Brick Design: The Best Brick Ideas for Your Project

Brick design can be used to add an extra touch of wow factor to your project – check out these inspiring projects that use brick in unique ways to enhance their exterior
Articles by Build It magazine
by Build It magazine
23rd October 2022

Your choice of brick design will make a huge difference to the character, charm and overall appearance of your completed home. From creative brickwork bonds to mortar styles, colours, blends and more, there’s a lot to consider.

When choosing the right brick for your new house, extension or renovation project, a good place to start is to assess local vernacular house designs for ideas. But remember you can interpret those cues in contemporary ways for your brickwork.

You should also check whether there are any planning restrictions that might dictate suitable brick choices for your house design. The versatility of brick means you can still make a design statement, as even a modest brick design can leave a lasting impression.

From creating unique textures with lacy brickwork bonds and patterns to replicating delightful period features, this selection of amazing projects showcases how you can use brick in innovative and exciting ways.

Seamless Brick Extension

For this modern extension, Yard Architects used pale handmade bricks both internally and outside, blurring the boundaries between living and garden zones.

Photo: Agnese Sanvito

The new space has a courtyard-like feel, which works harmoniously with the modern style. The cool tone of the masonry sets off the interior oak details.

Creative Brick Design

What could have been an ordinary box-like building is now a special home with unique flair, all thanks to some interesting brick detailing by Paul Archer Design.

Photo: Killian O’Sullivan

The perforated facade adds visual interest to those walking by and helps to direct light into the courtyard beyond.


Protruding bricks turn the exterior of this extension into a beautiful feature.

The owner of this Edwardian terrace wanted to build a characterful kitchen extension. Working with Pamphilon Architects, they’ve created a timber frame addition, finished in red bricks to complement the units used on the door headers, chimney and side elevation of the original house.

As a textile designer, the owner has a love for texture and colour, which she wanted to convey within the project. The creative idea of laying the bricks in a Flemish bond with protruding headers ticked all of the owner’s boxes – the effect offers something out of the ordinary; a pattern that she refers to as ‘lacy brick’.

Hectic Red units by Wienerberger were chosen for their distinctive appearance as they have a rough texture and uneven surface with a mottled colour. White mortar complements the masonry and blends with the original part of the house.

Brick was also used for the step down from the extension to the garden, and as borders for the plant beds.

Oak and Brick Blend

This impressive self build home in Surrey was built using oak frame and structural insulated panels (SIPs).

Homeowners Kevin and Christine Choules decided to use external brick detailing to add character and give a traditional finish.

To achieve this, bricks have been laid in herringbone, basketweave and angled patterns between exposed oak.

Read More: Masonry or Timber Frame?

Arched Glazing Feature Wall

Oak and brick are a popular combination in both old and new properties. The owners of this impressive dwelling were surprised at the abundance of different blends available, and created various trial walls to get the right mix.

The dining area features an exposed brick wall from Imperial Bricks with a large glazed arched door, which frames the stunning view of the pretty garden.

Read More: How to Choose The Right Bricks for Your Project

Standout Grey Brick Design

Winner of the Individual Housing category at the 2021 Brick Awards, this striking design by Alma-nac wraps a 1950s house within a new building envelope.

Photo: Jack Hobhouse

It’s finished in warm grey bricks by Floren & Cie with flush mortar, which sets the property apart from the traditional facades of the surrounding Victorian dwellings.

Read More: Best Building Materials for a Period House Renovation

Brick and Cladding Combination

Ash and Nancy Rogers have totally transformed their lacklustre 1970s house through adding a rear extension finished with a unique cladding.

Photo: Tom Hargreaves

The glazing was replaced with dark-framed fenestration, which adds a cool, modern edge, and has helped to totally revamp the property.

The couple made a conscious effort to keep the brickwork in line with the surrounding architecture; “we were quite mindful to ensure minimal disruption, and also make sure the right kind of tiles and bricks were being used to replace the old ones.”

Read More: 5 Different Types of Timber Cladding

See the Home

Dark Brick Blend

Dark grey bricks from Ibstock Brick have been used on this infill house by Dallas Pierce Quintero. The modern feel is exaggerated by the use of a protruding sawtooth bond on the lower half of the walls, which flows between interior and exterior.

Photo: David Butler

This striking property uses a style of brick that creates an illusion of different hues, and as light is reflected from the edges of the units the front appears with a contemporary checkerboard pattern.

Traditional Farmhouse Brick Design

Northcot House by Northcot Brick, winner of the 2020 ‘Best Brick Home’ category of the Build It Awards, is a modern self-build family home with the character and appearance of a Victorian farmhouse.

The bespoke units were specially tumbled to achieve an aged, slightly rugged and weather-worn look, which gives the effect the building has been there for a long time.

Many traditional details were used to enhance this style – for instance, the bricked-in window is a historic feature, dating back to the times of the window tax.

Read More

Read More: Complete Guide to Handmade Bricks

CLOSER LOOK White & red statement

For their knock down and rebuild project, Andy and Philippa Arnold knew they wanted to create a characterful new home. They decided to include local chalk brick cladding to bring detail and soften the masonry on the exterior of the property.

At the front of the house, all the edges of elevations and window surrounds feature red bricks, with the white units filling the space in between, creating a distinctive palette.

The couple came up against supply issues when the time came to order their chalk units. “They hit a dodgy seam in the nearby quarry, but managed to source the material from elsewhere in the end. The work ended up taking much longer to do as they had to cut it all by hand,” says Andy.

Read More: Buying Building Materials: Quantities, Quality & Lead Times

Wow Factor White Brick

Designed by Llowarch Llowarch Architects, Glazed London White bricks from Wienerberger help to create a contrast between the new and original parts of this property.

Photo: Jack Hobhouse

The extension makes use of a pale grey frames on the glazing and and limestone steps, both helping to enhance the contemporary look of the extension.

Considering an extension? Read our Home Extension Guide: How to Extend a House

Charming Cottage Appeal

This traditional Cheshire home by CB Homes uses a classic brick design on the exterior to enhance its picturesque and characterful cottage feel.

Details in the brickwork help it to become a focal feature of the exterior palette, such as the two rows of red bricks towards the ground, and the bond pattern that highlights where the upper storey starts.

What makes a good brickie?

How can you make sure you’re working with a high-quality contractor who will deliver the finish you want at a price you’re comfortable with?

Most brickies develop their skills through an apprenticeship course, which provides a balance of some college learning with hands-on practical development on site. They will learn about the likes of bonding patterns, mortar applications, wall ties, damp proof courses, ventilation, insulation and more.

It’s possible for anyone to set themselves up as a bricklaying contractor – there are no institutes dedicated purely to this trade.

The closest thing in the UK is the Federation of Master Builders, which is well respected and encompasses many other trade skills as well. So, if you’re on the hunt for a high-quality individual then recommendations, testimonials, photography and websites will all be essential elements in helping you to make your selection.

Depending on the nature of your project, you may require a specialist who’s well-versed in more advanced techniques. Selection of appropriately skilled contractors will have a massive bearing on the final quality of the work. So, if you’re going for elaborate brick bonding, arched lintels and the like, a brickie with greater expertise is highly recommended.

Modern Brick and Cladding Finish

Bold white bricks from Bespoke Brick Company creates an impressive modern statement on this self build home at Graven Hill.

The property uses a mix of cladding, light brick blend and extensive glazing bring a bold and contemporary feel whilst maximising the light and space of the plot.

The homeowners got hands on with bricklaying and have used their new skills to create garden walls around the perimeter of the grass areas.

Read More: 6 Construction Systems for Your Self Build Project

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