CONSIDERING CEILING BEAMS IN ARCHITECTURE (AND IN MY OWN HOME)

I have a treat for you this week!  One of my recent projects is about to be published in Rue Magazine, so you'll be seeing the pictures and going behind the scenes with me for a breakdown of all my DIY tricks and tutorials at last!  You'll be the first to know as soon as it goes live, I promise.

One of the design riddles I've been puzzling over lately is how to incorporate just a bit of architectural detail into the ceiling design of my 1923 Spanish renovation.  We've decided to do away with any and all crown molding and let the beautiful lines of the Spanish arches and plaster walls speak for themselves.  I keep coming back to this inspiration image again and again.  I love every detail, down to the plaster hood above the stove, which I will definitely be replicating in my kitchen.

(all photos via)
 
 
See how the lack of molding and millwork allows that beautiful arch and the sculptural character of the hood to really shine?  I want to exercise a similar overall restraint in terms of ornamentation in my home's architecture.
 
But in two locations, the living room and the master bedroom, we have a pitched ceiling, and I'm just not crazy about how they look in plain drywall.  This is what I mean ...


In these areas I've been considering doing ceiling beams in a slightly textured, weathered finish.  These spaces below are in keeping with the style of my home and are really beautiful to me ...
 








On the threshold between the kitchen (which has a lower flat ceiling), and the living room (where the ceiling is high and pitched) I'm thinking that an exposed header beam like this will help make the transition to having ceiling beams in the living room ...



If you've been following me for awhile you might remember that I wrote an entire post about always painting dark wood ceilings white!  And for the record, I still feel that way, especially when there's lots of wood paneling going on as well.
 
via
But I think I'm revising my opinion about dark beams against white drywall (done the "right" way in the "right setting.)  I know I eschewed this look in my previous post, but now I'm considering it for my own home!  Go figure.
 
Which is why I insist that design is (and should be!) a constantly and continually unfolding process.  I'm always learning, evolving and refining my understanding of it, and I like it that way.  Of course there are some basic fundamentals that don't really change, but beyond those it's exciting to stretch and discover new territory ... even territory I thought I'd covered already :)




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