What Not To Do With Beamed Ceilings

by hookedonhouses on September 14, 2010

decorated beamed ceilings

#1: Don’t treat the beams as display space for dried flowers and roosters–or anything else, for that matter.


#2. Forget the track lighting–especially when you live in a 200-year old French cottage like this one.


#3: Don’t get too “creative” with patterns when the ceilings are this low. (Better yet–forget the beams altogether in such a small space.)


#4. Please. Whatever you do. Don’t paint them pink.

Have you ever seen a beamed ceiling mistreated? Anything to add to the list? Our first house went back on the market last year and I was a little appalled to see that they had lined up their beer-stein collection along all of the elegant open beams in our former living and dining room…

Go to Bad MLS Photos for more!

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Laura September 14, 2010 at 8:04 am

What were they thinking putting track lighting on such a beautiful beam??? Track lighting at all??? The mind boggles… why is beautiful architecture wasted on some people… although, I guess I have to remind myself that ‘every mans home is his castle’…. Now, I’m going to imagine how I would decorate that beautiful kitchen…. Lx
.-= Laura´s last blog ..A cup of tea and a recipe for a Mocha Muffin =-.

Mom in High Heels September 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Europeans really, really, really like track lighting. I have no idea why. It’s everywhere over here!
.-= Mom in High Heels´s last blog ..RTT- Old Rock Stars and Killer Shrimp =-.

Shelia September 14, 2010 at 8:07 am

This is rather funny! I’ve never seen any beams and so many all crossed up!!
Now we have beams in our den that were dark like the paneling but we finally painted them white! Big improvement – I pretend they are not there and it makes our low ceiling look a tad higher.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)
.-= Shelia´s last blog ..I Hate To Admit It- But =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints September 14, 2010 at 8:24 am

.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Coloring outside the lines =-.

Laura September 14, 2010 at 8:26 am

At least the pink can be fixed, but that kitchen ceiling is a MESS!!

Katherine @ Grass Stains September 14, 2010 at 8:39 am

That first one scared me to death! It looks like the beams are in the process of imploding or something, to come crashing down into the room. How ODD.
.-= Katherine @ Grass Stains´s last blog ..She did it again =-.

Kay September 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I was thinking, “where are the swings”!

Champe September 14, 2010 at 8:40 am

Love this post….we do My Design Guide.com -” My D – don’ts” – some times I’m afraid of offending someone….your post is fun and funny.

Melinda September 14, 2010 at 9:07 am

#1 … I’d be afraid one of the roosters would swoop down and peck me to death!

Visual Vamp September 14, 2010 at 9:09 am

xo xo

Leigh September 14, 2010 at 9:24 am

Love your blog! This is hilarious.
.-= Leigh´s last blog ..And She Wore White =-.

Donna September 14, 2010 at 9:25 am

None of the people who own these homes appreciate the beams(OK the ones in that little kitchen HAVE TO GO or paint them the color of the ceiling “Because THEY ARE NOT BEAMS”)… The people who own these homes “don’t have a CLUE”!!! Truthfully I would be “scared to death” to SIT under the ones in the first picture, AND if they have lined them now with steins, NO WAY I would even walk under them…

Pat September 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

My family room has high ceilings and beams. They were stained a dark color, and I thought it was ok because of the size of the rooms and the height of the ceiling. Then…we painted them white. WOW, what a difference it made, the beams make an ever greater impact in white.
We did the same thing at our cottage..painted them white and it looks great up there too.
Those kitchen beams…they just need to go! LOL!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..Messy Manicotti =-.

Vicki @ In The Sandbox Comic Strip September 14, 2010 at 9:55 am

Oh wow! I’m speechless.
.-= Vicki @ In The Sandbox Comic Strip´s last blog ..Birds of a feather =-.

Mimi September 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

The first picture is scary, the second picture is tragic, the third picture is ridiculous and the fourth picture is . . . pink. It never fails to amaze me what poor taste some folks have. LOL

Linda in AZ * September 14, 2010 at 10:34 am

* To see such GREAT POTENTIAL just TOTALLY destroyed is HEARTBREAKING, Julia!!! I’d say “SHAME on those HOMEOWNERS!”, except sadly enough, it appears they just don’t KNOW any better… heartbreaking just the same, tho!!!

HOW MANY of your READERS would L*O*V*E to get their hands on THIS?!?!?!

Linda in AZ &

Kathy :) September 14, 2010 at 11:03 am

Speechless here !!!!

Kathy :)

Lisa Handwerk September 14, 2010 at 11:11 am

This reminded me of the house we lived in during the early 70′s. My parents had the brilliant idea of installing “faux beams” in our kitchen, I guess to give our modern, 60′s-built house a warmer, country feel. However, the beams, which were actually made of some sort of styrofoam-type material that was painted and textured to look like wood, were only glued to to the ceiling and would often fall down on top of us while we were sitting at the kitchen table. Wonderful childhood memories..!

Kelly@40isthenew30 September 15, 2010 at 6:42 am

That is so funny, Lisa! Ah, the ’70s!
.-= Kelly@40isthenew30´s last blog ..Worth Mentioning- Online Artisans =-.

Jessica September 14, 2010 at 11:13 am

All I kept thinking while reading this was “Oh dear”! We have neighbors who are continually “creating” this type of “design” both inside and *out*, and we’re forever stuck smiling, nodding, and feeling a bit “unwell”. Are we snobby?? Or is it okay to say that a house isn’t supposed to look like a big blueberry!

The French cottage one is actually a crime but at least in the last picture, the mantel is pink also… so it all matches! ;)
.-= Jessica´s last blog ..Bravery &amp Flowers =-.

Jocelyn Stott September 14, 2010 at 11:26 am

Oh man! These are baaaaad! They are all nice spaces, but so unappealing in their decor. Bleh!
.-= Jocelyn Stott´s last blog ..Country Eye Candy =-.

Lori-Anne September 14, 2010 at 11:28 am

Someone I’m close to (whose anonymity I feel obliged to preserve) has their beams painted grey. It does kind of suit their overall decor, though, if that says anything. It’s weird to see what someone else does to your house after you move out. Even if it’s better. I once glimpsed into a house I lived in for many years growing up and was sorry to see all the 1970s era carpeting, linoleum and wallpaper replaced, even though it was definitely for the best!
.-= Lori-Anne´s last blog ..A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words =-.

Lori-Anne September 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm

P.S. Just thought I should stress that I do NOT think beer stein collections on ceiling beams is an improvement… in case it sounded like I might!
.-= Lori-Anne´s last blog ..A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words =-.

Cindy September 14, 2010 at 11:29 am

To quote Jed Clampett, “Pitiful. Juuuust Pitiful!” Although, now that I think about it, he just might have thought all this decor was beeeeyouteful.

Tricia Rose September 14, 2010 at 11:32 am

Each picture is a different school of awful…I love it in a cringeing sort of way – maybe I just feel better by comparison?
.-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..The Sistine Floor =-.

hip hip gin gin September 14, 2010 at 11:56 am

Oh my. I really didn’t think one could mess up beams but apparently bad taste knows no boundaries. I think it is a tie between the track lighting and the pink paint for worst abuse of a beautiful beam.
.-= hip hip gin gin´s last blog ..Melinda Maria =-.

Melissa September 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Picture #1 reminds me of a Cracker Barrel Restaurant!

Maria September 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm

The first picture looks like a giant radioactive spider on the ceiling waiting to strike those foolish enough to sit below.

Run for your lives!

Josanne September 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I actually didn’t mind the roosters up on the beams(I think I cleaned a house years ago that hung a quilt or something up there, so it didn’t bother me), HOWEVER, the beams seem awfully HUGE for that room! I think painting them to pretend they aren’t there(unless they could be removed altogether) would be a better option-minus the roosters and decor on them. The others are….wow! Interesting stuff! lol
.-= Josanne´s last blog ..Dan Shares A Blon Moment =-.

Nita September 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm

LOL on them all! What are people thinking? The couches in the first pic are similar to ones I had in the early 70s.

Mom in High Heels September 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Wow. Just…wow. People are…crazy.
.-= Mom in High Heels´s last blog ..RTT- Old Rock Stars and Killer Shrimp =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now September 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm

That’s just so sad. :( The use of the beams as display is the worst….plus, what a dust catcher!!!
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Falling for Autumn =-.

cristin @ simplified bee September 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm

LOL… such a fun post. Is that a fake rooster perched in the first photo? Too funny.

.-= cristin @ simplified bee´s last blog ..Halloween Decorating Ideas for Your Home – Many DIY &amp Inexpensive =-.

the domestic fringe September 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I know someone who decorates their beams. Ya, I think it’s a bad idea!

.-= the domestic fringe´s last blog ..Parenting 2010 Style =-.

Courtney @ nesting instincts September 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Oy. You called it, Julia. It appears to be an epidemic.
.-= Courtney @ nesting instincts´s last blog ..virtual nesting at NestInk =-.

jana@opalnevershouts September 14, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Wow #1 is incredibly scary. I imagine it would feel like a spook alley, How often do those little critters get dusted?

Our Nifty Notebook September 14, 2010 at 5:49 pm

The track lighting is hilarious! Sometimes you have to wonder what people are thinking!
.-= Our Nifty Notebook´s last blog ..Homeschool- Week 8 Review =-.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com September 14, 2010 at 7:10 pm

LOL These were so good I shared them with my mister.
.-= Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com´s last blog ..Teaser Tuesday- Choices =-.

Kim September 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm

What funny pictures! I’m guessing the home with the pink beams were made in the 80′sor 90′s, when pink was in style. At least they can be fixed.

Natalia @ FL Home Blog September 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm

When good beams go bad :(

Bre September 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Tacky track lighting on a beamed ceiling. Well now I’ve seen everything. Question, where am I supposed to put my rooster?
.-= Bre´s last blog ..Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference =-.

Kelly@40isthenew30 September 15, 2010 at 6:39 am

Oh, but the pink mantle is sooooo pretty! It would look great with my collection of Disney princess figurines on top!

.-= Kelly@40isthenew30´s last blog ..Worth Mentioning- Online Artisans =-.

Gloria September 15, 2010 at 8:27 am

LOL! This was a really fun post, Julia! Who would think that beams could be messed up like that?! The kitchen one was the funniest one for me – who would have thought one could CRAM beams on a ceiling like that?! So funny.
.-= Gloria´s last blog ..Day 2 – For Thelma and Louise =-.

Jim Diffenderfer September 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm

These examples are a tragedy with poor execution. Trusses and beams can be a great accent to a space when the scale of the room and size of the beams are proper. Good achitecture is a matter of fractions of an inch to get it right. Unfortunatley its a little late for thes homes.

Lisa May 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Wow! I thought that our beams were bad (we fixed them, don’t worry)! When we moved in our entire condo was painted white. Beams…white. Rough sawn cedar fireplace…white. Walls…off white. Gah! At least they weren’t pink, though! Still, it took my husband a good 8 months to strip off all the paint and restain everything. Who would paint beams white and have a white ceiling? Lame.

Paul September 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm

That is hilarious. Love the chickens.

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