When designing a new home or updating an existing space, there is a lot to think about. People can spend hours mulling over paint colors, hardware options, cabinetry finishes, and other details, but one aspect that is sometimes overlooked is the ceiling.
The ceiling is just as much a design opportunity as elements such as light fixtures or flooring. It can be an unexpected focal point, drawing visitors’ attention upward and adding character to a space.
What is one of Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource’s favorite ways to add architectural interest to a ceiling? Exposed beams. Their original purpose was functional back when timber frame construction was popular. With new technology, it became commonplace to conceal beams, but now, many homeowners are opting to incorporate beams, whether faux or functional, for their aesthetic appeal and charm.
Exposed beams are a detail that can complement any style. Opt for reclaimed barn beams with authentic patina and distress marks to achieve a rustic aesthetic. Don’t have access to antique beams? Incorporate new beams that are made to look old – hand-distressing, sanding and custom staining. Do you have a more modern home? Perhaps, you want to include exposed steel beams. Or maybe a warm wood beam is the perfect contrast to other contemporary elements.
Beams are an opportunity to add visual weight and can help ground a space, adding warmth and texture to make a room feel cozier. For instance, a room with vaulted ceilings can sometimes feel large and cavernous. Exposed beams can help scale a living area to create more intimacy. They can also help emphasize architectural details that may be overlooked.
Oftentimes, if a load-bearing wall is removed to open up a room, a microlam header is used to support the structure. Beams can conceal these less attractive details. Bonus – they help keep spaces open yet separate, delineating rooms and adding visual interest rather than having one open space.
As we touched on earlier, exposed beams can add warmth and variation to a space. They help soften the formality of a room, and they create dimension, elevating a design without overdoing it.