Design trends and the influence of brick
In recent years, these sharp architectural lines have become blurred. Our more mobile society has resulted greater migration rates of individuals from region to region, bringing with them their lifestyle and design preferences. “The national trend in architecture is now more European and old world looking,” says Georgia Ericson, a residential designer and founder of Main Street Designs, LLC. “Municipalities are requiring more masonry on exteriors because they have discovered that neighborhoods with these features hold their value better over time. Architects, therefore, are bring back styles with masonry, stone, brick and colors, like French country, English Tudor and Victorian.”
Until recently, color choices for masonry, stone and brick features were fairly limited, but this is changing thanks to advances in manufacturing and production processes. Boral Bricks recently introduced new color palettes that match their brick selections to other parts of the home by providing paint recommendations for primary, secondary, trim and accent areas, as well as other materials. They worked with Ericson – a noted color expert – on the development of these palettes, as well as the expansion of their regionally produced colors into other markets. “We are seeing a growing number of requests for more vibrant colors in cities across the country,” Ericson explains. “Customers are tired of tan and brown and green; they want to set themselves apart from everyone else.”
It’s not easy for a manufacturer to make large-scale changes to their production processes, but the experiment has paid off for Boral Bricks in terms of sales and customer satisfaction. New textures like Coastal Buff give the brick a weathered appearance, which fits well with the return to European-influenced architectural styles. The new selections have received rave reviews from customers, and Boral Bricks will likely expand their color and texture choices even more in the coming years.
|New textures like Coastal Buff give the brick a weathered appearance|
With a multitude of new color choices comes the problem of how to help a client decide on the one that best fits their style. A new mobile app from Boral Bricks called My Boral Bricks Designer gives designers the ability to customize their own color palettes and share color options with their clients on a tablet, rather than having to cart around heavy samples.
Designers and builders are taking advantage of these new customization options to build communities that appeal to the diversity of their buyers, and the results are communities that are more visually interesting and with more sustainable value over the years.