exposed brick finishing is becoming a very popular trend for modern homes.
He recommends the style to his clients because exposed walls are beautiful, durable, maintenance-free and can blend well with both traditional and contemporary materials. “Brick brings rich colours and textures to concrete, steel and glass buildings. It even looks great paired with timber and stone,” Kukundakwe elaborates.
Apart from the aesthetics, brick remains one of the most economical building materials in Uganda. Unlike many other surfaces that must be regularly painted, treated or plastered, the varied colour palette and texture choices of natural brick means it doesn’t need to be hidden away.
The house has an open space design. The space is open and airy yet cozy and intimate; the way a home should feel. The dining room, breakfast nook and kitchen flow into each other encouraging the family meals while the living room opens onto the outdoor lounge.
This modern home can fit on a 100x50ft plot with a parking lot and compound or a 50x50ft plot without a compound and parking space for only two cars. Using steel columns and long custom bricks made on site, Kazibwe’s client used Shs85m although it could also be built at Shs60m in areas outside Kampala.
Decorating a room with exposed brick can conflict with some design choices. Wahab Mbabazi, a décor expert, cautions against using too much of it. “It looks better as a design element if it is used minimally. You could choose to use it in the living room alone or on just one wall while the other walls are plastered,” he explains.
To soften the hard edge of exposed brick in a room, Mbabazi advises using softer elements such as fabrics, pillows in soft colours and leather furniture.
One thing that most people do not know about exposed brick walls is that they are drafty, allow moisture in, and are often riddled with centipedes. Centipedes love the moist conditions of the brick and will find their way in, though this problem may be able to be lessened if a professional seals the exterior walls of the brick. Needless to say, you may not want to hang your expensive artwork on your brick wall if moisture is a problem for you. Scope it out accordingly and only hang artwork that will not be ruined by moisture coming through those cracks.
Caution should also be observed while mounting the TV on the brick wall. If mounted incorrectly the TV’s weight could cause your bricks to crack — and worse — your TV to crash to the ground. If you absolutely have no other place to hang your TV, please get a professional to do it. There are special diamond tipped drill bits are needed and the exact placement to ensure the weight is distributed properly.