Ceiling beams in interior design – how to incorporate them in your home?

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Ceiling beams in interior design have an important place and nowadays exposed beams are a fashionable accent in the interior and widely used in designs and decorations in different styles. Beams are especially popular in rustic decors but not only. We see them in modern interiors which combine elements of different styles into an eclectic and original home decor and rustic elements add a special charm to the overall decoration concept.

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Using ceiling beams transforms the interior and designers, decorators and homeowners have a choice from a variety of materials and decorative options. You can paint them in a contrasting or matching color to add to the mood and style while decorative ones can be made of different materials – natural wood, faux wood or polyurethane foam, lightweight bamboo, steel, reclaimed wood, and depending on the decor style of the home they complement the design – steel is a good choice for Industrial or contemporary styled homes, while wood can be incorporated in almost any design style. Ceiling beams in interior design work harmoniously with Scandinavian, classic, Victorian, rustic interior and in general with styles that give preference to natural materials. Whether painted in light shades or exposing the raw beauty of solid wood, exposed beams are a spectacular element in any room and we see them in the decoration of living rooms, bedrooms, family rooms and bathrooms.



Exposed ceiling beams in interior design – an attractive element with great visual appeal

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Most often ceiling beams are a part of building structures, slabs between floors or roof system elements. You can completely hide them but is it worth doing it? You can take advantage of them and blend the, into the decoration of your home interior. Why expose your ceiling beams? How do they contribute to the visual effect and the aesthetic value? How to choose the material – solid wood, faux wood, steel, bamboo?

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In rustic interiors ceiling beams are an integral part of the building structure, elements of the frame, supporting a loft or attic. They can be used when you want to add elements of particular style – country style, eco, Shabby-chic or Provence, Victorian, Mediterranean or Scandinavian. In addition, they are a great way to hide imperfections, and in hollow ceiling beams you can hide anything – from pipes to wires – or integrate suspended or accent lighting. They can be added to the home decor for purely decorative purposes as a dramatic element or to add texture and accent on the design scheme. Basically there are two types – the ones made of natural materials and the ones made of artificial materials – polyurethane or metal.

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Solid wood is one of the most popular materials for ceiling beams, but it can be quite expensive. In private homes softwoods are often used, especially when the beams have a decorative function but hardwood species are typical for rustic and country homes.

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Metal ceiling beams can be made of steel or aluminum and are often used in modern, loft style interiors, industrial and high-tech.

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Polyurethane or faux ceiling beams, are made of artificial material and can mimic almost any surface – from wood to stone. An important advantage of polyurethane is the lightweight and the low price compared to their natural counterparts.

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How to choose the material? The choice of material, the appearance and configuration will be determines by the space and the ceiling type – horizontal or a vaulted ceiling, a multi-level or low height of the room – all of these factors must be taken into consideration when choosing the decorative elements. The decor style of the room – a classic style or ultra-modern high-tech style will require a different approach. Of course, the budget is always a factor as the price depends on the manufacturing material, size and complexity of design. The beams may be arranged parallel to each other, an angle, or form a lattice and depending on that, you will need a different number of beams. However, you need to be certain that the arrangement will not be too heavy not only in terms of weight. If you overdo the design, the ceiling beams may look overwhelming.

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Solid wood ceiling beams in interior design – types of wood and decor styles

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Solid wood ceiling beams have been used in home construction for thousands of years and remain one of the most popular materials in modern times. Wooden beams can be made of different wood species – cedar, larch, pine, spruce, hemlock, chestnut, maple, oak. Hardwoods are rarely used as they have a higher cost. In addition, they are inferior in strength compared to softwoods except for oak. Oak wood is an excellent choice, but pricey and due to the properties of oak wood, manufacturing beams is laborious which adds to the high price tag. The ones made of softwoods have a very nice color and the resin in the conifers preserves the wood from rotting and adds to its durability.

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Solid wood ceiling beams are the real thing. They add a lot of character, texture and visual appeal to the home. They are authentic and work with stone, iron and other natural materials. In addition, they can be sanded, stained, polished, or roughly hewn, depending on your personal taste and the visual effect that you want to achieve. Keep in mind that the installation of solid wood beams requires a lot of man power and a single beam may require four to six men to install, depending on the type of wood and length of the beam. A major disadvantage of natural wood is that it can be damaged by insets, water and can twist or warp.


Decorative faux wood – an affordable alternative for your decor

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Faux wood ceiling beams have many advantages compared to solid wood and many people prefer them as they come in all the colors and textures of real wood. Their function is decorative, not structural so they are not suitable when there is a lot of weight to be born.

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Faux wood comes in variety of materials from vinyl to lightweight foam to fiberboard. They are inexpensive and offer more cost-effective solution to achieve a wood look and dramatically improve a room’s decor. Decorative faux wood ceiling beams can accentuate the interiors giving the room a warm and cozy feeling with the exact look of real wood. High quality faux ceiling beams, made of polyurethane plastics, are so well-made that it is almost impossible to tell they are not authentic and are virtually indistinguishable from real wood.

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Another major advantage of faux wood is the lightweight which makes installation much easier compared to solid wood or metal beams. This is of great importance when you want to install ceiling beams in homes that cannot handle the heavy structural demands of installing solid wood varieties. To install them you do not need to have special skills and you can fix them as a DIY project which will save you money on installation.

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Faux wood box beams provide the opportunity to hide pipes and wiring or incorporate lighting fixtures and create visual accents. In addition they are eco-friendly and safe, they do not rot, they do not attract any parasites, insects or pests, they do not crack and resistant to moisture. These beams will not absorb odors and do not tolerate fungi growth, which makes them suitable for kitchen interiors.

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The only disadvantage of these beams is their artificial origin as they are produced in an industrial environment and people who value natural materials think that they lack the authenticity of real wood.


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Metal ceiling beams in contemporary interiors

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Another material, popular in modern interior designs is metal. Metal ceiling beams are used in industrial, contemporary, eclectic or hi-tech interiors where glass, metal and lighting are the characteristic decorative elements. Metal beams can be made of aluminum or steel and are a great choice for structural purposes as they are exceptionally strong and allow designers and architects the opportunity to create wide-open spaces with minimal support columns. However, installing them is not a DIY project. It should be done by experts because they are very bulky and heavy. Metal beams can be painted in any color to blend in the interior design or create a visual contrast and add a color accent. Like any material, metal has some drawbacks. Besides the heavy weight, moisture can damage them and they can rust. Heat can deform metal beams and fire can damage them. These beams are not a good choice if you want to incorporate lighting fixtures and it is a real challenge if you want to fasten something to a steel beam. An option is to use galvanized steel as it is resistant to corrosion and does not rot. Metal can be reused and recycled which makes these beams environmentally friendly.


Ceiling beams in interior design – how to use them in different interior styles?

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Ceiling beams in interior design can be incorporated in different styles and combined with different materials. It is a mistake to assume that they are only suitable for country, rustic or Provence interiors. As a decorative element they have their importance in classic, high-tech, minimalist and other styles and when it comes to rustic style, exposed solid wood is a must. We shall have a look at some of the most popular decor styles, their characteristics and the ways to incorporate ceiling beams so that they add to the character and individuality of our homes.

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Ceiling beams in rustic style interior design are a major element. Typically, they are made of solid wood and rarely faux wood beams are used. The wooden beams allow you to create interior designs that are in harmony with the surrounding nature. The casualty in the design of the space is aimed at achieving an inviting and warm atmosphere where you can really relax and enjoy your time with family and friends in a comfortable and convenient interior.

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One of the varieties of rustic style is the French country or Provence style which is characterized with the same simplicity, warmth and wide use of natural materials but in a more refined way. Ceiling beams are rough, the wood is untreated, with an expressive grain pattern. People who are attracted to French provincial interior design are fascinated by the beauty of natural wood and the way it works with of natural fabrics, natural stone, terracotta tiles, etc.

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The ceiling beams in beach style (nautical or marine interior decors) create a warm and cozy atmosphere and a feeling of casualty. The decor is often dominated by cold colors – all shades of blue and a lot of white. Natural wood adds warmth and softness to the interior designs and the warm shades of wood beams look great on white ceilings.

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Natural wood ceiling beams are a good choice for tropical style interiors. One of the most typical combinations is the contrast between light color of walls and wood. The visual appeal and aesthetics of tropical decors is accented by this contrast and as a result, the interior is never boring.

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Classic style interiors benefit from ceiling beams and the typical pompous atmosphere nowadays had got a new and more refined look. Historically, the beams in classic interiors were varnished in dark or light color and the surface is perfectly smooth. Nowadays, the classic look retains the feeling of space and the design features luxurious furniture made of solid wood with carvings and decorations.

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Ceiling beams in Loft style interiors or Industrial home decor are mainly made of metal – steel or aluminum. You can also see concrete in industrial style, which were originally incorporated in the construction of the building and left exposed as a decorative element. Metal ceiling beams work in a great way with exposed brick walls or concrete walls. Pipes and wiring are often exposed as well and a few Edison bulbs, glass, metal and brick create a real “industrial aesthetics”.

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Ceiling beams are used in contemporary interior designs but most often faux wood beams are used. These are ideal for modern style and can be painted in dark or light shades, even in unusual bright colors when you want to emphasize a certain design idea. They add a touch of warmth and comfort to minimalist interiors, which are characterized with a minimum of furniture pieces and a complete lack of decor.


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Wood beams are a great option when it comes to design and decorations! They add texture, warmth and charm to the interior and bring unparalleled elegance.If you opt for exposed wood you will hardly ever regret your choice. We shall give you some useful advice how to incorporate ceiling beams in the different rooms of the home and transform them into a comfortable, welcoming and beautiful space.

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Ceiling beams in living room interior design can become the focal point of the decor. This is the room for family gatherings or entertaining, the room, which needs to create not only a cozy and comfortable atmosphere, but also have originality and individuality as it presents the character of the homeowners, their lifestyle and taste. Whether solid wood or faux wood beams, the living room decor will benefit from the rustic warmth of wood. However, you have to be careful when considering whether to use ceiling beams. They may not look very well in rooms with low ceilings especially if painted in dark colors and the result may be a feeling of something hanging threateningly right above your head. In such cases whitewashing is a better option. Another option is to use one and the same color for the ceiling beams and all other trims in the room – window and door trims, even for some elements of furniture or floor finishes. In this way you will create visual harmony and balance and the design concept will look complete.

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Ceiling beams in bedroom interior design are most often seen in rustic, country style, Mediterranean or French country decors. If you have enough height, do not miss the chance to decorate your bedroom with exposed beams. Depending on the material and color they will add structural strength, character, even a dramatic effect to the interior and will look as a natural element of the decor in attic bedrooms and if you have them – show them! It makes no sense to hide them with plasterboard and decrease the height of the room, and lose the feeling of spaciousness. Like in any other room, exposed ceiling beams in bedroom interiors can be a contrasting element or blend with the surrounding colors. Whitewashed ceiling beams are suitable for the interior of virtually any stylistic concept and even rooms with relatively low ceilings will look light and airy. Natural colors have a positive effect on the atmosphere of the room for sleep and rest.

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Ceiling beams in kitchen and dining room interiors can add naturalness, some roughness which is typical for untreated solid wood or a feeling of warmth to contemporary designs. The beams can complement the choice of cabinets made of solid wood like maple, oak or hickory, for example. Excessive use of natural wood creates an incredibly warm atmosphere for dining with your family and guests. In small kitchens it is advisable to use light colors which will not diminish the height of the ceiling visually. Roughly hewn ceiling beams will create contrasts not only in color but in texture as well and installing beams is one of the cheapest ways to add style and character to the interior design.

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Ceiling beams are used in the decoration of bathrooms, home offices, mudrooms, entry halls, corridors, wine cellars and it would be logical to use this design element not only in the main living space, such as a living room or bedroom, but also in the design of the rest of the rooms to achieve a complete look.


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