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How to Emphasize Architectural Details using Support Beams?

While finishing up one of my largest project in Connecticut, I remember noticing how unexpectedly smooth everything was going. The home-owner found a beautiful piece of land out in the woods with an easy tear-down assignment. It was a smooth operation for months until we received a visit from the architects structural engineer. He was a slender looking man with a distressed expression. To pass inspection, he required a large steel column . This was an eye opener.  The needed support was smack in the middle of the room but soon enough concern melted into anticipation for this new challenge. Decades later, I meander through my portfolio and find many cases where the support beam was crucial in the structure and design.

The project I was referring too…framing the post added to the lines of the kitchen while the installation of the pot holder gave it functionality.


Another Kitchen that utilizes the beams and adds a different decorative style. The design fashions a island/bar table around the column, cutting the surface area in half and then integrating texture with stone tiles and plaster..


I finished this NYC condo with natural wood beams that make quite a statement. With such grand windows letting in magnificent light, it was best to keep the floor plan open so that light hit every room. These large wood beams made that possible!


Love these unique tree trunk beams!  Although Glulam, which is a versatile laminated timber, is stronger and used in most bare wood beams these natural wood trunks are thick enough to do the job and are very engaging.


Tropical Living Room design by San Francisco Interior Designer Saint Dizier Design

Steel connections make for strong impressions. These steel/wood beams make it hard not to appreciate modern architecture. Love the black mate finish on the metal and how it accents the beautifully stained wood.


Modern Exterior design by Dc Metro Architect Brennan + Company Architects

This subtle beam is enhanced with crown and base molding as well as custom paneling. I think it gives the beam importance. This was another project in CT that required a lot of exposed beams due to the size of the house. I like how it separates the room without blocking the space.

As a designer I approach each beam with an open mind. These columns have so much versatility, the options seem endless. For example, beams come in all different sizes.  From slender and sleek…..


…to thick and bold!


Traditional Dining Room design by San Francisco Architect Noel Cross+Architects

LOVE LOVE LOVE this support beam! Notice the fabulous detail on top, looking very traditional with the Doric or Ionic motif. Also find respect in the attention to materials – the aged refurbished wood with the cast iron poll…very admirable.


Eclectic Living Room design by New York Interior Designer Deborah French Designs

Lucky to have come across this picture online. They are the perfect example of how these support structures can be transformed into works of art.


Asian Patio design by Austin Architect Webber + Studio, Architects

Don’t forget your outdoor space!  Painting the  windows, swinging bench and column the same color creates a very private and nook-like space. The hardware you see resting along the side it meant for a flag poll.


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