Good Questions: What Color for These Beams?

Good Questions: What Color for These Beams?

Maxwell Ryan
May 3, 2006

Hello AT,

My husband and I just purchased a loft-style condo and are looking forward to the reno, because, though it has potential, currently it's U-G-L-Y. One of my design dilemmas involves two wood beams, which are smack dab in the middle of the condo...

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I'd like to use really dark wood throughout the space and on the hardwood floor, but I'm wondering if the dark wood will look odd against the medium-brown beams. Should I coordinate the floor and cabinet colors with the beams or just ignore them entirely? I wouldn't want to paint the beams, but I would consider staining them darker, if that's even possible (they're wood, not glu-lam).

Thanks for your help! Kris

Dear Kris,

As you think, you HAVE to cut the blechy medium brown color of those beams if you want to push for a darker wood styling.

We would recommend staining dark towards ebony OR whitewashing lighter.

Personally, we would push the concrete floor darker - if possible - by staining the concrete and then whitewashing the beams to lighten up your upper visual space. Beams, while attractive architectural details, are not pieces of artwork, so they should be "seen and not heard", if you get what we mean. Pushing them white will brighting the space while still highlighting their presence and showing off the wood.

Anyone else????

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