PERFECT PAIRINGS // Mixing Brick & Stone
When it comes to making your home stand out, many homeowners choose to mix materials to give their exterior a varied palette, adding interest, dimension, and personality to their homes.
Using materials with different textures, like brick and stone, will create more visual impact and interest than when there’s no variety in texture. In addition to their high-performance qualities such as strength and sustainability, utilizing brick and stone is a great way to add individuality and character as well as charm and beauty to a home’s design.
Oftentimes, brick and stone are used by builders to produce multiple elevations, or exterior looks, in neighborhoods with homes of similar construction or floor plans. Builders use different elevations to provide visual diversity in a community and distinctive style for those living within the homes.
Mixing different materials can boost a home’s curb appeal, but it can also be difficult to successfully execute without guidance. Here are a few tips on how to create a mixed exterior using brick and stone.
Start With The Predominant Material
Determine the architectural style of your home and the predominant material that will help achieve that look and choose that material first. For example, if you’re using 60% brick and 40% stone to create a traditional, cozy look, choose the brick first as that will make up the majority of your home’s exterior.
Play Up Differences By Contrasting Or Complementing Colors
Since brick and stone are naturally different, play up their differences instead of trying to disguise them, including color. Trying to match the colors of brick and stone - two texturally different materials - could come off as distracting or forced if the colors aren’t exact. Color variation - whether dramatic or subtle - can help draw the eye and add dimension, and help designs from falling flat.
To play up different colors, you can either create contrast or complement the brick and stone:
Create a contrast in color
To achieve a more modern, exotic, or bold effect, look for opportunities to create visual contrast by using more saturated colors or a larger variety of colors on your exterior. If your brick is dark, go for a light stone. If your brick is painted white, consider dark gray or black stone. If one material is multicolored, opt for a solid hue for the other.
Use complementary color combinations
For a more balanced look enhanced with gentle nuances of color, you may want to choose two shades within the same color family, like light brown bricks with sandstone. If brick is your predominant material, start by choosing a hue you like from the brick and then select your stone accents. For example, if you’re working with a brown brick with shades of gray, select a gray stone.
Feature a Focal Point
Focal points, like gables, columns and entryways, are perfect opportunities to add mixed materials to your exterior. Most of these features create natural stopping points that allow the brick and stone to seamlessly flow together.
Don’t Forget About Mortar
When using modular brick - the most popular brick size for residential homes - mortar accounts for approximately 20% of the wall as it is placed between the bricks to bind them together. As such, mortar can make an enormous impact on the overall appearance of a home. Some stone can be laid without mortar or with mortar, which is also a consideration.
Consider Other Exterior Elements
Well-maintained landscaping can help bring any home to life. Oftentimes, floral arrangements and greenery can also help highlight or bring out different color tones in a brick or stone. Hardscaping, whether it complements or contrasts the home, adds “living” space to your home, boosts curb appeal, and can potentially increase ROI. When considering other exterior elements, remember to avoid incorporating too many materials and styles as that can create a disjointed look.
Whenever embarking on a new building or renovation project, make sure to conduct research! Your home’s facade is its first impression. Whether you’re browsing the internet or driving through neighborhoods, jot down things you like and don’t like about different home styles and share those ideas with your builder upfront. Having examples to show will ensure your vision matches your builder’s interpretation. To receive expert advice, collaborate on projects, and view hundreds of brick and stone samples, visit the various Brickworks Design Studio locations in the U.S.
See it before you live it.
With the Picture Perfect design tool from Glen-Gery, you can visualize your project with any Glen-Gery building product. Try one look or try them all, and see what fits for you.
Find your style at glengery.com/visualizer