I love the look of exposed wood beams and the little punch of rustic that they give. But big, chunky, REAL, SOLID WOOD beams are not so wallet-friendly.
As it always does, our renovation ran higher than we hoped and being thrifty is always a goal. So, real wood beams that were pretty and perfect all on their own, were not in the cards.
In this in-progress shot, you see the wood beams we used. They’re functional, but cheaper. They wouldn’t be that pretty stained. And they’re a bit smaller than they need to be to just use those. You can see gaps around all of the sheet rock.
Initially, we were going to just have the exposed beam at the ceiling, but then we had the idea to totally frame out the openings in a beam, column duo.
Our big solution to get pretty, exposed beams?
Yep, our contractor bought boards at the length we would need, but they are regular 3/4″ thick boards.
They were stained before being nailed up. We chose Minwax Dark Walnut to match our floors. I really wanted a dark wood against our white walls.
After being stained and allowed to dry, it was time to put them in place.
Here is the best part.
The framing lumber was nailed right on top of our existing beam. But for the columns, the framing lumber was nailed straight into the sheet rock framing the opening.
So, for each column, we used three boards. One for each side of the opening and one for the inside of the opening, filling in between the other two. We filled in the gaps between each board, which weren’t that big at all, with black caulk. It completely blends in with the dark wood.
After putting these up, it looked great, but we realized there was a gap between our beams and the ceiling. Just a small one, but noticeable enough.
So, our contractor had the idea to add a piece of flat trim around the top of each beam that would blend in, but cover the gap.
The best part about this?
You could re-create this look around any opening straight over the sheet rock! Just make sure you are nailing into studs.
They add that rustic quality I love and a bit of charm and character.
Those faux beams are the first thing people comment on when they see our house.
And I hope this goes without saying, but please know I am just sharing our experience. I am not a contractor and neither is my husband, though he knows a whole lot more than me. So, I hope this is helpful, but if I forgot something or you have a question, please leave it in the comments and we’ll try to help!
On another note, did y’all notice Miss Gracie stowing away in some of the photos above?
This mid-century green chair is officially HER chair. She’s almost always in it. What a couch potato.
She refused to move when I started snapping photos and I thought, well, she’s cute so it’s okay.