It’s all in the details…. beamed ceilings!

by Erin Paige Pitts

Ceiling details are a great place to add architectural interest, depth and drama to a space.   Too often, ceilings are overlooked as a potential opportunity to add detail to a space.  In some cases if the ceilings aren’t high enough(over 9′) homeowners think that there isn’t anything that can be done to them, other than paint them- this SO isn’t true.  Just like you stare up a the sky on a beautiful day, admiring the cloud formations, you can create a ceiling detail that you will admire and enjoy looking up at. 

I am going to show you some of my favorite ceiling details shortly but first, I am going to show you a ceiling that was just installed in one of my client’s homes.  It is not finished being painted yet, but it will dispel your thoughts that you can’t install a boxed beam ceiling in a home with 8″ high ceilings. The home is a nice but rather typical two-story colonial.  The client’s were referred by another client of mine who has a home with incredible architecture and beamed ceilings.  Although the two homes, don’t have anything in common architecturally, I wanted to bring some architectural detailing to the colonial that would make my clients feel like they had some of the details they loved about my other client’s home.  I decided to design a shallow box beam ceiling for their living room.  My goal was to make this room cozy and enveloping.  Here are some iphone pics of the ceiling just after the carpenters finished the ceiling..


 Now I am going to show you the client’s home with the great architecture that inspired the new boxed beam ceiling above.  These beams are so magnificent that we wanted everything else in the room to compliment them.  The custom chandeliers are by my favorite custom metalsmith  John Phillips.  This is a space that you really do look up at the ceiling with awe.


The space above,  was inspired by this Suzanne Kasler space.


This is another project where the house had existing beams that we lightened because they had darkened over the years.  We then had a faux finisher, stencil a beautiful italian scroll design on the beams.  unfortunately, it is difficult to see the stencil in these photos, look closely.


One of my favorite ceiling details which I am currently using on a ceiling in a kitchen under construction is the “Union Jack” ceiling detail.  This is a tricky ceiling to layout but well worth the trouble.  I’ll share pics of this ceiling when it is complete.

Here is an image from Southern Accents that has a beautiful ceiling detail. 


This pic is of Barclay Butera’s home.  It is an excellent example of how you can add warmth to a space with wallcovering on the ceiling, even when the ceiling has beams.  I just love this space, it is so cozy!

The pic below, is of course my living and dining room with a very classic boxed beam ceiling.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t stare at it.  It is one of those details that not only makes the room but makes me happy.

If you have a ceiling detail that inspires you, please share!  Look for my next post, it’s all in the details next week!