How to Improve the Look of a Beam or Post

Everyone loves an open concept living space but removing walls can sometimes mean that beams and posts must take their place in order to keep the structural integrity of the home. When deciding how to deal with a beam and/or a post you should ask yourself the following: Are they a design element you want to capitalize on or should it blend in with the rest of the space? 

The pictures below show an example of a home remodel we did and the difference between accenting a beam and post vs. having them blend in. The previous owners of this home used wood to accent the beam which really made it stand out within the space. Our clients wanted the beam to blend in and have the kitchen be the main focal point. 

Before/Focal Point

After/Blending In

In the "before" image you can see that the wood on the beam and post draw your eye to them and, in my opinion, make the space feel smaller and more choppy. By painting the beam the same color as the walls it allowed the space to feel open and your eye looks past the header to see the rest of the beautiful details in the kitchen and dining room. 

Your approach really depends on your ultimate design goals and the style of your home. Have you experienced working with a beam and post in your own home? How did you approach it: accent it or have it blend in?