Are you looking for a way to add some visual interest and charm to your ceilings? Exposed ceiling beams are a classic architectural feature that can instantly elevate a room. However, it’s not always easy to expose the beams in your home, especially in newer homes or apartment units. That’s where decorative ceiling beams come in!.
Decorative beams are ceiling beams that are installed purely for aesthetic purposes and don’t serve any architectural function in the home. Because of this, they are extremely versatile and can be installed however you want. If you need some inspiration to get your project started, here are 35 decorative ceiling beam ideas that are sure to impress.
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Accentuate a Vaulted Ceiling
Rather than installing decorative beams horizontally below a vaulted ceiling, try installing them right up against the ceiling to accent the shape of the room and make it feel bigger. Add some statement lighting to really finish off the space.Continue to 2 of 35 below.
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Add One Central Beam
Use a single wood ceiling beam to add a rustic touch to a modern room, as seen in this contemporary design by Kimberly Larzelere. Add a decorative chandelier to highlight the feature and draw the eyes upwards.Continue to 3 of 35 below.
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Repurpose Old Wood Beams
These decorative wood beams were salvaged from a winery renovation in Napa and repurposed in this stylish living room design. If you look closely you can still see remnants of red wine and chalk tank numbers written on some of the beams.Continue to 4 of 35 below.
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Paint a Pattern
Turn your decorative beams into a canvas and use some paint to add a pattern or design as seen in this bedroom by Studio Montemayor. This teenage bedroom was inspired by the rich colors and textures of the Harry Potter series, and the painted ceiling beams help to add some soft whimsy to the finished space.Continue to 5 of 35 below.
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Add a Ceiling Mural
Jeff Schlarb Design Studio used wallpaper to add a decorative mural to this Sonoma Valley home. The flying blackbirds compliment the natural wood beams and vaulted ceiling and add a rustic touch to the otherwise glam design.Continue to 6 of 35 below.
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Add Crown Molding
Add crown molding around your ceiling beams to create a super luxurious, Victorian-inspired space as seen in this kitchen by Whittney Parkinson Design. For a soft and understated look, we recommend matching the color of the beams and molding to the ceiling.Continue to 7 of 35 below.
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Opt for Painted Beams
Wood beams aren’t the only way to go. This family room by Shannon Adamson Interior Design boasts charcoal-colored decorative ceiling beams that are constructed from MDF and spray-painted for a super architectural and stylish look.Continue to 8 of 35 below.
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Build Beams Using Plywood and Wallpaper
Can you believe these chic blonde wood beams are constructed from plywood and wood-grain wallpaper? Since this space required long beams, Shannon Adamson Interior Design opted for a custom-made solution rather than using regular wood to avoid seams showing. The best part is you’d never be able to tell the beams aren’t real wood unless they told you.Continue to 9 of 35 below.
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Add a little something extra to a minimalist design by installing a few small decorative ceiling beams, as seen in this bathroom by Caroline Kopp Interior Design. Choose a coordinating color for the beams to help them blend in with the space rather than becoming too much of a focal point.Continue to 10 of 35 below.
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Pair Light Wood and White Shiplap
Natural wood and white shiplap are a classic pairing—and for good reason. The single decorative beam in the center of this living room’s ceiling helps to carry the wood tones throughout the room and make the space feel complete.Continue to 11 of 35 below.
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Add a Playful Wallpaper
Make your ceiling beams pop by adding bold wallpaper to your ceiling as seen in this colorful dining room by Colleen Simonds. Matching furniture and accessories to the color palette of the wallpaper will tie the room together and help the eyes move around the space.Continue to 12 of 35 below.
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Opt for Wood on Wood
Get a super rustic look by going for a full wood ceiling with decorative beams over paneled wood. A matching stain for the paneling and beams will keep the ceiling from overwhelming the space visually, as seen in this light and bright kitchen by Desiree Burns Interiors.Continue to 13 of 35 below.
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Go Large and Architectural
Make a statement and give your space an architectural look by adding in several large ceiling beams. This look will be especially effective if you have vaulted ceilings to work with, but can still be achieved with standard ceilings too.Continue to 14 of 35 below.
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Match the Beams to the Ceiling
If you want to add some interest to your ceiling without making it a focal point, try painting the decorative beams the same color as your ceiling as seen in this living room. The final result has the space feeling luxurious while leaving lots of room for the furniture and accessories to take center stage in the design.Continue to 15 of 35 below.
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Opt for Thin Beams
Decorative beams don’t have to be large in order to be effective in the space. Whether space is limited or you want a more minimal look, thin ceiling beams are a great choice. We love the use of a dark ceiling color in this bathroom by Colleen Simonds to make the natural wood beams pop.Continue to 16 of 35 below.
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Use Them to Separate Rooms
Use decorative ceiling beams to distinguish between different rooms in large, open-concept spaces. Here, long light-colored wood beams are used to separate the dining space from the kitchen, and the kitchen from the butler’s pantry while keeping the space feeling open and light.Continue to 17 of 35 below.
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Choose a Mudroom
Mudrooms can feel like an awkward space to design, with functionality first and little room left for decor. That’s why decorative ceiling beams can be a great choice since they don’t take up valuable floor space and can provide that visual interest while still keeping the space practical and function-forward.Continue to 18 of 35 below.
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Go Bold With Black
Black and white is a classic pairing that works in minimalist spaces, maximalist spaces, and everything in between. We love painted black beams against the white walls in this living/dining room combo by Interior Impressions. The dark color accentuates the vaulted ceiling, drawing the eyes upward, while the matching black fireplace helps to ground the space.Continue to 19 of 35 below.
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Go All in on Exposed Wood
Get a super rustic and cozy look by creating a ceiling that looks like you’ve fully exposed the rafters. Of course, for proper temperature control, you probably won’t actually want to expose the rafters of your ceiling. Instead, create a faux look using wood slats and decorative beams.Continue to 20 of 35 below.
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Accent Your Doorways
While the use of decorative beams in this living room isn’t technically on the ceiling, it’s close enough to count and we’re loving the creativity. This idea is especially relevant if you have short ceilings and are looking for a way to add a rustic touch to your space without making the room feel smaller and more cramped.Continue to 21 of 35 below.
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Go Low Profile
If you aren’t blessed with 12-foot ceilings or a vaulted ceiling in your home, don’t worry. You can still enjoy decorative ceiling beams without feeling like they’re taking over your space by choosing low-profile beams and installing them several feet apart, as seen in this kitchen.Continue to 22 of 35 below.
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Border a Room
Decorative beams don’t have to be in the center of the ceiling. This kitchen by Heritage Homes Jacksonville features a decorative ceiling beam used like ceiling trim on a large feature wall in the space. The dark stain of the wood helps to accentuate the shape of the vaulted ceiling and make the space feel bigger.Continue to 23 of 35 below.
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Utilize Soft Gray Tones
For a minimal look that isn’t white-on-white, try pairing white with soft gray tones as seen in this bedroom design by Heritage Homes Jacksonville. The decorative ceiling beams accentuate the room’s tall, arched ceilings, while the stain of the wood adds a pop of color without going overboard.Continue to 24 of 35 below.
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Carry Them Through Multiple Rooms
Make decorative beams look truly built-in by carrying them through multiple rooms, as seen in this home by Whittney Parkinson Design. This is especially effective in open-concept spaces where archways and half walls are plentiful so you can truly appreciate the final product.Continue to 25 of 35 below.
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Use Contrasting Wood Tones
Pair contrasting wood tones on your ceiling for a rich, cozy look. This living room design features plenty of natural textures throughout the space so the ceiling doesn’t feel out of place—including leather furniture, greenery, and exposed brick.Continue to 26 of 35 below.
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Frame a Room
For some extra visual interest, don’t be afraid to use decorative beams to fully frame your space. This dining room features a grid-like pattern with ceiling trim that matches the color of the beams for a bold statement look.Continue to 27 of 35 below.
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Choose the Bathroom
Living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens are popular choices for decorative ceiling beams, but don’t forget about the bathroom. This bright white bathroom proves that a simple ceiling beam can go a long way in bathroom design.Continue to 28 of 35 below.
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Use Reclaimed Barn Beams
For a truly rustic touch, opt for genuine reclaimed barn beams as seen in this moody living room by Whittney Parkinson Design. The weathered beams add some texture to the space and draw the eye up to accentuate the high vaulted ceiling.Continue to 29 of 35 below.
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Match the Fireplace
Use the same wood stain for the fireplace and ceiling beams to draw the eye up and along the ceiling. We love the ashy brown that Whittney Parkinson Design chose for this bright living room design.Continue to 30 of 35 below.
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Feature Oversized Lighting
Let an oversized light fixture shine in your space by painting your ceiling beams white so they blend into the background. The ceiling beams emphasize the height of the room and frame the light fixture so it doesn’t feel out of place in this modern, minimalist room.Continue to 31 of 35 below.
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Go Big and Sculptural
Talk about wow factor. If you have extra high ceilings and want to go for something truly awe-inspiring, take some inspiration from this stunning bedroom by Sarah Barnard Design. The dark wood tones lean into the historic aesthetic of the space, while the sharp angling and high contrast add a modern, sculptural feel.Continue to 32 of 35 below.
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Make It Moody
Make a statement with decorative ceiling beams by pairing them with wood paneling on the ceiling. Dark black beams against natural wood paneling gives this room a moody and cozy feel that we absolutely love.Continue to 33 of 35 below.
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Match the Cupboards
Choose a coordinating stain for your cupboards and ceiling beam for a soft and balanced look. The light stain in this kitchen keeps the space feeling bright and airy while adding some architectural interest with the single large ceiling beam.Continue to 34 of 35 below.
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Create a Grid Pattern
Use several beams to create a grid pattern for a modern take on this classic architectural feature. Paint the beams the same color as the ceiling for a minimalist look, or choose a contrasting ceiling color for an interesting pop of color.Continue to 35 of 35 below.
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Add Metal Brackets
Metal brackets don’t just give decorative beams an added rustic touch, but they are practical too. In spaces where long beams are required and you want to stick with natural wood, metal brackets can help to hide the seams between beams in an artful way.