Cham-Inspired Brick Interiors

I have not kept my love

for all things stone and wood hidden from any of you, so it should not come as a surprise that I love interiors that have a touch of brick!

Red brick walls, yellow brick walls, painted white, green, pink…you name it! If a wall has a brick texture to it, I’m smitten.

I was browsing through some fabulous photos of my trip to Vietnam and was reminded of the wonderful time I had visiting the Po Nagar Towers in a small suburb near Nha Trang. These towers are ancient, and the best part is that they are constructed entirely out of BRICK! They were made during the 7th to 12th centuries and are still in tact for public viewing today (well, half of the towers are still standing, the others were destroyed by jealous, looting neighbouring countries).

The entrance to the Po Nagar Towers temple outside of Nha Trang, Vietnam.

A view of the modern city of Nha Trang, Vietnam in the distance.

The Cham (or Champa) civilization was responsible for the design and construction of these towers (they also produced a large chunk of the incredible sculpture and architecture that is admired throughout Southeast Asia). Over nearly 1500 years, the Cham civilization managed to invent impressive building techniques and bring incredible feats of architecture to life with minimal tools and resources.

Before I ramble on for hours about the Cham, let’s look at some of the photos of the Po Nagar Towers.

The Cham used high-quality bricks for the tower construction and rubbed the bricks smooth with a vegetable-based mortar. This resulted in the bricks having a seamless, joint-free appearance.

There is very little embellishment and surface decor at the Po Nagar Towers, but this bas relief sculpture is in great condition!

Brick is so underrated as a construction material. I love the sense of texture and repetition in shape that it has provided the Po Nagar Towers.

You can see from the above photos that when used correctly, brick can infuse a structure with a fair amount of texture. These photos got me thinking about my love for brick interiors. Here’s a few examples where brick has been successfully integrated into the overall design and decor concept.

Exposed brick makes for the perfect backdrop in any loft space. (Image courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com)

Unlike most brick interiors that tend to be industrial and masculine, this interior exudes femininity and grace. (Image courtesy of beachdreaming.wordpress.com)

I get giddy when I see brick and smoothly finished walls used together...love it! (Image courtesy of delsonsherman.com)

The white lamps and white artwork contrast nicely with this aged brick wall. (Image courtesy of designismine.blogspot.com)

The designer has fully embraced the exposed brick wall by installing decorative floating shelves...not an easy task. (Image courtesy of ihouse-designs.com)

An exposed brick wall suits any artist's studio perfectly in my mind. (Image courtesy of style-files.com)

This brick fireplace adds just the right amount of texture and history to this Charleston interior. (Image courtesy of mynottinghill.blogspot.com)

Surely these brick interiors would make the Cham proud! Like I’ve said before, inspiration can strike at any time, and now I’m glad I’ve taken so many photos of my travels because looking back on them often results in instant inspiration.

If you want to read more about the Po Nagar Towers and the Cham civilization, click HERE to read the article I wrote for ZOUCH Magazine & Miscellany.

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7 Comments

  1. I’m here! Had a weird thing with my laptop not letting me visit your site for a while. It was sad. I missed my {fake/virtual} travels via P2D!

    I love textured walls too! I recently put real brick veneer into a commercial project {and I was totally jealous it was not my home} – it really adds so much charm and character!

    Great post, and happy to be back! ;)

  2. Sorry about the lack of functionality, Staci. There was a problem with the hosting company I used being hacked…I’m touched that you missed stopping by :)

    I love brick facades and have experimented with a faux stone veneer for a client too, although she decided against it last minute. What company did you use for the brick veneer??

  3. I visited the Pho Nagar towers! Such an inspiring post. I picked my office because of the exposed brick walls! Keep writing great posts! I LOVE reading them!

  4. I am a huge fan of exposed brick walls. I will have my Victorian row house with brick walls one day!! Too bad your client didn’t go ahead with the faux stone veneer. I’m sure it would have looked amazing. And the Pho Nagar towers look incredible…I would love to explore there.

  5. Thanks, Shannon :) I know you love brick walls too – what’s not to love?! Pho Nagar were really great to visit in person, they were such a strange chunk of history set in a modern city (dare I say much like some of the modern city lofts with exposed brick??). Pretty cool :)

  6. Our sunroom has two exposed brick walls. We are so glad to have gone that route. It adds a little outside to the inside.

  7. Love your site…
    It’s funny to hear you say ” I have not kept my love for all things stone & wood secret”. I am so moved by brick walls. I should be living in a loft in New York.
    My obsession continues to metal colors. The colors you see on cars. Gray toned things. I call one color sucked out grape. You know the color you get (black grapey gray) when you suck the juice out of a grape popsicle? Gray green is another.
    We entered a bar in CanCun & all I could remark on, was the color of the bar seats….sick huh? Inspiration is inspiration!

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