When you enter a room, what do you notice first? The furniture and its placement? Most likely. The window treatments and floor covering? Maybe. The ceiling? Probably never! Historically seeming to be the most neglected area of the room, ceilings have taken a back seat to the time and effort we give everywhere else. But Jamie Beckwith of Beckwith Interiors is changing that tradition in a big way and moving ceiling decor to the head of the class. Hailed for her acute attention to detail as well as being a leading trendsetter in luxury interior design, it made perfect sense for us to have Jamie give us several ideas on how to dress up your ceiling.
BACKGROUND: Jamie Beckwith is a Nashville based designer who heads a full service interior design firm alongside her manufacturing facility for the Jamie Beckwith Collection. Her designs, in both spaces and product, focus on customization, a strong sense of geometry and the relationships between disparate objects.
Dressing Up Your Ceiling
As a designer and manufacturer of luxury, surfacing materials, I know firsthand how some of the most prominent surfaces in a space can often be overlooked. Walls are adorned sparsely with artwork, flooring becomes an afterthought and ceilings are abandoned, slopped with white paint as if that had always been their destiny. Lighting fixtures often become a one-man show, begging for the eye to look up. While fixtures alone can be successful in creating impactful designs, there are plenty of other creative ways to add more interest to interiors through the ceiling. Every surface is a blank canvas waiting to be explored and the ceiling is certainly no exception!
I love to create juxtapositions through the use of materials that don’t seemingly go together. In one design of a residential wine cellar we did here in Nashville, I played with the relationship between organic wood, sleek acrylic and LED lighting. The ceiling was constructed of glass so you could see the seating area above you, or you could look down into the cellar from above. It makes for a pretty amazing spectacle from either perspective.
Adding texture with architectural elements, such as wood beams, is a great way to add interest to your ceilings. There’s something about having that weight above your head that makes for a safe and cozy environment. Not only do beams work seamlessly regardless of the aesthetic, there’s plenty that can be done to these structural components to make them more personal to their space. Sometimes leaving them rustic is best. In one recent remodel we did, we incorporated reclaimed solid Oak beams as an understated element. These worked nicely alongside the iron and wood chandelier.
If beams are unnecessary or don’t seem to make sense in your space, incorporating simple wood panels or planks is sure to add texture and warmth. It’s a great solution to carrying on the continuity of a space where other costly materials might not be in the budget. This concept was carried out in a pool house where one large focal wall was covered in Travertine. The angled ceilings were finished in painted oak planks to continue the richness of textures in a seamless application.
In another Nashville residence, our client needed to update an existing coffered ceiling in their study. We wanted to avoid a typical application of contrasting paint, and instead, the sunken panels were gold-leafed by a local artisan. It has proven to be one of the most impactful elements of the room.
As stated earlier, sometimes an amazing, stand-alone fixture is just enough to dress up an overhead surface. Many lighting fixtures cast brilliant shadows on the ceiling and walls, serving dual purposes. These are especially appropriate in smaller rooms where wallpaper is used on the walls. Creating shadows on the ceilings can help carry through a concept without being too busy.
Thank you Jamie! We are inspired! For more information on how to contact Jamie, please read below:
421 Enos Reed Drive / Nashville, TN 37210
Jamie Beckwith Collection
800 Fesslers Lane / Nashville, TN 37210
(All images courtesy of Beckwith Interiors)
Nashville Interior Design