The Basement: Beams VS No Beams

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hiya. I'm taking a few minutes to rest (and blog!) since I've got an itchy, scratchy throat and I'm pretty sure this is my fourth cold since Christmas. {Insert pathetic self-pitying cry here.} I'm pretty sure the only thing that will make me feel better is a hot chocolate with no less than three marshmallows. I'm prescribing myself one as we speak.

During our basement renovation I must have pinned a zillion inspiration pictures. There were some design features that I was sure would get incorporated into our finished space. 

Example #1: Board and Batten Wainscoting

Source - Beach House in the City

In order to save valuable time and effort we nixed the wainscoting in favour of fully painted walls. You can read all about that decision in my last post here.

Example #2: (Faux) Rustic Wooden Beams

Source - Unknown

The previous owners of our home had two exposed support joists running along the basement ceiling. They were clad in pieces of thin, stained wood which gave the illusion that they were big, original, wooden beams. I thought we could replicate the look (but even better than the original version) to add some interest and cottage rustic-ness to an otherwise light space. I even thought about DIYing a cool whitewash treatment over them. When Alex dry-walled the basement he left the joists exposed with the full intention of creating the faux rustic, wooden beams that I reallllllly wanted.

However. However. When it came time to actually start creating the look of wooden beams, it became clear that we didn't really think it through. Alex couldn't find any wooden planks that were wide enough to cover the bottoms, the ceilings are not level which would leave giant gaps in some places between the wood and the ceiling, and the sides were longer than a standard board size so it would require a lot of puzzle piecing. It didn't help the situation that my "beams" were the last thing to complete before Alex could tackle the flooring. And they were starting to hold up his progress big time. Once I could see that his frustration levels were rising to dangerous levels I told him I would be okay with dry-walling them instead.

So he did. 

While I still think that wooden beams would have looked really cool, it ended up saving us quite a bit of time and energy to make them dry-walled bulkheads instead. Even I will admit that it looks really clean and polished down there now.

AND, most importantly, the hubs is no longer grumpy with me.



  1. Beams would be cool, but at some point you need to move on! Bring in lots of wood tons in the room once you decorate it and you will never look back :)

    1. I totally agree! Now that the warm, wood-look floors are installed I feel like we're on the right track!

  2. It's very important to keep the hubs not grumpy if you want the basement done. Good call ;)

  3. The wood beams would have looked amazing. I love the look of your inspiration photo. But the Sheetrock does look nice too. I can't wait to see what you do with the entire space.


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