Leave it: This stunning room by Amy Lau is the perfect example of brick considered sinful to paint. Gray-toned brick is a favorite for designers since it often serves as a springboard for sophisticated palettes. Keep in mind that grey brick is pretty much always worth leaving untouched. To make ID'ing brick easier, check out this brick style guide.
Tie: Red brick—the gray area of the brick world. While gray brick is neutral, red is limiting when it comes to styles and color schemes. For homeowners more into texture than color, red brick can be worked with by keeping adjoining walls white, then going minimal with decor. If you're like me and you love a tight palette, it's wise to paint red brick a light color that works well with your other choices. This space is the perfect example of untouched red brick done right.
Paint it: Heavy brick in a space with limited light creates a man cave. Painting the brick white immediately makes the space brighter.
Paint it: In a space like this with to-die-for beams, a brown or red brick fireplace can detract from the stunning craftsmanship above. Going with the same white as the walls allows the texture to sing without disrupting the soothing flow of the space.
Leave it: Rustic, textured brick floors are your friend, especially in a mud room or entryway. Why? They pretty much hide almost all dirt. Paint these babies white and say hello to a life of ulra-dirty floors.
Paint it: When a low, brick fireplace lacks any other element of architectural detail, paint it white and let the actual fire do the talking. Here's a video on how to paint brick.
Paint it: Super dark brick hallways, unless made of grey brick, can often seem Silence-Of-The-Lambs-ish. Unless you're willing to invest in UH-MAY-ZING lighting and fine art, paint dark brick hallways white to liven up the space and allow yourself to create a bold palette such as black and white. This is also a great way to experiment with your inner Dorothy Draper. Don't know who she is? Shame on you! Read about her style here.
Paint it: Brick spaces made for kids and play can be made much more fit for little ones with white paint and bold, colorful furniture and accessories.
Paint it: A renovated house updated for a more contemporary look can still hold dated elements if dark brick isn't addressed. In this case, a simple white update erases the idea that this brick wall ain't a "new" part of the home's new look.