For decades, the open floor plan has ruled the real estate market, and it’s the go-to choice for homeowners and renters alike. Typically, a combination of the kitchen, dining, and living room areas, an open space design can work wonders to free up space and allow for more casual entertaining.
However, if you knock down a load-bearing wall to open your kitchen, you’ll need to install a header beam and posts to redistribute the weight of your home. Otherwise, it might all come crashing down.
Now, these support beams may be in inconvenient places, but there are several ways to keep them from turning into an eyesore.
8 Ways to Decorate Your Support Beams
We’ve all seen our fair share of support beam installations– awkward ones that get in the way of your interior décor. And while it’s impossible to tear these down after a load-bearing wall removal, you can work around them. Here are eight ways to spruce up your kitchen’s support beams.
1. Create a Tiny Museum
With considerable care, the right tools, and just a sprinkle of innovation, you can turn your support beams from stagnant room fillers to a showcase for your most prized belongings. All you have to do is hollow it out to create shadow boxes.
That said, be careful when you do this. The last thing you want is to destabilize the whole structure. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call your load-bearing wall removal contractors.
Alternatively, you can also install traditional shadow boxes around your support beam. The effect is just as elegant, and you’ll still get to put your precious household treasures on display for the world to see.
2. Turn It into an Architectural Detail
You don’t have to hide the support beam to integrate it with your décor. Consider leaving it raw to generate texture and allow for styling possibilities in an otherwise serial environment. This way, the beam won’t take much redecorating and can act as a signature element in your kitchen/living room interiors.
For example, combining wooden support beams with country décor will accentuate the rustic character of the room. And if you’re working with ultra-mod furnishings, a metal beam can add to the overall contemporary vibe.
3. Turn It into Additional Storage
Do you have more than one support beam in a frequently used part of your home? Good news- you just unlocked some additional storage.
Transform parallel support beams into a shelving unit by placing treated wood slabs between the two. Once you secure them in place, you’ll have multiple free-floating or resting shelves to store books, plants, and more!
Don’t worry about putting a back on your new shelving unit. But do ensure the items you place aren’t a falling hazard. You don’t want people to get stuck while navigating through your home.
It’s really up to you to decide how you want to use your shelving unit. Work with your local hardware store representatives to secure the items you need, and you can take this up as a DIY project for the weekend.
4. Use It as Wine Cellar
Like most people, you probably enjoy the occasional glass of wine. But if you’re tired of having to go down to your basement every time you’re craving a glass, why not put your support beam to work?
Call load-bearing wall removal contractors to hollow out your support beams and convert the interior into a wine rack. You can use it to store wines at room temperature. What’s more, this arrangement will keep the spirits at arm’s length, making it great for entertaining too.
A word of advice. As long as you preserve three of the support beam installation’s four sides, it can continue to carry your home while becoming the central feature of any room.
5. Add Some Privacy to Your Open Floor Plan
Although open layouts are great, they don’t always give you the privacy you need. But there’s no need to despair: you can use your kitchen support beams to create confined spaces in an open space design.
For example, parallel beams can help fashion temporary room dividers to separate one space from the next. You can also invest in concealable, fake walls or screens to give you the privacy you need. And in case you want more permanent divides, consider looking for treated woods or elegant fabrics.
6. Transform It into a Mirror
Floor-to-ceiling mirrors are a must for fashion enthusiasts. But if you don’t have enough space to install one in your bedroom, we suggest you wrap your kitchen support beam in full-length mirrors for a glamorous effect. Besides being an excellent design element, this can also make the column “disappear” by reflecting all the surfaces around it.
7. Let it Enhance Your Kitchen’s Theme
Give the impression that the support beam was always meant to be there by consolidating it into your kitchen. You can match it to your open shelves, island worktop, and fireplace mantel.
Likewise, exposed steel columns would be ideal for an industrial or loft kitchen. And if you’re living in an older home with original moldings elsewhere, you can add period-appropriate pilasters to your columns. There’s plenty of opportunity here!
8. Make It a Pet-Friendly Scratching Post
Most pet owners know how difficult it can be to keep their fuzzballs entertained. While you can install shelves and complex toys for your furry companion, there are simpler ways to make your home pet-friendly.
Use some sisal rope and small nails to transform a plain support beam into a cat-scratching post in no time. Wrap the rope around the beam and secure it with the nails. As long as nothing juts out, your cat can enjoy a stress-free scratch!
The Bottom Line
Support beams don’t have to take away from the rest of your home décor. There’s plenty you can do, provided you get creative enough. Hopefully, this post has given you a few ideas to make the most of the essential load-bearing columns in your space.
Ready to take down the pesky load-bearing wall standing in the way of your dream open kitchen? Give Load Bearing Pros a call! We’re affordable, experienced, spec’d by a structural engineer, and happy to clean up after ourselves after load-bearing wall removal. Call us today for a free quote!