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Brick is one of the oldest building materials. People have been using bricks to build roads, courtyards, walls, and plazas for millennia. If you want to enhance the feel of your outdoor space, here is how you can bring a traditional look to your Wheaton, IL, backyard with a brick patio.
Why Use Brick?
A brick patio is beautiful, durable, beautiful, filled with character, and can complement virtually any design style. Indeed, a brick patio can work equally well in an ultramodern or traditional setting—no matter what the style you have in place, the look of brick will add stately charm to your home!
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A Traditional Appearance
Traditional doesn’t necessarily mean formal. Brick inherently adds a time-worn look to your outdoor space. The feel that you will achieve depends on the colors you use, the size of the material, and the laying patterns. Ultimately, the hardscape features that include the look of brick possess a sophisticated aesthetic.
If you don’t love “brick red” as a landscaping theme, you can opt for lighter buff-colored bricks, sophisticated light grays, chocolate brown, or charcoal. When choosing a color, consider matching the roof of your home. If your home already has brick siding, it may be difficult to match the color exactly, in which case match the roof, or make a bold statement by going with a contrasting color.
Adding contrasting borders or accents adds visual interest while still retaining a traditional feel. Since the choice of brick can make a project seem already somewhat busy due to each brick’s small size and the many joint lines that will be created, you can minimize a visually cluttered feel by choosing no more than three colors for your outdoor space: a primary field color, plus one or two accent colors that you can use on borders or as special shapes within the field.
However, don’t feel that you must add a contrasting border or accents. Brick is so interesting in itself, that simply altering the laying pattern (such as when transitioning from a walkway to a patio) creates variety and character.
Sizes and Shapes
To achieve an old-world brick feel (think Amsterdam), opt for traditional brick shapes. These come in a variety of sizes, which is an important design consideration. Smaller bricks can help make a huge space feel more human-sized while larger bricks make a driveway or patio feel more substantial.
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On old European roads and plazas, bricks are typically laid in a running bond or herringbone pattern. But you aren’t restricted to these two standbys. A basket weave pattern also gives you the old-world and a visually more substantial feel. Bricks laid in linear patterns must be carefully positioned since outdoor living spaces rarely feature perfectly straight lines. You can avoid this challenge by laying the brick at a 45-degree angle to your home.
Circular or fan-shaped laying patterns are also commonly used in ancient European cities and while more difficult to lay (since bricks must be cut and precisely positioned) they could give your outdoor space a panache that linear laying patterns just can’t match.
A good border enhances the look of your brick patio, and it also prevents bricks from shifting. The simplest borders involve laying border bricks at a 90- or 45-degree angle to the field bricks, but bricks give you many options to create interesting and functional borders.