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Living Room Ceiling

Even though it may not be the first thing you notice when you enter a room, the ceiling makes a big impact on how you perceive the space.  A well designed room should include careful study of how the ceiling is perceived.  Simple unadorned ceilings are fine as long as they fit the rooms they are above.  There is almost no limit to the design options available when considering the ceiling of a home.

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Exposed Beams In Kitchen

When additional ceiling height is needed, sometimes the best choice is to reveal the underlying structure.  In this kitchen, the ceilings were low and unattractive.   The beams were even better than we hoped for once the contractors took down the plaster.

Master Bedroom Ceiling

Built Up Beams in Master Bedroom

In this master bedroom, we provided interest and detail by designing built up beams which were painted the color of the surrounding trim.

Study With Barn Beams

Study With Barn Beams and Reclaimed Timbers

200 year old beams reclaimed from barns slated for distruction as well as reclaimed flooring work together in this study to create a warm, rustic feeling.

Porch Detail

Curved Ceiling Reflects Curved Structure of Roof

This screened porch has a lofty feeling with a natural pine bead board ceiling following the curve of the exterior structure.  The roof of this porch is a copper barrel vault.

About the Author: James Crisp

James M. Crisp has been an architect for well over 30 years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In April of 2007, Taunton Press published 'On the Porch' by James M. Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

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  1. 9B80C9Ac48Bffc7Dd5C614C19041C9Af?S=54&R=G
    Jean Molesworth Kee February 9, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Great post. Love your work. Yes, ceilings (like floors) so important… huge planes of color in a space.

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    James Crisp February 10, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Thanks. We try to give ceilings their due.

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    Amy February 16, 2012 at 8:48 am

    You discuss transforming low ceilings. What would you suggest to make high/double height ceilings more cozy and informal?

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    Tom Dieck February 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Jim, nice work here. I love the look of the wood on the ceilings when you have height in a room.
    If the room has good light the wood should not darken the room as most people would think.

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    Drew Peterson February 16, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Thank you for the article on ceilings. I appreciate the unique aspect that can impact space that is normally taken for granted.

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    James Crisp February 17, 2012 at 6:27 am

    We sometimes add beams or collar ties to too tall ceilings. Often some details like coffers add interest to a high volume room.

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    Gabi Villegas March 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    @ Amy:
    We happen to have a (simply-styled) larger chandelier hung lowly over our coffee table/seating area to give a more intimate feel. Just a thought…
    Thanks Jim for letting me take over your website :-)

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