Ceilings: 'Beam'ing Up

Anyone watch the Oscar's last night?  What an evening!  I'm not sure how I felt about the actual show layout.  The singing and dancing for the introduction was a bit long and strange.  What about you, did you like the introduction?  A big congrats to all the winners!  


Back to my post, lately I've been thinking about ceiling beam designs.  Beams are an extra detail that creates interest in a space as well as add warmth.  Drawing your eyes up, it's a great way to make sure you see every detail in the space.


Vining Design Associates


Originally beams were used to support the floor joists that are found overhead, and enable the ceiling joists to span larger areas.  Beams helped hold the weight a ceiling could carry and by helping support the ceiling the beams create a decorative element in the space.  Not only were beams used for practical function, but also by being a practical element, they became an aesthetic function.



When installing beams, there are many options: lay the length of the room, criss-cross, following the cathedral ceiling, pattern, etc.  There are many ways to finish the beam: rustic hand-hewn, stained, painted, trimmed, etc.


Murphy & Co via


Great natural stained beams in the living room of homeowner's Bobby Houston and Eric Shamie

Country Living, photographer John Gruen

Designer: Shawn Henderson

House Beautiful, photographer Quentin Bacon

Vining Design Associates

Reclaimed wood beam accents in this white kitchen and framing the opening.  Designer: Nancy Fishelson

Country Living, photographer Keith Scott Morton

Designer Norm Wogan's living room has stained beams for an extra touch.

Traditional Home, photographer Werner Straube

Designer: Larry Laslow and Tony Greifin-Stein

Elle Decor


Designer Huff-Dewberry

Traditional Home, photographer Emily Followill

Designer: Fern Santini

House Beautiful, photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo

Vining Design Associates

Designer: John Richert

Elle Decor




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