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What should I do with an ugly curved brick wall?

Leeny
May 14, 2019
last modified: May 16, 2019

I just don’t know what to do with this brick wall! I find it ugly, too huge and difficult to furnish because of the curve. Any ideas?


Comments (70)

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  • Souzette Lovell

    HI thanks for the photos. My hunch is that your dislike of the wall has less to do with the actual wall itself, and more to do with the awkward architectural space created with the change in ceiling heights, from a cosy space with a lower soffit to a large double height space. Any efforts to integrate the two by - for example - mounting tvs on the curved wall or trying to use the double-height space from the shelter of the more intimate space will be likely to feel uncomfortable, I imagine.

    I wonder if it's possible to add a light-weight wall or screen - or even full-height curtains along the edge of the low-height ceiling area (marked yellow) and then create another very informal space in the curved area using round elements - perhaps with a soft plush rug, very large comfy round floor cushions, a low round coffee table, lots of plants, and perhaps books (or if you must, a tv) mounted on the new straight wall (yellow line).

    As this double-height space is visible from the floor above, it would be good to make it look inviting and playful from up there - a true breakout space - and my feeling is that an organic more unstructured and rounded floorplan arrangement approach may work. Leaving the squarish sofa etc in the area with the lower ceiling height.

    I was curious about the heating/cooling in the space and notice you have both a reverse cycle, and a solid fuel wood heater. I imagine the wood heater doesnt function very well with that double height space, if you're looking for warmth. Adding a wall or curtains would help to make the low-ceiling area more cosy with the heater, if you're in a cool climate

    oh,and add a sculptural mobile or interesting light sculpture in the double-height space

    hope this helps


    Leeny thanked Souzette Lovell
  • Kate

    It is an odd space. Can you add some dimensions please, At present I’d be inclined to move tv to next to wood heater and define a living space by a large rug. Then add a feature at the start of the curved wall opp staircase.

    Leeny thanked Kate
  • Mikki Bench


    Back in the early 90s Sega Mastersystem had this cute little game called Penquin Land. As a motif I'd go this direction.


    Process:

    1:coat the brick face with a magnetic type of sealer. Dark blue as shown.

    2.Have magnetic tiles of 2-5 rows of bricks printed out at a DIY shop. Basically you want enough to rebuild a whole level however you want it whenever you get sick of the old level.

    (Or variations on theme, Snakes on a Plane, Pandas in Spanish Bullrun , whatever)


    3. Also print out 4 or 5 hay bails as seen here. , 2 penquins and two polar bears. There might actually be more than two polar bears at a time in the game.. I don't remember the rest of the game.. I think thats the egg and you push it through the maze or something.

    4: Assemble the game level on your wall as you prefer.

    5,Add LEDs for excited Penquin Party time. Might look better as a recessed behind game piece.

    6.It could be viable to merely paint the brick.. fasten a drop ceiling system to it and use acrylic panels with minimal screws. Also modular design. #DillyDilly



    Leeny thanked Mikki Bench
  • pottsy99

    I love the wall ! And the door ! What I hate are those lights -- they literally look like galvanised metal that an 11 year old made in metalwork class . They may have been trendy industrial in the 80's , but . . . . . . .

    Anyway , I'd go for those gold 'banker' style ( I think that's the correct description ? ) lights , the biggest tv I could afford ( as spmm says , maybe curved , but the curves may be different , which would then look odd -- maybe just flat but on a bracket 30-40cm out from the wall -- sort of like it is purposely meant to intrude into a room ? ) . Wall mount it a bit higher up the wall , centred between 2 of the new downlights .

    For colour , go for a large colourful abstract , slightly bigger than the TV , centred above the TV , and again mounted well forward of the wall , so it looks like it is a design feature .

    Carry that theme through with a couple of smaller abstract pictures 60 to 80cm sort of size -- similar colourings to the large one ) mounted on the golden ship-lap timber .

    And without being too critical -- you have used the word drab about 5 times , BUT you have a cream/bone leather lounge suite . Imagine how much of a lift a bold red one would add !

    The rug wouldn't be my choice , but it would work better a bit better if the lounge suite was red -- personally , I'd go for a shaggy red rug ( about the same size as present ) OR an abstract one once you had sorted the wall art .

    One other thing I'd try to do is a cover over the heatpump in the same golden wood -- very hard to do without looking too new though . Of course , you could strip and restain all the golden wood and door , and do the heat pump cover to match , in a native mid-brown or even light reddish tones or charcoal , but I wouldn't -- too much cost , too much work , whereas some colourful art would have a better effect .

    Leeny thanked pottsy99
  • julie herbert
    Hi Leeny,
    What a fabulous house, embrace your gorgeous features, you could do a curved tv unit, I think a round rug would soften the look and compliment that fab wall or alternatively you could layer rugs to bring more interest into the room and really show off your fabulous floors , a lighter coloured rug would look beautiful with your furniture, a large artwork or large round mirror above console table at entry would look great, lucky you to have such a wonderful house.
    Leeny thanked julie herbert
  • siriuskey

    Can you take a photo from the TV looking towards the kitchen wall?, if that is a wall backing to the kitchen that would be my choice for the TV. ?

  • Maureen Hoy
    I love the wall and think it is a feature. Ditch the rug. I think furniture placement is the big issue. Get a professional in for a consultation.
    It would be well worth it. I’d possibly move your tv in to lower ceiling area and put tv along side fire place and sofa opposite. You may have to put up a small partition wall for tv. Maybe have tv in family room and make curved room a lovely tv free lounge area. Hard to say without measurements. I do think a professional could give you advice and your home would be stunning. It is a very unusual floor plan and I can see your dilemma but it could be great.
    Leeny thanked Maureen Hoy
  • suancol

    The wall is not the problem but how to make it a feature. Scale is an issue making the added features much a larger than life wall. Embrace enjoy, think laterally.


    Leeny thanked suancol
  • siriuskey

    To follow up on my question re kitchen wall, If the TV could be put on that wall the lounges could then be placed "L" shaped in front of the window and back into the room, Dr Retro suggested hanging a rug on the curved wall which is a great idea



  • cbartkus
    The wall is a great feature.
    I agree with a nice custom unit to work in with the wall - but then I would; I’m a custom furniture maker - however I’m surprised no one has suggested plants.
    You could use a couple of extra tall feature plants to add a vertical element to give some context to such a big wall. You could even put them in front of the lights for nice effect.
    Leeny thanked cbartkus
  • fzdb

    What about a sheet steel light feature (stainless or zincalume), which curves or snakes from the upstairs window around and down the wall to under the mezzanine? Behind the curving sheet pattern are up and down lights which will skim the wall with brick shadow, before highlighting the timber ceiling and floors and the balustrade (feature wall?) which will optimise the sweet elements of the original 80's design, including their raw colour. Include back-lighting to accentuate shapes and cut-outs. Spotlights on opposite walls to play with the curving reflective elements. Today's low power easy-to-install lighting options are endless. Get artistic. A lizard? A racing stripe? A vine? Something like a vine could incorporate with keeping the space for the entertainment unit. You lucky to have that wall. I'd be extremely hesitant about doing anything to it that couldn't be undone without too much trouble, so as to protect the original charm, but slapping about the old whitewash is often a great way to highlight textures and shadow, and with that curve and good light....who mentioned a hanging light or feature? So many options. A design dilemma? Thanks for sharing.

    Leeny thanked fzdb
  • siriuskey

    Hi Leeny, I'am curious to know why you bought the house seeing that you dislike the brick so much?

    Leeny thanked siriuskey
  • Leeny

    Hi siriuskey, good question! When we bought it the kids were smaller and it has an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna and one acre of bush land. We have done other renovations, lightening up the place and covering over panelled walls and new bathrooms, kitchen etc. it is just this area that I can’t pull together

  • PRO
    Daniel Lindahl Architecture

    Leeny, bricks internally, especially on such a large sculptural wall, makes even a small space look huge, giving your home the look of a chapel or theatre foyer, so I agree with you that the exposed bricks are not a good fit. On the other hand I love the natural timber on your doors. What I would do with that space is to bag the walls - a kind of rough render that slightly shows the texture of the brick joints - and paint it white. This would bring more light into the space and give you much broader options for how to make it your own living space, a blank canvas if you like, with a very subtle texture.

    The curved TV screen sounds like a good idea, and also some crazy large modern sculptural pendant light fitting in the middle of that space, maybe along the lines of randomly joined black rods with light points at their ends.

    Is there a skylight roof over that space? It needs it if there isn't, to really do justice to the way the curved wall draws your vision up.

    Leeny thanked Daniel Lindahl Architecture
  • Littlethommo

    How about a vertical green wall? The colour and texture of the plants would add some life to the space and work beautifully with the colour of the brick. Maybe just a feature panel a meter or two wide that is floor to ceiling to break up the expanse of brick. Depending on the natural light/access you could have real plants, there are some very good diy green wall systems available. Or alternatively there are some incredibly realistic artificial green wall panels that come in a ready-planted square panel or in trailing vine form like 2nd image below

    (not the tacky cheap green walls from Bunnings!)








    Leeny thanked Littlethommo
  • Laura Watson

    Urban Homes in Hamilton had a show home with white washed interior brick and black accessories. If you hate the colour then stuff it; change it. The bricks were actually recovered from the Canterbury quakes so have a bit more character. https://urban.co.nz/show-homes/previous-show-homes/

    Leeny thanked Laura Watson
  • PRO
    Essentia Interior Design

    I am thinking your furniture needs to be ;large and chunky, would love to se a curved sofa in the space to compliment the wall curve and maybe three large pieces of art on the curved wall , hung about one third above the door frame height , some nice big cushions on the sofa.

    Leeny thanked Essentia Interior Design
  • berbieharmsen

    I think the bricks are lovely. They just look empty. I like the idea of the large Persian rug or a huge painting and add a huge chandelier. The modern with black sounded good. I would ignore the metal lights because removing them is going to cause damage. Just don't use them. If it was my wall, I would paint the door and frame black as there is plenty of wood on the other side of the room, but you may not wish to do that. Again if was my room and money was no object I would consider a heavily curved lounge to repeat the shape. It probably means that you have to look at more double height rooms in your research and see how others have coped with them. Once you have overcome the challenge of decorating it, I think the lovely brick wall will grow on you.


    Leeny thanked berbieharmsen
  • siriuskey

    Hi Leeny, I live in an 80's house with brick and timber and love it. That big curved wall is fantastic as it is, I wouldn't paint or render it, either way you would just end up with a large wall in a different colour.

    Difficult to see the total space but if it was mine I would remove all the current furniture including the floor rug, creating a blank canvas.

    I would change the wall lights to up down lights and possibly add two more across the wall, add a black metal pendant light in the full height entrance space similar to the folowing


    Add soft ceiling to floor sheer curtains in white or soft grey to both large windows shown in your photos and probably in the dining space. curtains as above.

    The TV looks as if it would have been better mounted further to the right, looking at the angle you have shown in the photo. Add a narrow shelf to fit the onto the wall below the TV


    Bring back or buy a new straight sofa to sit opposite the kitchen wall and add some soft rounded arm chairs into the room that can be moved to suit family events, these would all be tied together with a new large floor rug ('am not suggesting colours)



    All the walls in the photos except the one next to the heater are blank, no art work ( the picture on the heater wall needs to be dropped own to eye height

    You mentioned an indoor pool which would suggest that you live in a cool climate?

    Leeny thanked siriuskey
  • siriuskey

    What I would suggest is a Tan leather sofa



    Leeny thanked siriuskey
  • PRO
    Pleased to Bijou Design

    I kind of agree with both Daniel the Architect and LittleThommo. I would bag the brick to leave the texture exposed but not the colour, than get a vertical garden design specialist in to come up with a concept for trailing and hanging plants down that wall. It would be spectacular! I would avoid putting any kind of tv, media unit or furniture against it. There is something quite ambitious and majestic about the wall's scale that you just cant fight with, lol. Having grown up in a house with many exposed brick walls, I hated the dust and hardness of them, so understand your ambivalence towards them!

    Leeny thanked Pleased to Bijou Design
  • siriuskey

    You could also do something similar to the following attached to the curved with sides covered by using more of the floor boards or just Gyprock painted finish, it doesn't need to be ceiling height


    Leeny thanked siriuskey
  • Ai Jaedee

    Felt panel faux walls (adds sound & heat insulation) in your color of choice. Then hang a large projector screen off it & make it a huge wall home theatre area.

    Leeny thanked Ai Jaedee
  • Souzette Lovell

    ha ha excellent idea..

    Leeny thanked Souzette Lovell
  • Charissa Stuart

    Budget permitting, I would add some timber panelling next the the fireplace in the "hallway" to provide a wall for your TV unit to be positioned.
    I would then reorient the couch to face both the fireplace and the TV. That way, you no longer have to look at the curved wall everyday as you watch TV, and it will blend into the background as your back will be to the wall as you sit on the couch.
    Having the couch positioned facing the fireplace will also invite guests into the space from the front door, rather than the TV being the first thing you see when you enter the room.

    Leeny thanked Charissa Stuart
  • Raewyn Perry

    If you hate it - change it. Paint, render, lime wash - whatever gives you a wall that you are happy to live with. So many people have said they love the bricks - leave them, but you dont like them, (I dont either)so change them. There is nothing worse than walking into a room and something in it jars you. Yes it might be a feature but it can still be a feature, just a different colour or finish and one that you like and can work with. Find an interior designer that you like the work of, and get them to tell you what you can do. It wouldn't take long and not be very $. Sometimes you just need the advise of an expert to give you confidence.

    Leeny thanked Raewyn Perry
  • jordan flynn

    Do a interno lime wash as over time it will change colour to the temperature of the walls

    Leeny thanked jordan flynn
  • Warren Meade

    @leeny

    Firstly the way your lighting it is all wrong, render wall units anything, the wall is always going to be there,so make use of it.

    Run some led strip through the horizontal brick spaces ,your not going to see them because of their size but imagine the color shining out, use rgb with a dimmer and you make a statement instantly.

    The lights you have fitted change them to a double or triple head spot rail and use various degree globes, play with where you point them and how they cross each other, but the effect combined with the led would really make it pop.

    Leeny thanked Warren Meade
  • PRO
    WA WALLPAPER

    Sheet up the wall and cover with wallpaper, you have so many design choices to select from.

    Leeny thanked WA WALLPAPER
  • Dm Stan

    Leeny, the curved wall may not the prob.


    Maybe it’s the brick walls around the wood heater that take the room into the brick overkill zone. They also hide and squish what could be a great feature, and being enclosed may also restrict its effectiveness. But I’m guessing they’re structural - Y/N? If not, would the room be more open without them, or at least without the side walls of that alcove? If they need to stay, would cladding or covering them somehow reduce the dominance of bricks and give glory back to the curved wall instead??


    The straight telly on a curved wall would bug me. I love the solution Siriuskey posted, with the timber panelling behind the tv. Perhaps fiddle around in photoshop, PowerPoint (or any graphics software) to see what your room would look like with a panel for the tv, and the walls around the fire done in the same material. You can also play with the other suggestions about lighting and artwork etc. I find it an invaluable method of visualisation. It reduces the disappointment and risk of spending time and money on a result that your not really comfy with.

    Leeny thanked Dm Stan
  • Hung Nguyen

    Leeny, I believe that because of the massive size, your house wall is a real challenge but also a reward if you handle it well. To avoid being confused with contrasting ideas as you have seen in this forum, you need to study yourself how that kind of big wall has been handled before by design experts. You might treat that wall as a feature wall in a museum on which you might display objects of curiosity or interesting art items.

  • PRO
    WA Painters Pty Ltd

    Install a picture rail (divider) from the door frame height, then render the bottom half & paint or wallpaper. The top half you could age the bricks with lime-wash in an antique style. This will make the room cosy as you'll lose the cathedral effect if the bottom colour is dominant. That will give the best result economically. Here's a tip... There is a colour that will disappear in that room and that the one your after for the top and pick a complimentary colour for the bottom section.


    Without seeing the whole room, i can't recommend a colour.

    Hope that helps.

  • siriuskey

    Changing the colour or material on the brick wall doesn't/ won't work as you will just end up with a large painted, papered, rendered wall.

    Work with what you put into the room to help scale it, if you can't visualize it ask a local Architect/designer to call around and give you there thoughts, it will cost you but will save you from making expensive mistakes

  • julie herbert

    I think your wall is such a feature in itself, maybe if budget allows I think some fabulous curved furniture would look wonderful and highlight that wall, a designer lamp would set it off beautifully , you could go traditional but I think a modern look would look fabulous.

  • PRO
    WA Painters Pty Ltd




    As you can see in the pictures the room was unbalanced due to the Raked ceiling, a picture rail was installed and ceiling bought down to the rail to give the appearance of the room being square. A similar concept could work for you as your concern is the visual impact of the size of your wall.

  • siriuskey

    The picture rail looks great in that period house, this an 80's house, sorry WA, this is a stunning contemporary house and needs to work within that style.

  • Hung Nguyen


    Leeny,

    To illustrate the point that I made yesterday, in case you have plenty of books and weird and wonderful objects (and money to spend), your existing wall is ideal for a home library.


    Image source: Sarita Harbour, "11 "Novel" Ways to Design a Home Library," in bob vila, accessed May 28, 2019, https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/11-novel-ways-to-design-a-home-library-46524#book-nooks


  • Tui P

    grow an Ivy or put some tall plants up the side. love the space

  • Souzette Lovell

    I think WAs observation was astute in the sense of visual impact being balanced by a horizontal element at the Level 1, or somewhere the eye can relate to (but I wouldn't paint the wall)

    BTW this seems to be a very opinionated thread! Plenty of good ideas out there. I wonder how the Poster is coping with all of these ideas? Have you found the 'perfect' solution yet? Ha ha there is no such thing.....

  • PRO
    Billy Hoo Studio

    I love the drama of the brick wall and it is a major design feature of the house... however, there is a LOT of exposed brick with the fireplace surround also being exposed and you have mentioned you dont like the colour. Have you thought about covering up the other walls rather than this one, to tone down the brick work? I just wonder if you hate the amount of brick and you are taking it out on this wall because that's where it is concentrated while overlooking the rest of the house? Just food for thought... more food for thought. BTW I love the idea of hanging plants (though watering them might be a pain), I love the idea of a dramatic feature pendant and I also love the idea of the rug, all will soften or harmonise the drama.

    www.billyhoostudio.com

  • Alisa D

    You should hire an interior design to come up with a design for you to theme the room. This wall is an artwork it’s own right.

  • Alison Noble

    How about a round dining table in the space, with the dramatic pendant, a triptych on the brick wall. Then move the TV area into the dining area.


  • Alisa D

    So many options. Here are a few I found on google:

  • Alisa D

    Your kitchen and external sliding doors do not suit this room. I would a urban timber kitchen and redo the sliding doors first to maybe a timber stacker or timber bifold. The wall is amazing. You could do a white wash but you could achieve a very dramatic look without changing it at all.

  • amonymousanne

    I would move the lounge and TV into the area next to the kitchen , with the lower ceiling . Put a large baronial / Jacobean style dining suite next to the curved wall and a large hanging iron chandelier over , with iron wall sconces on the wall . Hang a very large rug or quilt in the centre .

  • Alisa D

    Add Windows?
    Redo the fireplace to double sided and mount the tv over fireplace?
    A custom designed couch to fit the wall?
    You have so many options.