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As the holiday season approaches, your historic home provides a unique canvas for festive decorations. The timeless beauty of exposed brick walls offers an exceptional backdrop for holiday cheer. Before affixing anything to your interior brick walls, care should be taken to ensure the condition of the brick and mortar is suitable for hanging your treasures. 

Once you know it’s okay to move ahead, hanging items on brick takes a little more care than it does on more modern materials. The right holiday décor for your fireplace and walls will bring out the inherent beauty of the historic brick itself even more.

The Art of Interior Tuckpointing in Historic Brick Homes

Unlike modern builds, historic brick homes do not always have an underlying support system. The brick walls themselves are more than aesthetic features; they are the backbone of the structure. As such, it’s important to schedule inspections at regular intervals to determine the soundness of the brick and whether tuckpointing might be necessary to ensure the stability of your house. Before hanging holiday decorations on your brick walls, it would be wise to consult with an expert, especially if there are visible signs of spalling or crumbling.

Tuckpointing, the process of renewing mortar joints, requires historically accurate techniques and materials rather than modern alternatives. This specialized work is vital to preserving your historic brick home's unique character and structural integrity. Interior tuckpointing will maintain your walls and give you clean, crisp mortar lines. You’ll appreciate the beauty of an old brick backdrop with the stability of a fresh install.

Hanging Holiday Décor with Care

With your brick at its best, you can adorn your historic home to your heart’s delight with garlands, wreaths, and other festive decorations. When dealing with interior brick walls, remember the golden rule: respect the brick.  For lighter items, use high-quality, easily removable stick-on hangers on the walls. Light to midweight items can be hung from the mortar, provided they are secured by proper support anchors. Choose your hanging methods wisely since anchoring something into the mortar will leave a permanent hole.

For heavier items, use masonry anchors and screws placed at the center of the bricks. This is a permanent solution, so the trick is to make paper templates of the items you’ll showcase all year and move the paper cutouts around until you’re happy with how they look. Once your everyday things are accounted for, you can swap them out for your favorite seasonal décor over the holidays.

Decorating Your Brick Fireplace for the Holidays

The fireplace in a historic brick home is a perfect centerpiece for holiday gatherings and festivity. Consider lush garlands interspersed with natural seasonal foliage, pinecones, and aromatic cinnamon sticks. Additional elements like vintage tree ornaments, old-style candles, hand-tied bows and seasonal artwork provide a multi-dimensional ambiance.

Safety around your fireplace is paramount. Ensure that your decorations are secure and pose no fire hazard. If your fireplace is operational, skip any greenery that dries out, like real evergreens, and use potted plants instead. To further minimize fire hazards, don’t drape or swag anything over the mantle, as it could catch a stray spark. Finally, use reproduction vintage candles with LED lights instead of real flame. Today’s flameless candles are so well made that there’s no need to take unnecessary risks to achieve the look you desire.

Celebrating the Holidays in Historic Elegance

Decorating your historic brick home for the holidays is more than just an aesthetic endeavor—it's about preserving and celebrating its legacy. From the careful tuckpointing of its walls to the thoughtful adorning of your fireplace, each step you take contributes to the story of your home. As you decorate this holiday season, consider blending the Victorian grandeur of the past with contemporary cheer, honoring your home’s heritage and creating a warm, inviting space for making new memories.

Contact Renaissance Development for a complimentary consultation or for any other advice you may need regarding your historic brick home in DC. Working with our expert team upon completion of the evaluation, you'll be able to make informed decisions about renovations and repairs, while preserving the structural and historic integrity of your old brick home.

Download Free Homeowner's Guide to Tuckpointing

Post by Christina Wilson
Dec 7, 2023 8:45:00 AM