Scaling it Back: Making Sure Reclaimed Beams are Proportional in Your Space

So, you have fallen in love with the reclaimed beam look. It’s okay to admit it. Reclaimed beams are extremely popular at the moment, and they lend a natural and classic beauty to a wide variety of aesthetics, from rustic farmhouse to ultra modern . They are also eco-friendly! In short, there are plenty of reasons to jump on this bandwagon.

But, now that you know you love reclaimed beams, it is time to get down to the nitty-gritty details, like actually installing the beams in your home. And installing beams isn’t quite as simple as changing the drapery.

See, beams are big. Very big. Last year, the average size of all of the beams we sold last year was 15 feet long. For comparison, that is about the same length as the average. With something as long as Honda Civic going into your home, you want to make sure it seamlessly fits in your space.

This is where proportion comes into play. In interior design, proportion refers to the balance among all elements of a design. Every part of a space – from the carpet on the floor to the beams on the ceiling to the walls and floors themselves – plays a part in creating a well-balanced, harmonious space. If one piece is off, even by a little bit, it can completely throw off the look and feel of the room.

To avoid an unsightly space, you will need to ensure the scale of your beams are proportional to the space. Proper proportions for rustic beams largely comes down to the ceiling height. The taller the ceilings, the larger the beam that will look proportional in a space. Smaller beams will keep rooms with low ceilings from feeling too crowded.

When you are ready to start looking at reclaimed beams, follow these rules:

8′ ceilings – beams 6″ wide x 4″ tall
9′ ceilings – 6″ wide x 8″ tall
10′ ceilings – 8″ wide x 10″ tall
11-12′ ceilings – 10″ wide x 12″ tall

There are some exceptions to these rules. The most notable one comes into play when you are using an engineered beam to wrap an existing beam. In that case, you can use the strategic placement of furniture and light in the room to somewhat minimize the look of the beam and maintain the balance in the room.

The Olde Mill is a manufacturer of engineered, reclaimed beams, mantels, and custom wood pieces. Call us at (225)291-8588 or email us at info@theoldemill.com for a free sample, and let us show you the difference 100 years can make.