Outdoor Look We Love: Herringbone Brick

Like tiles, bricks are subject to the whims and fancies of eras. Think of the white-painted brick of Shabby Chic-obsessed homes in the ’90s and minimalists today, or even the dark red brick ranches of the midcentury. But when bricks are used for paths and patios, it’s easy to stick to predictable, straightforward patterns.

That might be why the herringbone layout feels so fresh right now, even though it’s a style that’s been around for hundreds of years. It’s a little rarer to see, so it makes a big impression.

We’ve highlighted the exquisite backyard (shown above) of Catbird founder Rony Vardi’s Brooklyn home (as featured in Vogue) before, for its pristine stretch of grass and lush side gardens. The herringbone pattern helps break up the many rectangular forms in the yard.

Herringbone brickwork is common in the fantastic courtyard gardens in New Orleans, an age-old “trend” that’s expertly discussed in a post in Private Newport with Bettie Bearden Pardee.

It’s a pattern that’s stylish, yet has a distinct function. This Old House notes that dry-laid brick herringbone patterns have been used for centuries for the way it helps lock bricks in place.

Herringbone brick can also go modern, like in the streamlined outdoor space of The Shift Creative founder Alexis Andra, as seen in The Glitter Guide.

Herringbone has a classic feel in this gorgeous “Friendsgiving” outdoor table setting (styled by White Buffalo Styling Company and featured on Iron & Twine). It goes wonderfully with the simple outdoor furniture.

Aged brick adds interest to the herringbone path by Wild Ink Press. The differences in color and texture add “movement” to the path.

Muted gray bricks tone down the effect in this pathway by Rafterhouse. The color picks up the gray in the shutters and shingles for a cohesive look.

Herringbone brick isn’t limited to outdoor use. In an entryway by JacksonBuilt Custom Homes, the pattern adds an informal feel.

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