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 support beams, they were gradually replaced with load-bearing trusses and walls. The look, style, and design of the real wood beams continued, though, as many homeowners found them to be aesthetically appealing.

There are many ways you can use decorative ceiling beams in your home’s design. Some solid wood beams have a cleaner appearance such as rough sawn beams, while hand hewn beams will be of a more rustic nature. Faux wood beams can even be useful, disguising wires or pipes that run across the ceiling.

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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 the interior design of your home.

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

11 Design Ideas For Using Decorative Ceiling Beams

1. Rustic Accent

rustic ceiling beams

Rustic styles are popular with many homeowners, 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 in the living room, is all that it takes to capture the rustic look. 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 real wood beams contrast the rest of the room’s style, giving them greater focus.

2. Decorative Truss

decorative truss beams

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 sawn beams can enhance the interior of a cozy cabin, complement the space, and add a little more interest to the ceiling area.

3. Subtle Accents

subtle ceiling beams

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 living 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.

4. Faux Ceiling

faux ceiling beams

Vaulted ceilings are beautiful and inspiring, but not always practical for adding pendant lighting to a room. This type of high ceiling can also leave rooms feeling too cold or open to really be homey. Adding a few decorative faux wood ceiling 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.

5. Tone-on-Tone

ceiling decorative beams

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 rustic coffered ceiling 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.

6. Niche Accent

accent ceiling beams

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 with a rustic look.

7. Contemporary Box Beams

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.

8. Contrasting Pattern

Contrasting Pattern Beams

This dramatic ceiling is achieved by using barnwood ceiling wood 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.

9. Pattern Contrast

pattern ceiling beams

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 a 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.

10. Room Definition

ceiling beams

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 of a room. In this case, the barnwood beams are a lighter color than the rest of the woodwork in the room, helping them stand out even more.

11. Defining Shapes

ceiling beams arched

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. Wood beams can also be used as wall shelves or as a rustic fireplace mantel. If you’re looking for a real wood beam to incorporate into your interior design, contact Elmwood Reclaimed Timber. We’ll help you find the right wood beam for your interior design

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