When building a new home, lighter colored brick gives you a wider range of choices in accent colors and materials, according to builder Brian Disney. He just completed his own home and we spoke with him about how he designs and guides his clients.

Brian Disney has first-hand experience with the physical work of home construction as a framer and he’s also mastered the aesthetic side of things, designing dwellings and helping clients choose their colors, styles and materials.

Disney grew up in home construction. His parents’ business, Disney Homes, has been building in and around Greensboro, NC for over three decades so he learned how to frame a house early.

Outdoor entertainment center almost ready, as Brian Disney prepares to move in to his new home.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina in 2005, Disney worked for a time with his family’s company and also started a framing and woodworking business–honing his skills from the floor up–and eventually started expanding into remodeling, and finally new home construction.

Today, running Brian Disney Homes, Disney’s focus has expanded from nailing the frame to total home design which includes spending a lot of time helping his clients get what they want in a new home.

“I have plenty of customers that come in and have a color scheme and know what they want and it’s just my job to implement it,” said Disney. “But I also have lots of customers who don’t have any starting point whatsoever and part of my job is to help steer them.”

Chesapeake Pearl and other lighter colored brick pare well with darker trim and metals.

Disney takes a foundation-up approach to home design. Brick–used in almost all of his homes–is one of the first color and style decisions he helps his clients make. And he suggests some research first.

“You know, there are so many different combinations of brick and roofs and trim, I definitely encourage people to look online and drive around and take some pictures to give me an idea of where their tastes are,” said Disney.


French country homes in modern renditions are popular now in Disney’s market. This includes lighter colored brick and mortar. For this, some clients want painted brick while others prefer brick with a lot of white already in it. Disney’s own recently completed home – featured here – uses Chesapeake Pearl brick, part of our Tidewater collection.

“For me, I’m going to go that direction,” said Disney. “And when I do the white mortar, I’m probably going to go white on the soffit and all the eaves and probably incorporate a bronze gutter into that, just to kind of soften the white. Then you can go with a bronze or white window.”

Chesapeake Pearl actually has a lot of color in its highlights.

This  approach makes the color and material choices for the rest of the home a little easier, because so much can complement lighter colored brick.

“There’s been a lot more use of the of lighter colored bricks like Chesapeake Pearl and Oyster Pearl,” said Disney. “Personally, I liked these colors because you can really incorporate any style or color with them and it’s going to work.”

Disney explains you can choose green shutters and a gray roof or you can go with brown roofs and with tan shutters. You can include all kinds of variations with the lighter colored brick and it doesn’t conflict with the façade of the home.

Chesapeake Pearl changes beautifully with the light. Note here in sunlight and shadow.

Still, it’s not all white brick, for Brian Disney Homes. Disney also builds with more traditional brick colors. Not far from his own French county home, he’s recently completed townhomes using Old Yorktown, a traditional historic red sand brick broken up with chocolate accentuation to add depth on a tumbled texture. He’s paired this with khaki mortar. When using red brick and earth tones, the scope of complementing colors is a little more narrow. The townhomes have Disney’s signature style, like his own home, only in a darker palette.

“We do use a lot of earth tone brick, but there’s a smaller margin for error within this because you’ve got to incorporate the right colors with that to make them work,” said Disney.

With the Disney townhomes, there’s less accent and more uniformity. Old Yorktown blends well with tan windows, tan soffit and bronze shutters which coordinate nicely with a charcoal roof. The khaki mortar, the windows and the soffit are all in the same color family.

“White brick is my personal favorite,” said Disney. “But when I build with earth tone brick, I tend to lean toward kind of embracing the more earthy colors overall.”

For Disney’s own home, with its “clipped gable” roof feature and peaked dormers, he achieved a style that evokes a French chateau, for which the Chesapeake Pearl brick with stone accents couldn’t be a better choice.