While the thought of exposed brick might call to mind a hole-in-the-wall Italian bistro, there are a lot of ways that this classic look can be incorporated into a modern space. The five homes in this post range from the dark and sleek to sunny and welcoming but each uses the unique texture and feel of exposed brick to create a space that’s truly special.

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The first home we are featuring is a residence local in Prague, from designer Angelina Alekseeva. Unlike some spaces that leave just one wall in exposed brick for effect, this one keeps the rough red bricks out in the open on multiple walls. The look contrasts with the smooth, finished wood floors and highly modern furnishings for a trendy ‘unfinished’ feel.

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The softness of the neutral furniture and the hard walls and floors makes it that much easier to settle in on the sofa or the cozy built in seating next to the indoor fire pit.

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The second home is from designer Howard Chu and uses a few different tactics to incorporate bare brick, including one accent wall with the drywall broken away for precisely that Italian bistro look we spoke of earlier.

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The brick carries over very successfully into the home office area that features chevron striped hardwood flooring. There is no better pairing, it seems, then hardwood flooring and exposed red bricks.

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The rest of the home is noticeably smooth, from hardware-less cabinetry to sleek track lighting and glistening granite countertops.

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Our third example comes from designer Elena Arsenteva. It’s not too difficult to draw some parallels between this space and the first one we saw. Both feature soft gray furnishings and smooth, light wood floors along with exposed brick accents. This apartment, however, has a much more industrial loft feel, with none of the luxury trappings of the first option, just a simple kitchen and cozy living room.

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For a bit more vibrancy, we can turn to this fourth dwelling from designer and architect Vladimir Bolotkin. The red accents really bring the warm industrial vibe in this apartment to life. The same can be said for the creatively textured area rug and pops of yellow in the furniture.

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The floating bookshelves, which look like little more than precariously stacked books against the wall, cannot go unnoticed here.

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The exposed brick in the modern bathroom is subtle but extremely effective in giving the area a little push towards old world charm and keeping it from feeling too minimalist.

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The fifth and final apartment makes much more polished use of exposed brick. The accent wall in the living room is yes, unfinished, but the brick is perfectly even and smooth, making it sleek yet textured.

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