Historically many architectural and interior styles feature wood ceiling beams as a focal point-think English Tudor and Spanish Mediterranean.
Originally, beams were just exposed structural elements of the house. Today many people choose exposed wood beams to compliment or contract other styles in their rooms.
Many New Orleans homes have high ceiling heights and many people choose to expose the structural wood beams in some of their rooms.
Ceiling beams can help in the optical illusion department by bringing high ceiling down in scale and breaking up the length and height of a large room.
They can also help create a cozy character with their great patinas. You have many choices of finishes- stain to match other woods in the room, white washing, leave them natural or any of faux-finishing techniques.
You can choose from newly cut beams or purchase antique beams. Do try to match the wood type of the beams to the architecture and style of your house.
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