A reader asked a really relevant- yet often not asked- question about exposed ceiling beams and feng shui. “I am working a traditional newly built oak English new build. There are oak beams exposed internally in every room. I am new to this, but can you give me some general hints please – perhaps what to enhance and avoid.”
Beams are considered superbad news in traditional, old school feng shui. You’ll hear suggestions to hang “bamboo flutes” (don’t ask, you can only get them in specialty places likely online (can you tell I’m not into this)) and cross them on the beams to “lessen” the pressure caused by the beams. Others suggest hanging crystals from the beams to accomplish the same metaphysical feat.
What beams do in a home in the actuality I’ve experienced is to “visually chop up” a space if they are severe. If they are diagonal beams with a pitched ceiling, they extraordinarily capture the attention and take you out of a room and have you focus on them— and that is both distracting and “dismembering” to a room or a home in extremes.
If you have a home with beams there are a few basics I’ll recommend to get you started in making the rhythmic most of these beams. First, do not sleep with beams crossing important gathering areas directly if possible (IE, don’t put your bed under beams that “chop you up” while you sleep. Sorry, these metaphors get ridiculous, but if you follow what I’m saying you can reposition so the beams seem less extreme overhead…or in a best-case scenario, canopy the bed or the ceiling over your bed. If a living room is being dominated by beams you need to pull the attention down to the ground and create a fiery, dynamic room that “overrides” the beams effect. And same thing holds- don’t let your biggest sofa sit under a beam if possible.
Now, can you hang bamboo flutes on beams? Yes. But understand that they are hung at a diagonal which fixes attention on the flutes rather than the beam. I personally find that in all but rare cases the result is super-distracting in another way (ie, why does this person have these weird sticks on their ceiling?) I have hung painted lanterns on distracting beam in a fantastic pattern, I have suggested a massive chandelier of metal or crystal in a room that is being dominated by beams (check the image above for an example) to both ground the room and take attention away from that “beam effect”… So, here are your ideas! Have fun!!!
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Always, I love hearing from you! xoxo Dana