Monday, July 1, 2013

Front to Back: Brick

When we embarked on an addition a number of years ago, one design feature that I knew I had to have was a brick floor in the back hall. One already existed in the foyer, and as my Mother always says, "You shouldn't be able to see more than three different floors from any one vantage point in your home." In other words, keeping flooring consistent is important for the purpose of good design flow. I guess those words really stuck, and I remember them whenever I embark on any project. Keep a good design flow from room to room, and be able to visually feel that the rooms relate to one another. It's easier on the eye and is more visually pleasing.

A brick floor would not be an easy undertaking because we had "used" brick throughout our home. From walkways to fireplaces, chimneys and floors, we would not be able to shop for brick at the local tile store. We wanted the addition to look as though it had always been part of the house. Where could we find used brick? Since my husband is in the recycling business, he had some connections and figured out the details. It would also be necessary to plan for the thickness of laying traditional brick inside a home, so creating the appropriate foundation was critical. With my Dad being in the masonry business (three generations = 70 years), we could rely on him for his expertise.

One post-construction regret I have is that I made the hall too narrow (darn it), as it could have been used to house an extra dinning table for spillover during holidays. Anyway, it is wide enough to be my go-to spot for serving cocktails, except that I need the PERFECT piece of furniture, to do the job. The close proximity to the kitchen, dining room and family room makes this area ideal (for drink service), not to mention the forgiving nature of the brick floor on spills. I have been using this Pottery Barn black hutch, but it is just too wide and too tall for the space. It looks too overwhelming and heavy. Let's move it to the living room.

I can visualize the PERFECT piece being 19" deep and very long (80" to over 100") wide, as the wall can handle it. The hall needs something substantial (my favorite design word), but not something with height. A sideboard or credenza with closed storage below for bar-related items (like this fab pewter punch bowl pictured above, that I scored at Costco a few years back) and loads of counter space for serving. I know the perfect piece is out there somewhere, I just have to find it!

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