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Set the Tone with Dark Stone & Brick

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Even if white and light-colored stone and brick seem to be all the rage these days, there are still plenty of opportunities for darker options to stand out. Take a step back and consider the whole picture—dark backgrounds help other design elements pop, and they can help give a space or façade a more nuanced ambiance. Here are some ways you can make a beautiful statement with dark stone and brick!

Eldorado Stone Stacked Stone in Chapel Hill

This bedroom features Stacked Stone in Chapel Hill® around the fireplace. The coarse edges and natural brown/gray hues help give the space a rugged feel that complements its natural coziness.

A Rustic Touch

Look around the natural world and you’ll see that most rocks in the environment are dark colors. Unless you live somewhere with light sandstone or near a quarry with white marble, almost everything is a deep shade of gray. This is especially true in areas with relatively recent volcanic history, because igneous rock deposits are often black. That’s why stone profiles for the Pacific Northwest are much darker than those for other regions around the United States. Wherever you live, though, the natural stone around you probably isn’t lightly colored.

Why does this matter? Because older homes were built using the materials immediately available, which means that most feature dark stone. By extension, traditional architectural styles often look fantastic with this aesthetic. Using dark stone around a fireplace creates a cozy and rustic ambiance ideal for cottage, colonial, and old-fashioned farmhouse designs. If you’ve ever seen a renovation of an older house that replaced the original fireplace surround with a lighter one, you’ll know just how much color can update and modernize the whole interior; doing the opposite creates the impression of a warmer, more inviting space and can add a time-worn feel. Don’t be afraid to go dark if this matches your design goals!

Eldorado Stone TundraBrick in Ironside

An accent wall of TundraBrick® in Ironside provides some patterned structure in this simply designed loft. The dark color projects a more aged and established feel than a lighter one would.

The Industrial Vibe

If you’ve ever explored any old manufacturing districts, you’ve seen plenty of brick buildings and stone retaining walls. Most are dark in color given the materials used at the time of construction and how the elements have aged them over the decades. Many of these buildings have been divided into lofted open-concept apartments, and if there’s one thing the real estate agents want left alone, it’s the authentic exposed brick.

Whether a deep ruddy brown or a smokey gray, old brick offers character like nothing else can. It’s often at the top of wish lists in areas transitioning from industrial to residential, and landlords won’t usually allow any whitewashing or painting over it. Most of these properties have very spacious and bright designs otherwise, allowing the brick to stand out as an accent, and light brick colors look very stark and clinical in comparison. If you have a modern or contemporary home and don’t want your space to feel cold and blown out with white all around, a wall of dark brick can help anchor your design. Of course, it also makes a great choice in traditional urban settings like townhouses, and you can always branch out to a clean-cut stone profile if you want a more natural finish.

Eldorado Stone Ledgecut33 in Sage

Paired with wood built-ins, LedgeCut33® in Sage goes beyond the fireplace to give this modern living space a unique highlight of overlapping natural elements with clean lines and square edges.

An Edgy Design

When light colors seem like the automatic go-to, you might be hesitant to invest in dark stone or brick. Lean into that feeling and be bold with your choices! High-contrast design schemes are some of the most unique, but they don’t have to be intimidating. In fact, using dark stone makes it easier—the highs and lows of the surface and varied color blends soften the overall impression, so it’s not like painting a wall in a similar solid hue. Dark colors also complement mixed materials beautifully, giving you even more opportunity to add nuance to the space. Whether you want to balance with wood built-ins, offset white furniture or fixtures, or even go with a two-tone stone or brick pattern, make sure to give dark colors some thought.

Take a look at the range of stone and brick profiles available from Eldorado Stone! They have beautiful veneer for every style, and you’ll find plenty of color variation across the whole catalog and even within the same product—so don’t judge anything by the default image you see first. Their site allows you to sort by color categories if you already have something in mind, but they also offer concierge design services if you’d like professional recommendations. Whatever your design vision, Eldorado Stone can help you complete it!