Will Ceiling Beams Make a Space seem Smaller?
Skate beams are a powerful design component which impact the sense of size and height in a space. The cliche of the thatched roof cabin, smoky and oppressive, with dark exposed beams overhead goes in a medieval fantasy. In fact, ceiling beams, whether they’re hand-hewn *vigas* in historic adobe residences or steel beams in a converted industrial loft, can increase the decor as well as the perceived magnitude of the space they preside over.
Paint It Out
When a little room is crowded with architectural detail and cursed with low ceilings, your very best choice may be to paint exposed beams to match the rest of the ceiling. A **light shade** produces the ceiling recede — white is a ceiling, but any shade lighter than the walls has the effect of drawing the eye upward and visibly distancing the ceiling. If the ceiling beams are about the perimeter of the space, the open region in the center of the ceiling will likely seem to be greater than it is.
Preserve the Wood
You don’t need to make the ceiling beams disappear to add height to a room. Leave the gorgeous aged timber to impart personality and a sense of history into your decor. **Paint the ceiling spaces between the beams a light colour for contrast with darker wood. ** The eye sees an area higher than the beams and mechanically perceives the true ceiling as farther away, adding to the illusion of height. Renovate a low distance with false or dropped ceilings by taking away the false ceiling panels, leaving the architectural beams for architectural interest, but actually raising the ceiling to add more cubic footage into the room.
Reducing a Sky-High Ceiling
The vaulted ceiling makes you feel as though you’re living in a cathedral, or even a basketball stadium. Pull that sky-high ceiling down to a manageable size with **exposed beams at wall height**. The dramatic ceiling remains, but its cavernous effect is softened and the space feels human-scale. Beams added in the pure break where the top of the wall matches the start of the upward slant appear organic, not tacked on. Lower the roof even more with pendant lamps suspended from the beams, rather than from the remote ceiling.
The Short and Long of It
Beams running the length of the space create a brief room seem longer. In a little house, or just as an afterthought of a bedroom or guest room, **install beams parallel to the longest walls to accentuate the stretch of space**. Within an open plan room that is not overly generous, conduct beams from 1 end to the other, linking the different regions for continuous visual flow. After the floor boards run in the exact same way since the overhead beams, the family room, dining and food prep areas feel less disjointed and more associated.