Beams, beams, and more beams

I’ve always loved beams. Big, chunky, rustic beams … the more the better. So when I started thinking about what I wanted in our new house, a boatload of beams were pretty high on the list.




I think we have exterior beams covered. Some may say we even went a bit overboard.

house progress

breezeway beams

rustic double beams

back porch beams

Last week the interior beams (new cedar 8 x 8’s) were installed. There are two under the loft in the kitchen (they’re not supporting anything, they’re purely aesthetic)…

beams under loft (in the kitchen)

kitchen beams

And two flanking the foyer.

foyer beams

beams in foyer

Then there are the ceiling beams. We had always planned on using old solid antique beams for the ceiling, but that proved harder than planned. First off, we needed 30 footers, which are a bit hard to find (not to mention expensive). Then the framers refused to put in solid beams, which meant it would have to be a DIY project. I wasn’t excited about that option, especially after Adams ladder incident last January.

Darin and Jody (our house building friends) did decide to DIY their beam installation, and it proved successful.

Darin beams 1

Darin beams 2

They look amazing, right? If you like that just wait till you see ours…

fake beams - to be skinned

Ohhh, ahhhh…. haha.

We went the other route and had the framers install fake beams, which we will skin later.

land beams - to be skinned later

fake ceiling beams

We also had the same thing done in the master bedroom, just on a smaller scale.

fake beams in the master bedroom

Not as amazing as the real thing, but they cost less than a thousand bucks and we didn’t have to install them ourselves (though we will have to skin them later). Adam was talking about perhaps doing something weird and creative with them, but I pulled my veto card on that idea pretty quickly. I really just want them to look like old, rustic, sexy beams. I don’t want to regret going wild with the big unchangeable parts of our house, I want those parts to stay pretty classy. You know me….class class class.

I did a quote today from a company that sells antique beam skins just for this sort if thing, and the quote was EIGHTEEN THOUSAND dollars. Yes, you read that right. It might as well be a million. It think it would be cheaper for me to wrap the beams in actual money, like dollar bill decoupage, than to buy antique skins. Crazy. I’m going to keep looking for a rustic wood option, but if I had to guess I’d say we will end up with cedar skinned beams to match all the others. I think they will look nice when we are finished… and even if they’re not perfect, they’re pretty high up there. It’s not like they’re right in your face.

This week we have been finishing up little things and double checking everything before spray foam and rock happen next week, and Adam has also started building our kitchen cabinets. I’m trying to stay caught up with house progress and not get backlogged, but it’s getting a little hard at this point. If you want to see frequent real-time updates you can always follow me on Instagram.

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  1. Maria from Oz says:

    OMG! I was on my treadmill yesterday and looking up at the beam albeit little one with stupid plaster board, (drywall) in my family cum kitchen cum whatever room and thinking, I wonder if it would work if I put a real old beam across there? Then YOU pop up in my emails sharing your beams! I can’t believe it!
    Yeah, on thinking about it, even a small one for me will cost an arm, or a leg and that defeats the purpose of being on the treadmill in the first place.

    • Don’t rule it out, there are a ton of options that don’t cost an arm and a leg that you can do after the fact. This company has great faux (foam, easy install) ones, and believe it or not Home Depot also sells them. Also, if it’s not a huge beam a solid antique one doesn’t have to break the bank either. It would have been $5,000 – $6,000 in materials for us do do solid beams, but that is a bunch of massive ones. I thought that was a really high price until I got the quote for skins…how I’m thinking it wasn’t so bad, haha. You get your beam, girl!

      • Maria from Oz says:

        Ah, now if only I lived in US! They look terrific! Alas, us poor Colonials have to contend with only two hardware stores which both have little choices of anything in. Bunnings imports tons of CHinese cheapo garbage and Masters is great but still has limited range of anything. No faux wood beams at either! Maybe I could use old floorboards and paint them up to look more beamy like? Hmmm…>runs off to look at stash down the shed<

        • Oh, you’re in Australia (should have figured that out from ‘Oz’, but my mind went right to the Wizard of Oz). AZ Faux Beams will ship worldwide, but that would probably make it crazy expensive. Adam has mentioned multiple times that we could just cover our beams in whatever wood flooring we choose. It wouldn’t look like a solid old beam if we did that, but I also don’t think it would look bad. If you do it I want to see pics!
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  2. very nice Ashley…can’t wait to see the house completed…Millie from

  3. Jan Elizabeth says:

    Wow, it’s coming along so fast! It’s going to be amazing. :) I love beams, too. We had one across the vaulted ceiling in the house I grew up in, and I always loved it. I think your beams will be gorgeous!

  4. This reminds me of when my aunt and uncle were building their house….DIY rebels that they were, their beams came from a turn-of-the-century barn that had burned down. The beams were originally eighteen inches thick so they were able to have them planed to remove the charring. The mill would only plane them after they were assured the beams wouldn’t be structural.

  5. Brandi in NB says:

    You know what screams “class”? Dollar bill decoupage! Keep it classy, girly!

  6. Can’t wait for that house to be fully built! You really had an amazing plan for it. Exciting to see once it’s all done!
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  7. Honestly, people don’t realise just how important the beams are during a construction job! Did you end up paying 18 thought, Ashley?

Thank you for your comments!

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