Hide or Accent Ceiling Beams?
cranboss
August 8, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I have unsightly ceiling beams where the previous owner knocked down 2 walls (indicated by dotted lines on floor plan). The ceilings are 8.5' tall and the beams drop down about 1'. They make the ceilings feel low. I am expanding my existing kitchen and this will flow out past the first beam and I am concerned about how that will visually impact the new kitchen's flow. Both are currently painted to match the walls.

They seem too large to try to match and add other faux beams- I think it would feel MORE oppressive.

I was thinking about imitating a transom and adding opaque glass with LED lighting behind on both sides. (similar in effect to this Houzz picture: New Home - Martha's Vineyard) Thoughts?

The other is in the living room and is okay as it lines up with the functional space division. Do I do the same to both or can/should I leave that one as it?

Thanks in advance for suggestions and/or example photos!
 
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collettec
I'm not sure an opaque transom will help in terms of working to deflect attention from the lower beams. I think that adding more beams would make it feel more closed in. I would work to do what you could to have little visual difference between the ceiling, beams and walls. Paint the ceilings, beams and walls all the same color. Paint out the vent cover as well. I would try and pull anything near the ceilings down further to draw attention away from it. The pics above the couch are a bit too high anyway, so I'd bring them lower and the same for any other decor.
0 Likes   Thanked by cranboss    August 8, 2013 at 9:25PM
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cranboss
My thoughts about the transom was to accent the one beam by making it visually interesting. Essentially framing the kitchen. I know that it's going to draw the eye anyway, I thought I could try to make it beautiful if I have to stare at it :) Perhaps this picture better describes the opaque sort of glass I was talking about:
0 Likes   August 8, 2013 at 10:05PM
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cranboss
But adding LED's behind it because I have to create the illusion of a window
0 Likes   August 8, 2013 at 10:07PM
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PRO
LB Interiors
I think those are the soffits that you are wondering about. I would paint them the same color as the wall color chosen, It will visually heighten the ceilings. the areas that have higher ceilings, (tray ceiling effect) dramatize with a contrast paint color.You can also stencil those areas for visual interest.
0 Likes   Thanked by cranboss    August 8, 2013 at 11:27PM
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cranboss
If they are soffits vice ceiling beams, is there any structural difference that could impact how I proceed? Can I reduce them in size some way?
0 Likes   August 13, 2013 at 3:47PM
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collettec
What matters is whether or not they are load bearing beams. Soffits aren't necessarily load bearing, but many ceiling beams that are like this are. If they are load bearing beams, which I would assume they are, it would matter if you hollow them out to introduce lighting or reduce them in size. If they're load bearing, the beams are supporting the weight, load and structure of the ceiling, roof, rooms and any upper levels that you might have. If it's possible to get in touch with them, you might want to check with the owners who originally had the work done, and they could tell you what was found in terms of supporting walls and what was done and why.
2 Likes   August 13, 2013 at 4:20PM
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PRO
purehome
Your transom idea is gorgeous!!! We love it!
1 Like   Thanked by cranboss    August 13, 2013 at 4:34PM
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LB Interiors
Ditto with 'collettec'
0 Likes   August 13, 2013 at 5:34PM
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PRO
Glass Tile Store
I agree with collettec. Less bulkier ceiling fans and the couch, your plant should probably be smaller? And the tall lamp replaced with something lower as well perhaps. I like your kitchen though from what I can see in the picture.
0 Likes   August 13, 2013 at 11:13PM
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