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Using White Stone & Brick to Brighten Spaces

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

If you keep up with interior design, you’ve definitely seen white stone and brick featured in magazines and online. They both create attractive backgrounds to offset other elements in the room and can make a statement on their own—it’s no wonder people love to incorporate this look into homes of all styles! Whether you’re shopping for a simple fireplace, a backsplash, or a whole wall, here are some things to keep in mind to help you select the perfect white stone or white brick for your home.

Eldorado Stone RoughCut in Casa Blanca

The rugged limestone texture of RoughCut® stone can add personality to any space. When you select the Casa Blanca color—which is light with subtle warm and cool tones—and use white mortar, the effect is surprisingly chic.

Consider Color Blends

White does not have to mean stark white—you’ll find a huge spectrum of white-adjacent hues and products with a mix of tones on each and/or across pieces. You can choose to go bold with pure white or a white-based blend with extreme contrast, or create a softer look with subtle variation. In any case, the stone or brick should be light enough to really stand out against furnishings if you want the striking effect seen in design photography. If you prefer a more traditionally homey vibe, opt for a product with enough neutral color to mesh with your paint, furniture, etc. Just let the stone or brick be the highlight of the room; if it’s darker than the surroundings, it can look dingy instead.

Don’t forget to take mortar into account! Select a matching color for a more uniform aesthetic. A bit of contrast provides definition, and you can add a striking pattern to the application if you choose dark mortar that stands out against the white. Of course, this only applies for brick and some types of stone; you don’t have to worry about mortar color for dry stack stone because it won’t be visible. Most designers leave high-contrast applications to contemporary homes because they espouse strong style and lines. Traditional homes usually have more decorative pieces to take in, and a muted backdrop works better for that. Whatever you choose, make sure it works with the whole picture and doesn’t overwhelm the space.

Cultured Stone Cultured Brick Veneer - Handmade Brick

Cultured Brick® Veneer - Handmade Brick in Canvas™ helps prevent this small covered patio from closing in. Want something with a bit more depth? The Titanium™ color has just a very light gray tint to it!

Factor In Shadows

Even pure white stone has visible variation when you consider how light affects the surface. A textured or uneven face creates shadows, and depending on the angle, strength, and color of the light (warm or cool) acting on it, the stone may look very different in your home than it does in the showroom. A lot of homeowners love the natural look of varied stone and the dynamic effect it creates throughout the day, but if you’re not sure about it, get some samples! Once you see some options in the conditions of your home, you’ll appreciate how different they can look and have an easier time settling on the right one.

If you don’t want the variability of shadows or to add any darkness to your space, opt for brick or a smooth, blocky stone. They offer a more consistent look and are the best choice when brightening the room is your main goal. You also have more control over the final results whether you opt for a true white or off-white color. A lot of smooth-faced types of stone and brick still have some texture—they aren’t smooth like tile, but level across the surface—so it’s still a good idea to get samples and see what speaks to you.

Eldorado Stone Longitude24 and Vantage30

The back wall of this game room features large blocks of Longitude24 in Snowdrift and narrower lines of Vantage30 in White Elm. Varying stone sizes and textures creates a unique design for a statement wall, even in white.

Compare Sizes

The size of stone and brick also affects the overall picture. For instance, the smaller the piece, the more pronounced any variation/shadows will be across the whole application and the more mortar will show, if applicable. Large-face stone covers the wall in fewer pieces and its greater breadth shows its color more faithfully. It also has a more industrial look to it, because it reminds of blocks of limestone like those used for buildings and monuments. Similar products in the exact same shade of white could look very different once installed depending on the size of the pieces, so make sure you like the color on the exact product you’re looking at. When in doubt, ask for a professional recommendation based on your design goals!

If you’re in the market for stone and brick accents, take a look at Eldorado Stone and Cultured Stone®. They both offer a wide catalog including a variety of white stone and brick products, and inspiration galleries to help you find what you like based on real-life images. Whatever architecture you have to work with and design goals you aspire to, you’ll find gorgeous veneer to complete your home!