I grew up in a post-and-beam house, which is about the closest you can get to being raised in a barn. Jokes aside, my home instilled in me a love of many things, especially exposed wooden beams.
Even if they're painted over, as in Image 2, exposed beams immediately add character to a room. They can have the charm of age, add the softness of a natural element, and bring texture to ceilings. If you work with them, you can have an effortless and not kitschy country look (Image 7). If you have more modern taste, beams will complement the clean lines and angles (Image 3) and can provide interesting contrast (Image 1).
Images: 1. via I Suwannee 2. Design*Sponge 3. Vart Nya Hem 4. via Post and Beam Living 5. Ina & Matt 6. Design*Sponge 7. Keith Scott Morton for Country Living 8. Tanya Lacourse for Apartment Therapy 9. Lonny 10. Post and Beam Homes