Photo courtesy Mary Bryant Smith

Designer tip: Mary Bryant Smith on brick’s big comeback

Old brick, salvaged from older structures, has long been a staple in Louisiana architecture, says Mary Bryant Smith, owner of M.B. Smith Designs. And while brick has remained a constant in exterior applications, she says, its use in interiors has waned over the years. These days, though, it seems to be making a comeback.

“As opposed to the ubiquitous white subway tiles, the warmth, texture and aged finish that old brick can provide is appealing to homeowners,” says Smith. “It’s particularly good in kitchens where it can be used effectively as a backsplash, on entire walls or even as flooring. Old brick can also be seen in bathroom tubs and showers. And then of course there are fireplace walls, arches, columns and regular flooring.”

As far as upkeep goes, Smith says that any maintenance worries can be solved using a matte brick sealer. “It retains the look and finish but makes the old brick impervious to stains and eliminates any dust from crumbling mortar,” she says.

To learn more about Smith and her designs, visit