How to Improve the Look of a Beam or Post

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.

Beams can serve many different purposes in a space. Recent trends in home design show that many people are actually adding beams to their space, even when they aren’t needed, in order to add more definition between spaces or interest to an existing space.

How To Improve The Look of A Beam or Post

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When deciding how to deal with a beam and/or a post in your own home, start by asking yourself the following question: Are they a design element you want to capitalize on or should it blend in with the rest of the space? 

The answer to that question will help a lot in how you decide to move forward with your remodel!

How To Make A Beam or Post a Focal Point

The best way to create an accent to the space is to add a contrasting color or texture. This can be accomplished a few different ways.

  • Paint

    The first way, and the simplest is to use paint. Adding an accenting color to the beam will draw the eye toward it and make it a focal point of the room. We generally recommend the color needs to be a darker hue than the color on the walls to create the best look for the beam.

  • Wood

    The other option is use another type of material, like wood, on the outside of the post. You can do this by buying premade faux wood beams, if they will fit over your existing beam. The other option is to buy wood and wrap the post and beam with the wood material. You can then sand and stain the wood to your desired color.

How To Make A Beam or Post Blend In

The easiest way to help a beam or post blend in is to paint them the same color as the walls so that they no longer stand out.

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

How to Improve the Look of a Beam or Post
How to Improve the Look of a Beam or Post

After/Blending In

How to Improve the Look of a Beam or Post
How to Improve the Look of a Beam or Post

In the "before" image you can see that the wood on the beam and post draw your eye to them. In this particular home we felt that the wood beam actually made the space look smaller and more choppy. The wood paneling on the beam made it a “feature” because it was a different color and had more texture.

We wanted that beam to blend into the space so that the brand new kitchen could be the star of the space! We accomplished that 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. 

Conclusion

If you are trying to plan around a beam in your space, your approach really depends on your ultimate design goals and the style of your home. If you want the beam or post to blend in with your space, then painting it the same color as the walls will help to draw attention away from it as you accent other parts of the space. If you intend to have the beam and post be a focal point, then adding contrasting colors and textures with paint or wood can be a great way to make a new feature in your room!


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?