11 Ways to Use Decorative Ceiling Beams in Your Home’s Design

June 3, 2019

Decorative wood ceiling beams have been used in homes for centuries. While ceiling beams may have originally been used as a means of support, they were gradually replaced with load-bearing trusses and walls. The look, style, and design of the beams continued, though, as many people found them to be aesthetically appealing.

There are many ways you can use decorative ceiling beams in your home’s design. Some may be formal, while others can be of a more rustic nature. They can even be useful, disguising wires or pipes that run across the ceiling.

Your home doesn’t need to have a certain architectural style or a particular interior design to use decorative ceiling beams, either. Decorative beams work nearly anywhere and can take on a variety of different styles to complement your home.

If you’re considering the use of decorative wood beams in your home’s design, take a look at these 11 design ideas for some inspiration and to see what may be possible in your home.

rustic ceiling beams

1. Rustic Accent

Rustic styles are popular with many people, and you don’t need to have a cottage or other rustic style home to include the look in your design. Sometimes, just adding a small accent, such as these weathered wood beams, is all that it takes to capture the style. These reclaimed beams have a number of their original saw marks intact, which helps add to their interest and charm. At the same time, the beams contrast the rest of the room’s style, giving them greater focus.

decorative truss beams

2. Decorative Truss

Truss systems are now usually seen only in attic spaces, but they were once used for building support. They have a distinctive style that transcends their purpose, which is why you can find decorative wood beams arranged in this configuration. These rough-hewn beams can enhance the interior of a cozy cabin, complement the space, and add a little more interest to the ceiling area.

subtle ceiling beams

3. Subtle Accents

Decorative ceiling beams don’t need to be dramatic or extremely obvious in their design. These beams are a subtle compliment to the rest of the room’s style, not only on the ceiling, but also to frame the room’s entryway. The color also matches the wood on the mantel and on the arched doorways. Together, the various woods help to create one cohesive look that’s rich, warm, and appealing.

faux ceiling beams

4. Faux Ceiling

Vaulted ceilings are beautiful and inspiring, but not always practical for adding pendant lighting to a room. This type of ceiling can also leave rooms feeling too cold or open to really be homey. Adding a few decorative wood beams to lower the look of the ceiling solves both problems. The room gains instant warmth and charm, and the box beams allow you to run wires for the pendant lights that brighten the room’s design.

ceiling decorative beams

5. Tone-on-Tone

Even if you already have a wood ceiling, you can still use decorative beams to give it more depth and interest. Decorative beams give your ceiling a three-dimensional appearance that can make this often overlooked area of the room more interesting. The beams also help reduce the room’s size, making it feel cozier.

accent ceiling beams

6. Niche Accent

Have a small area you want to accent and call attention to? Decorative wood beams can be a great way of doing just that. This small niche is given a rustic wood beam frame for its entryway, with slightly more contemporary beams accenting the ceiling and creating visual space inside. The beams help draw the eye outward, which makes the niche appear larger than it is, while accenting the space.

Contemporary Box Beams

7. Contemporary Box Beams

You can have a more modern design or style to your home and still benefit from adding decorative beams to the mix. This kitchen features rich, dark beams in the same color as the cabinets. The beams divide the ceiling and the room, bringing interest and a little more depth to the white ceiling. With all that dark wood, a plain ceiling would add too much contrast to this room, which is why the beams play such an important role in the design.

Contrasting Pattern Beams

8. Contrasting Pattern

This dramatic ceiling is achieved by using rustic ceiling planks set in a herringbone pattern. Antique wood beams run along the length of the ceiling at the joints. This design creates a unique and eye-catching ceiling with a lot of variation and depth. It helps contrast some of the more formal elements of the room, bringing interest and charm.

pattern ceiling beams

9. Pattern Contrast

Decorative ceiling beams can be installed in a variety of ways to create unique patterns on your ceiling. This often overlooked “fifth wall” is a great place to include pattern, particularly when that pattern contrasts some of the other elements of the design. In this case, the rectangles made by the beams contrast the arched windows, adding some depth to the design.

ceiling beams

10. Room Definition

There are many ways to create definition in a large room or to visually break it into smaller spaces. One way is to use decorative beams to create a visual doorway between two halves a room. In this case, the rustic beams are a lighter color than the rest of the woodwork in the room, helping them stand out even more.

ceiling beams arched

11. Defining Shapes

If you have a room with unique proportions or a specific slant to the ceiling, it’s possible to use decorative beams to add an accent. These decorative oak beams frame the subtle angle of the ceiling beautifully, and create a space for the chandelier to hang, making it a focal point of the bedroom.

Decorate Your Home with Ceiling Beams

You don’t need to have structural issues to incorporate ceiling beams in your home’s design. These beautiful accents can be strictly for decorative purposes, and still have a major impact. Consider including some decorative wood beams in your home to capture these styles for yourself.

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