What should I do with this beam?
alishaw1522
June 26, 2012 in Photo Questions
This beam separates the living from the dining room . What would be something good for this?
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Faireden
Hmm ... paint it the same color as the walls, drop the chandelier to within 30" to 34" from the table. I wouldn't do anything to draw attention to it. Some art hung fairly low in the dining room will also bring the eye down into the room.
4 Likes   June 26, 2012 at 3:38PM
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Kelli Kaufer Designs
If it is not structural get rid of it. If it has to stay you could cover with wood and make it more of a feature and yes, drop your chandelier.
4 Likes   June 26, 2012 at 3:45PM
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pcaakes
defeniely drop the chandelier as stated before, paint the beam a darker hue of walls(cinnamon) or complimentary color, maybe plum
0 Likes   June 26, 2012 at 4:26PM
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JAN MOYER
I doubt it is a structural anything but an eyesore! You probably have a 1980's house, and this visually separates an open plan living/ dining area. DITCH IT. Failing that, paint it wall color and drop the light fixture to 34 inches from the bottom of the fixture to the table...or translated, 64 inches to the floor.
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 2:17AM
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K.O.H. Construction Corporation
Judging by the slope of the roof, the beam is a collar tie. It keeps the wall from spreading. I would have a carpenter look at it to verify this .Removing the beam may not be feasible. Painting it the wall color would help it go away or you could frame it up to the ceiling and divide the space. Best of luck
3 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 4:31AM
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pjames
Try adding a couple of colums to each side if there is room. I would put two colums on each side. Then trim it out with some crown molding on the top of the beam. you could also put silk ivy cascading down from the top after you add the crown molding
3 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 5:05AM
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JAN MOYER
Sorry, please do not add more stuff to it, or columns or doo dads. If it cannot go... paint it wall color, and it will fade visually. Then stop staring at it.
9 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 5:18AM
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melsplace1
Beam is most likely structural. I agree - paint it out, lower the chandelier, and beef up the drapes. You have very formal DR furniture, and should have something substantial and beautiful for the windows - pick a pattern that adds to the paint color of the room - maybe a paisley - with those changes, the beam will visually go away.
2 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 5:49AM
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sailnmuffin
I agree with rustyborders that your collar beam is a support structure and cannot be removed. If you truly want to take seriously the above suggestions about demolishing it, first? Pleeeeeze spend the few hundred bucks it'll take to get a reputable building inspector, contractor or roofing specialist to come in for a consult. A consult is much cheaper than calling the same guys to discuss repairing the damage that's been done from having removed a support structure without having been certain what you're doing.

That said: your choices for the collar beam are either to make it blend in to whatever wall/ceiling color scheme you want the rooms on either side of the beam to have (as many have discussed above); or go totally bold & make it a focal point.This might not be the way you want to go but by way of example, you could go industrial-modern and paint the beam a bright primary color (blue? red?) and have black/white/pops of color elsewhere in the rooms on either side; or instead of laminating the beam with wood, you could face it with metal flashing. Again, I doubt such a scheme would be appropriate for this house or what you want but maybe it'll help you expand the possibilities. I figure, since the beam tends to draw the eye upwards anyway, make it a focal point. You can always draw it on a piece of paper & try out different color schemes that way before you invest the time & energy in the 3-dimensional world..

I'd also suggest looking here on Houzz & elsewhere for photo samples of beam designs & there's a lot out there - you'll find what other folks have done with similar challenges, by searching for "exposed beams" and/or "industrial loft" or some such phrase.

Good hunting!
1 Like   June 27, 2012 at 6:04AM
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BADGER EXCAVATING
I'm happy to be the first to say, even if it isn't structural (but it totally is.) keep it. I don't know you, I don't know your style at all, but do you want to know what I would do? I think you do, you asked the question. Go warehouse. You have a beautiful vaulted high ceiling. Paint it a color. Paint it gray. Go bold. Wrap the beam in distressed wood (Architectural Systems has a reclaimed barn wood or search pinterest for a do it yourself wood distressing tutorial. I swear I saw one on there yesterday). And go faux brick on at least one wall, one that the beam dies into. Dryvit has a brick facing system that I've used and if you go with the thicker templates, looks authentic.
1 Like   June 27, 2012 at 6:28AM
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JAN MOYER
Okay, some brutal truths. Elizabethan/victorian heavy furniture is at odds with the style of the house, unless you make it fun, and give it a lift. Ditch the china cabinet, paint the chairs, paint the beam the wall color, the window treatment is dated, so either do beefier/fuller simple panels, or take it down, as it is skimpy for the window. Then pop up some great art or a collection of related prints where the cabinet was, and keep them low...so you notice them when sitting. And stop staring at the beam.
7 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 6:53AM
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Sauve
I would not paint it a darker color than your walls if you don't want the eye to catch it nor would I put any type of veneer on it. I would simply paint it the same color as the walls but 1-2 tones deeper and a flat matte surface. Drop the chandelier. But if it is not structural get rid of it as soon as you can afford it.
1 Like   June 27, 2012 at 6:53AM
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judhein
Here's a traditional option for you...
6 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 6:56AM
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nzdanovich
I would twine a trailing, vine-like houseplant around it. Or two - one on each end and meeting in the middle. It might soften the view of the beam and make it less obvious.
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 6:58AM
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JAN MOYER
P.A.I.N.T. It really is that simple. Wall color. Don't stare. Done! No vines. Please.
8 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 7:06AM
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Upton Architecture, LLC
Play it up.
4 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 7:47AM
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betsyweisberg
Can you please post more pictures?
The ceiling beam is making me think mid century modern but I need to see more-
Thanks
1 Like   June 27, 2012 at 7:53AM
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michigammemom
As is your beam is just a white slab that doesn't coordinate with your interior. Hire a skilled painter to distress and glaze the beam to integrate seamlessly with your decor.

4 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 7:57AM
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Craig CraigMDesigns
I think painting the beam the wall color and then painting the back wall an accent color will draw your eye right past the beam. And then pick up a shade of the accent wall in a new tall window treatment. Good luck!
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 7:58AM
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judianna20



FIRST, LOWER THAT CHANDELIER. THEN PAINT THE ENTIRE SPACE THE SAME COLOR INCLUDING THE CEILING AND THE BEAM. OR PAINT THE BEAM A STRIKING ACCENT COLOR AND HANG TWO PANELS OF BEAUTIFUL FABRIC AS IN THE PICTURE. THIS WILL SEPARATE THE LIVING FROM DINING.
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 7:59AM
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Craig CraigMDesigns
...and of course drop the chandelier down!
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 7:59AM
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Dianne Sanchez
If you can't remove it, frame it in at the top and turn it into an arch below with decorative columns
5 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 8:08AM
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thickskin
LOWER THE CHANDELIER. Get rid of (1) the swag drapes. (2) the china cabinet.(3) paint out the beam. Problem solved.
1 Like   June 27, 2012 at 8:11AM
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JAN MOYER
Yes, Patricia, yes!!! yessssssssssss!!!! Maybe we are not wording the answer correctly? (: You left out "stop staring at it"
3 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Susan Ferguson
Patricia is right. Lower chandelier, paint beam color of wall, simplify the window treatment, then paint the hutch a wonderful color--coral, turquoise--and flank it with art. And, as Jan says, stop looking at the beam.
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Theresa's Interiors
I agree with the easy fix above, if you can do more... here is a photo that shows a different direction, or corbels to soften, easy for a cabinet shop to use as a model per dimensions of beam, then let it disappear per above. Clean and simple. Susan has a great updated concept for the furnishings, the wall could use a fresher lighter color to complement if you follow her vision.
2 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 9:17AM
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ragsangle
I disagree with most the comments about it being an eyesore...I would put a column on each side to add to the beauty of the space , the choice of style of the column should fit the house, since it seems to be a support structure and can not be removed I would make the most of it...and I would as others said drop the chandilier to 34 inches above the table.
You could also enclose the space add french doors and have a unique space. Or have 2 panels hang from the sides of it and use it as a divider...
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 10:45AM
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miacometlady
How about adding wainscotting along the bottom of your walls to add the color white? Then the white beam is not the only white element in the room. I love the color of the walls. How about adding white plates of any design to either side of the cabinet to add even more white elements.The chandelier should be no more than 36 inches above the table, even if you have such a high ceiling. I think ditching the current curtains is a great idea. I am not sure how high your ceilings are, many designed raise the curtain rod higher than the window to create the illusion of a larger window. again, i would go with a neutral color for the fabric. Best of luck.
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Jennifer Rios
Get rid of it if it is not structural. If it is structural then get a structural engineer out to look at it and see if you can change it. You should be able to change it somehow.
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 11:10AM
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JAN MOYER
I think it is a SIMPLE TASK to grab a ladder and a pan of P.A.I.N.T and see how much it will fade away. Design is about doing the simple thing first. Drop the darn chandelier, paint the beam and decide. Why does everyone always want to add more junk to a thing that needs no attention called to it? Frankly, if the money was no object, my bet is that might not be the dining room furniture..... so try the least expensive solution, the quickest, and often the BEST, first. If I had this in a clients home, I would have a painter there the next day.
2 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 11:44AM
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JAN MOYER
I suggest we all go outside and pray that the skies rain PAINT and chandelier wire, and stop beating a "not very seriously ill horse" TO ITS DESIGN DEATH.??? (:
2 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 3:03PM
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michigammemom
The snarky comments in this thread are so unnecessary. A robust discussion with a diversity of opinions is exactly what this homeowner was ultimately hoping for and she may embrace or discard any advice given.
7 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 3:31PM
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gailzfun
It's fun coming up with of different design ideas. Isn't that what they've asked us for?
It says "What can I do with this beam"?
Did anyone take a look at Houzz's Contemporary in Arizona? That illustrates the fun
that he had as a designer. He didn't just make a simple cape style home, because he
wanted a home. Instead, he designed a gorgeous work or art, by running different ideas through his head and created it. F-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c!

Another idea about this beam problem: Since the furniture style is already italian/mediterranean style, then the interior architecture can be coordinated with it: Just add a wall attached to and above the beam. Have a carpenter frame from the beam to the ceiling; then, drywall, compound/sand/tape and paint the wall. Judhein had a nice idea and attached a picture above (refer to that picture). Columns could be added below the beam, just off the wall by 10" or so.

Nice choice, Judhein!
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 3:49PM
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JAN MOYER
You're right michmom! but of course the" thread' is half the fun. I mine meant in good humor and I think if you read all these comments consecutively, it is hilariously robust in places. I am sure Alishaw can and will weed out some solution that suits her. Speaking of what "suits best"...that is so often a case of what best suits the ROOM, and the specific problem. Most important, and even more likely, what best suits the room will end up being the most pleasing result to a client in the end. When pros suggest a solution, it may not be the one a client wanted to hear, or even had in mind! It may simply be the best solution for the design problem at hand. The biggest design boo boos and woes ever presented to me by clients, came from over-thinking and over design. That is not to be at all confused with a dull room lacking in decoration! But they are different things for certain. One is adding and adding, and adding, and the other is editing, and editing some more.
4 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Mint Design
The beam is almost certainly structural....Take the wall from the beam to the ceiling, paint to match the walls and, it is unanimous, lower the chandelier, take 2 aspirins and post photos in the morning. LOL! :)
3 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 4:21PM
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JAN MOYER
Mint! You are a genius, and I just did exactly that with an awkward and immoveable beam overhang last month in a clients kitchen, so beats me why you beat me to the punch! LOL..... it must be near Friday??
1 Like   June 27, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Ann Smitt
You are so lucky to have a dining room. Now have some fun redecorating it. I like the idea of building the beam out with beautiful molding. White is very traditional or do the opposite and paint it the color of the walls. Your dining set is beautiful is it an heirloom? Reupholster the chairs maybe to match a header for the new curtains on the window. Just enjoy yourself and pick colors and styles you love.
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 4:30PM
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karen paul interiors
I'd like to weigh in here, if I may. The only way the beam disappears is if you turn it into "drywall" and take the "wall" to the ceiling on either side. What is awkward to my eye is the chandelier "peeking" through the opening. No matter how far down it is dropped, the chain remains where the beam isn't. I wouldn't do any embellishment as as this is a modern house. So the posts, corbels, wainscoting, etc do not work with the lines of the house.

As for telling someone they need to ditch the furnishings because it doesn't go with the house is a foolish suggestion. The breakfront is a Queen Anne reproduction and the chairs are Elizabethan, so already the client has broken several "rules". This is no different than placing mid-century modern into a Victorian house. It's just the opposite of how many people think.

I agree the window treatment needs to go down. I would want to know what the intention is for the adjacent rooms. I'd like to know what she has at her windows elsewhere and what sort of furnishings one would see in other areas. All of this matters for the sake of continuity.
3 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 4:32PM
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Mint Design
Thank you Jan! Great minds think alike! :)
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 6:31PM
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lovepbandj
I have a feeling that when you drop that light down to the 34" above the table and you see the light, the next comments will be "Replace That Light Fixture!" From what little I can see, it looks like it is one the builder picked for the house when building. So, lowering the light fixture is a must, but may also force the purchase of a better fixture.
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 7:23PM
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lizmaguire
No fake plants. Ever. Never adorn a bad element. Paint beam to blend, drop chandelier, add patterned substantial weight drapes. Chandelier looks like it could stand to be updated, although it's hard to tell. Then consider other changes if it still isn't working for you. Consider ONE PIECE of art flanking EACH side of the china cabinet, making sure the dimensions allow them to be placed low enough to draw eye to far wall but not look crammed in a too narrow space.
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 8:23PM
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momof5x
I think colour choices of paint will be very important in making it work and look better. The white paint on the beam has made it more noticeable than it should, make the dining room stand out to distract the eyes away from the beam.
0 Likes   June 27, 2012 at 10:37PM
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judianna20
I THINK WE'RE DONE!
2 Likes   June 28, 2012 at 4:45AM
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morgan1958
Drop the ceiling to the level of the beam.
0 Likes   June 28, 2012 at 1:34PM
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lucindalane
If you have financial limits, then painting it the same color is the most cost effective solution. If you can afford it, though, I think that finishing it out and making it basically a half wall by adding the framing and sheet rock is the best way to get rid of the architectural dilemma it causes. So, I agree witht the posters who have suggested this already.
0 Likes   June 28, 2012 at 11:48PM
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Diann
Hi Ali seems to me that there are a few simple solutions 1st thing that my eyes see is that Chandelier its way to high and by what I can see looks undersized to me. The beam in my opinion makes the space look modern with your dining room furniture having a more formal look I would probably take the easy road and paint the beam same as the wall color . A few little fixes and it will be stunning. Lastly the window treatments need changed out they are a bit to skimpy . I would love to see more pics as well..
0 Likes   June 29, 2012 at 1:23AM
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zenhome
Paint beam same colour as walls and lower chandelier.
0 Likes   June 29, 2012 at 9:23AM
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JAN MOYER
Hey Alishaw! There must be least fifty "advisors" on here who will be waiting for the pictures of the painted beam, and the lowered chandelier.... so much for the picnics this week! (:
0 Likes   June 29, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Imagine That
I don't think this idea has been thrown out for you yet. How about a cable support to replace the beam? Short of just buying a gallon of paint, looks like a structural engineer will be needed to do anything anyway. Ask him about the possibilities. [houzz=
]
0 Likes   June 30, 2012 at 9:58AM
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thickskin
engineers? cables? columns? masons? drywall? in this bad economy when most of us are pinching pennies, you try the simplest first. PAINT.
1 Like   June 30, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Imagine That
Sorry Patricia, Alishaw asked for suggestions and I didn't see a budget. I certainly couldn't afford all this but it does not hurt anyone to dream.
1 Like   June 30, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Ann Smitt
Dear Imagine That, You're right most of us couldn't afford all the suggestions we were throwing up to Alishaw. We got carried away with our dreams instead of considering hers and a budget. Thanks for putting us back down to earth.
1 Like   July 1, 2012 at 6:13AM
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JAN MOYER
We could probably all agree that this is a site where the DIYS can pose a question/dilemma and consider ideas from homeowners, and pros alike. I doubt most have large resources to throw at the problem, or they would have already solved it with a pro and wouldn't be tossing it out there for comment. As Judyg said three days ago..." I think we're done here!" Maybe alishaw is painting right now (: ?
2 Likes   July 1, 2012 at 6:35AM
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cdrake4
I have a similar beam going across from my dining room towards an outside kitchen wall that you walk under from the foyer (as seen behind my Christmas tree). My beam is quite a bit wider though so I use it to hold holiday decorations. But otherwise, I painted the same color as the two connecting walls and frequently forget it's even there.
0 Likes   April 1, 2013 at 7:11AM
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Anne Harry
Hi,Put this lovely wall lights on the beam,It will bring the room some beautiful element! http://www.jollyhome.com/p/western-flower-rose-pattern-wall-lights-for-bathroom-white-1749.html
0 Likes   July 19, 2013 at 6:37PM
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lucindalane
I still think that the best solution is to make the beam into a "wall" by having someone extend it on up to the ceiling. That way it makes a partition between the rooms that looks like it fits and not be just an awkward beam the way it is now. It will also hide, for the most part, the chandelier.
0 Likes   July 19, 2013 at 9:37PM
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Shak├║ff
Can't beat it join it.. play it up as others have suggested... maybe add some glass panels, moulding and frame it up to make it a lovely transom to go with your traditional decor. A lot of what is akward is the height of it, but with the right proportions you can help make it work. A good carpenter can help pull things together with moulding, etc throughout the rest of the rooms as well.

Austin Patterson Disston Architects
Cliffwood
Sea Pines Home
6 Likes   July 23, 2013 at 8:25AM
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Eleanor Smith-Litt
Wow shak
0 Likes   January 10, 2014 at 10:29AM
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Eleanor Smith-Litt
Wow Shakoff, that is EXACTLY how I saw it. Of course the full dimensions in terms of pictures are not available, but I LOVE the first picture. It is how I first envisioned it. It is funny, I cannot figure out what to do in my basement color, yet sometimes I can see the answer's to construction dilemmas so vividly. I am in such agreement with what you said and showed. The beam sticks out like a sore thumb because, in my opinion, it is not attached structurally to become at one with the design. Perhaps a design for incorporating the beam could relate to the furniture in terms of period. It would avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water.
0 Likes   January 10, 2014 at 10:37AM
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Sauve
A really nice idea, Shakoff! It almost makes me want an exposed beam now. =)
2 Likes   January 10, 2014 at 3:24PM
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laurakdesigns
Awesome Shakuff! You could also drywall it in and create a tray ceiling in you D
0 Likes   March 10, 2014 at 9:42PM
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janiehburton
Paint the beam the same color as the walls, if it is structural and can't be removed. Lower the chandelier and change the window treatment. Maybe plantation shutters with an elegant valence. Add nice art pieces and everyone's eyes will be drawn to the beautiful features of the room, not the beam!
0 Likes   March 18, 2014 at 7:56AM
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austinsnake
Rip. It. Out. 'Nuff said. No, really, it needs to be eradicated...
0 Likes   May 24, 2014 at 10:58PM
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