Jun 012018

Last month we wrote about the classic elegance of white brick as a design option. In keeping with that topic, here are some photos we recently received of a basement fireplace project from FauxPanels.com customer Joe Zitoli — demonstrating what a huge difference faux white brick can make.

Joe’s fireplace makeover reinforces how classic elegance and clean aesthetics combine when you use brick panels with a crisp, white finish.

Faux white brick fireplace lightens up a basement.

AFTER: Joe’s faux white brick fireplace looks incredible

Joe wanted to do something to add some character and charm to his finished basement. Basements are always a notoriously difficult space to decorate appropriately, as the lack of natural light, intrusive design features like columns and the low (often suspended) ceiling limit the number of options available.

The highlight of his basement is a fireplace inserted into the far wall – and Joe saw it as an opportunity to transform the living space. He envisioned added a classic brick front to the fireplace, pairing it with a nice bit of molding and a reclaimed wood accent wall in the nook behind.

But in addition to being expensive and impractical to install, the problem with using traditional red brick was that it simply did not work in the space available. It was too dark, and would make the low-ceilinged basement oppressive. Fortunately, there are plenty of examples of how to tackle that problem within the pages of modern design magazines and shows on HGTV and the DIY Network, and it was from them that Joe had the inspiration to install white brick.


In addition to maintaining the light color scheme, white brick was a common mid-century design aesthetic, so it promised to make Joe’s fireplace look original to the house and even more realistic.

Having reached that decision, Joe found the finish he wanted on our website. He ordered Regency Old Chicago Brick panels in the Glacier finish – which is a purer white in contrast to the off-white Caramel or darker Mixed Twilight finish.

Installation was fairly simple. The panels can be installed directly onto the existing drywall with construction adhesive and screws, and in this case the only challenges were cutting the panels to fit around the installed fireplace, and to end them level with the shelf of the built-in nook.

Joe finished the project by adding molding along the top, which could be screwed right through the polyurethane panels into the studs beneath – and in a matter of hours the basement was transformed. The additional details, like the reclaimed wood accent will in the nook itself, just reinforced the realism of the panels, and completed the final look. Joe’s basement went from bland and boring to something you might expect to find in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens.

Ultimately it wasn’t the most expansive or ambitious of panel makeovers – but the best-looking ones rarely are. Joe’s fireplace was elegant in it’s simplicity – and the fact that our panels are available with a fire-rated option just adds another reason why they were so perfect for this project.

Apr 272018
White Brick Veneer: A Smart Design Choice

Why would you choose white brick veneer for your home design? There are many smart reasons. One of the primary seasons our panels are the best on the market is that we finish them beautifully. We use a multi-layer coloring process that protects them from the elements and UV light, but also produces a realistic, Read More…

Apr 062018
White Brick Fireplace: DIY Build with Faux

This white brick fireplace looks so realistic, even we did a double-take when we saw the pictures. Realism is one of the defining characteristics of our faux stone, brick and wood panels. This is because we design them using molds taken from natural materials – capturing every tiny three-dimensional detail from real aged timbers, authentic Read More…

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Ready for its Close-Up: Movie Set Design with Faux Brick

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May 212017
Real Brick vs Brick Veneer: Which Is Best?

One of the phrases we hear most often from customers is that our products are “better than the real thing.” They’re certainly more affordable, versatile and easier to install, but are they the right choice for your design? Today we take a closer look at real brick vs brick veneer. Brick is one of the most Read More…

May 202016
Seen on PBS' Make it Artsy: Craft Corner with a Brick Accent Wall

A craft corner built on PBS’ Make it Artsy included a brilliant accent wall created with our Old Chicago Brick panels. For years, crafty fans devoured the hit PBS show Scrapbook Soup, to the point that they started to run out of scrapbooking ideas, and investigated other cool, easy and low-budget crafting projects. This led to Read More…

Apr 012016
Accenting a Restaurant's Menu Board with Red Brick Veneer

Hot Harry’s in Pittsfield, MA made their menu board look even more delicious with red brick veneer. Burritos are one of the most marvelous culinary inventions in the world – and if you live in America’s northeast, it’s a commonly known fact that some of the best of them are to be found at Hot Harry’s Fresh Read More…

Oct 162015
Historic Restaurant Restoration with the Look of Brick

A restaurant owner restores his popular steakhouse with a touch of old school class using brick veneer panels. Sometimes, the best fauxpanels.com stories are ones you stumble on accidentally – like the other night, when a friend and I were watching the UFC match ups at a local steakhouse in New Jersey. This beautiful old Read More…

Jul 242015
Tiny House Design with Timeless Appeal

Could artificial brick or stone panels be the key to tiny house design? Tiny Houses are all the rage at the moment. The concept of extremely-small-square-footage living has been around for a while, but has exploded in popularity in recent years. There’s even a TV show about it – Tiny House Nation. And like with all Read More…