why ex­posed beams are back in the game

Living Etc - - CONTENTS ⁄ ETC -

Back­ground You only need to search for ‘Rus­tic farm­house + ex­posed beams’ on Pin­ter­est to know how much of a thing wood rafters are. Once the main­stay of tim­ber-framed houses, for cen­turies beams were hid­den away, only ever en­coun­tered on for­ays into the at­tic. Essen­tial, but rarely seen – they were the ar­chi­tec­tural equiv­a­lent of show­ing your un­der­wear in pub­lic. But when the Seven­ties nos­tal­gia move­ment her­alded a re­vival of all things olde worlde, the ex­posed beam found its place in the style pan­theon. More re­cently, the clever jux­ta­po­si­tion of modern ma­te­ri­als with raw tim­ber has seen the ex­posed beam grad­u­ate from the Tu­dor­bethan pub to hip barn con­ver­sions and ur­ban loft de­vel­op­ments, plus im­prove­ments in in­su­la­tion mean we’ve no need for such space-de­plet­ing ex­trav­a­gance as a false ceil­ing. To­day, the ex­posed beam is a great ex­am­ple of new func­tion­al­ism – the de­sign world’s an­ti­dote to min­i­mal­ism, which is all about show­ing your work­ings in­stead of hid­ing it all away. See also: bare brick walls, ex­posed light bulbs and un­treated floor­boards… get the look Lucky enough to al­ready have a fine set of beams? Revamp them at Back from Black Beam Ren­o­va­tion, from £60 per sq m. You can also in­vest in faux beams, with prices start­ing at £45 for a 6ft de­sign at Oak­leaf Re­pro­duc­tions.

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