Mad About … Exposed Brick Walls

For some months now I have been looking at images of houses with exposed brick walls and dreaming … I don’t live in a loft so natural brick wouldn’t work for me but I would love to have white painted bricks in my kitchen. But my kitchen extension is built from breezeblocks, so even if I were inclined to spend more money ripping off the recently plastered walls, I still wouldn’t have any bricks to paint. And then I discovered Dreamwall.

white brick panels from Dreamwalls
white brick panels from Dreamwalls. Photo by Sophie Hitchens of

The brainchild of Hannah Coleman, Dreamwall, which is now 10 years old, is a system of panels that fix to the wall giving the effect of brick, slate or stone. Each panel is only 2cm thick and, here’s the clever bit, they are made from resin mixed from real marble powder so that they are cold to the touch – just like the real thing.

This house is available to hire as a location from
This house is available to hire as a location from photo by Sophie Hitchens

The panels lock together like a jigsaw and are simply bonded to the wall. Seemples. Hannah started Dreamwall from her spare bedroom. “I never set out to start up a business, it was originally a project idea for my own house,” she says.  “I had not long given birth to my daughter and wanted to create a loft style apartment in my then new-build property. Due to building regulations it was impossible to have a real rustic brick wall built and after  having no luck searching for a cladding system that would mimic the charm of a rustic brick wall, I decided with, help of my daughter’s father, to create our own prototype which was originally hand cast in the garage. It was only when it was installed that the light bulb came.”

Dreamwalls can supply panels in stone, slate or brick - painted or unpainted
Dreamwalls can supply panels in stone, slate or brick – painted or unpainted photo by Sophie Hitchens

Hannah’s business has gone from strength to strength in the last ten years and here are some gorgeous pictures of exposed brick walls to inspire you if you are thinking about getting the look but, like me, you don’t have the bricks.

image from digsdigs
image from digsdigs

This scheme is warmed up by the pops of bright green

image from
image from

Hannah managed to secure a grant from the Welsh business support agent Business in Focus and away she went.

image from

You can either choose the paint your own option or go for the rustic brick range, which, Hannah says, was inspired by all the mill and loft conversions dotted around the UK.

image from
image from

As well as homeowners, Hannah’s clients have included shops such as River Island, Fat Face and and Byron burger restaurant. Prices start around £90 for a five-piece pack covering around 2.19 sqm.

image from
image from Carl Hansen via

The white brick in this room has been warmed up with the addition of pink rugs and bedding

image from
image from

Here the simple white floorboards and brick walls allow the furniture and accessories to really stand out.


This room is layers of white but the owners have softened the bricks and the loft-style ceiling by adding lots of throws and a rug that looks very soft.

red brick wall
image from

These bricks are a little more rustic but somehow that make the bed feel all the more luxurious. If this is the look you want you better have amazing sheets and accessories or it might look like a squat.


But then again how about a grey wall? Hannah’s panels can be painted any colour you fancy.

image from
image from

To contact Hannah visit the Dreamwall website or call 01472 750552

And if you don’t fancy the “almost” real thing then you always go for a bit of trompe l’oeil with this fabulous wallpaper from Koziel from Rockett St George for £32 a roll.

brick wallpaper
koziel brick wallpaper also comes in white

To see more of this house at Light Locations or to enquire about arranging a shoot there click here

Tags : floorboardsgreyindustrial looklofts
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Hi, We are doing up an old house and getting a fairly modern handleless kitchen in in whiteish grey in the low units and full length tall units and a dark grey island. the wall behind the low units has the cladding off exposing the old brick, this is imperfect however as the windows had to be moved up . we would love to keep the exposed brick look but don’t know how to make it look ok? we would consider painting it but think white is too stark and new brick panels seem expensive! any thoughts? thanks

    1. Hi Olivia, your kitchen sounds great. When it comes to exposed brick I think it has to be either the natural colour or white. It doesn’t have to be bright white – try wimborne white by Farrow & Ball which is a lovely soft chalky colour. I didn’t quite understand why you would need to buy panels if you have bricks already, but if you don’t want those then there are lots of different wallpapers that might work. You can have brick, concrete, wrought iron. Anything you want really. Try Rockett St George which has a huge range including Mineheart, Andrew Martin and Piet Boon. I like the Brooklyn tiles I hope this helps.

  2. Hi

    I am very interested in the wall picture with the rolled top bath as it looks more rustic as the farmers panel I felt looked too red brick it may be the photo on your website.
    I am having a new kitchen fitted so my schedule is tight I have a chimney breast in my kitchen and wanted to take it back to the bear brick but having spoken to a sandblaster it was not going to be good.
    How do I go about getting a quote and do you fit too

    Cheers Sue

    1. Hi Sue, this is just the blog telling you about various things. If you want the panels suggested in this post you should click the links to talk to the person who supplies them. In this case Dreamwall who supply faux brick cladding in several finishes. Hannah will supply and fit for you. regards, Kate

    1. Hi Bobby, thank you so much. It’s a Smeg – in fact two next to each other. For many years we had a range cooker with one large and one small oven, but the small one wasn’t fan assisted and took so long to cook anything that we only ever used the larger one. So we decided to go for two standard size and put them next to each other. It works really well and we use both at the same time quite often – long slow stew a low temperature with baked potatoes at higher, or roast potatoes, or cake etc.

  3. I have brick walls painted white, yes they are great but now I want a change and add some more warmth without out a huge expense any ideas are appreciated.

    1. Hi Marci, well I guess all you can do is paint them if you want to keep the expense down. Have you thought about navy blue – that feels really modern and luxurious right now and will make a great contrast to the ruggedness of the bricks. Otherwise it’s a question of plastering over the top, which, depending on how many walls it is, will be the cost of a few days labour from the builder and then either you or them painting.

  4. Brilliant idea; thanks so much for writing about this and bringing it to light. I’m a big fan of exposed brick – I’ll definitely be buying some in the future 🙂

  5. I’ve been dreaming of beautiful brick walls whilst playing Duplo this morning! Love the idea of having texture but not sure I could handle knowing it was pretending – looks really good, though, and a great idea.

    1. I think because it’s marble and resin mix and feels cold to touch you would very quickly forget that it was pretending. I’m seeing a sample soon as I really want to have some in my kitchen… I’ll report back!

      1. Hi Kate, The red brick wall featured as a backdrop in the kitchen, (your 11th photo) is that from Dreamwall or somewhere else as i cant find that brickwork option on their website. Thanks in advance.

        1. Hi, it’s not from Dreamwalls, it might actually be real brick! But I know that Hannah is constantly updating her products so I have asked her if she has any plans for natural red brick walls. I’ll let you know as soon as she comes back to me…

          I have spoken to Hannah. There is a range called Farmer’s Brick and it will be on the site soon.

          1. Hi Hannah, thank you for your response. this may sound mad but have you just had the farmers panel installed at a Greggs Bakery in Bristol by any chance? the shop has just undergone a refurb and it looks like the examples on your website. do you know if this is your product by any chance? thanks for the reply.

      2. Hi Kate
        I’ve come to this discussion late, but I was wondering if you ever did get hold of the sample and what you felt about it, in terms of realistic-ness…? ( if you know what I mean?) I live in an old red sandstone in Glasgow and would need large brick panels to replicate what would be under our plastered walls. I’ve looked at the dreamwalls sillar, and wondering if you’ve seen first hand, what were your thoughts?

        1. I quite liked it. My other half did not! In a nutshell. It would definitely be more realistic than wallpaper. Having said that I have only seen the white. Not sure about the red brick version. I think you would need to see it to make your own mind up I’m afraid. x

          1. Thanks Kate, think I will need to order a good few samples to see the differences (although max is 3) – nnothing is quite the same when you see it pinned to the wall. So hard! Just don’t want a ‘fake’ look! ?

          2. If you don’t want fake then there are two options: either strip the plaster and do the real thing or go for something that really does look fake but in a more knowing way – wallpaper for example. That might be better than trying to fake the real thing. If that makes sense.

          3. Thanks for your follow up. Yes I get the ‘fake’ the fake thing, but the area will be one wall behind the cooker & sink and I wanted something more durable than paper. I’ve done white brick tiles previously and although I do (did) love them, I feel it’s a bit of a cliché now, sadly. I would be tempted to expose the brick but as my home is a draughty Victorian (Scottish) house, I’m reluctant as exposed brickwork is always cold isn’t it? Can I ask why your other half hated it? And also what are your thoughts on horizontal wooden panelling? Have you seen it in situ and did it look good? My wall height is approx 3m so can take something on a larger scale.

          4. So, he hated it because he can’t bear the fake fake thing. If he hadn’t issued the marital veto I probably would have had it. As for the brick tiles I think they have passed to classic status rather than cliche so you’re ok there if you like them. Having said all that I love tongue and groove. I have a friend who is about to do that in her kitchen and I’m furiously jelly (as the 14yo would say). I can’t attach a picture here but check out Plain English as they have done a couple with vertical panelling and they look great. There is one with white cladding and grey cupboards and one with black cupboards and the walls painted a little in black and then ivory above. Looks amazing.

    1. You’re very welcome Hannah. It’s a great idea which has led to a great product. Wishing you all the best for the next ten years.

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