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  • Writer's pictureThe Barn Door Store

There’s a “Fifth Wall” in every room

Have you ever heard of the fifth wall? Every room has one. It’s the great expanse of empty space that’s above your head wherever you happen to be inside your home or office: the ceiling.

Ceiling design is nothing new: For centuries, architects and artists have found imaginative ways to transform ceilings and incorporate them into beautiful interior schemes.

The 5th wall is often forgotten in architecture and building design, but on a rare occasion, the ceiling can completely define a space. Ceiling treatments are unique in that they add character and can completely change the look and feel of a room.

A new book titled “the Art of Looking Up” by White Lyon Publishing (2019) focusses on this very subject – the world’s most beautiful ceilings.

Even with all the hype about the 5th wall and how adding detail will dramatically change a room, plain white ceilings remain a standard in the average American home.

That’s starting to change, however, and it’s a trend we expect to see a whole lot more of in 2022 and beyond. These days, builders, renovators, and interior designers are paying close attention to the “fifth wall” and the array of design possibilities it offers.

At the Barn Door Store we transform the fifth wall by applying ceiling beams. We manufacture a 3-sided box beam from solid hardwood and apply the stain finish of our customer’s choice. Wood cleats are secured to the ceiling which receive the 3-sided box beam for a strong, seamless installation to the ceiling. Ceiling beams have the magical ability to instantly transform a room. In a large room that boasts a lot of volume, ceiling beams have a way to ground the space and make it feel inviting and cozy. Ceiling beams will also help

absorb sound in a large space and make the room quiet, calm and reduce echo. We highly recommend that

the scale of the ceiling beam is proportionate with the scale of the room. In a room with a lot of volume we install ceiling beams that are larger in scale and make a very bold statement, after all, when installing ceiling beams one of the main objectives from a design perspective is to give the illusion that the ceiling beams are functional and provide the purpose of supporting the overall structure of the building.

At the Barn Door Store we also have a line of polyurethane faux beams. These beams are cast from real wood timbers and receive the impression of wood grain, knots and distressed characteristics into the polyurethane. Our Poly-Beams can be stained in any finish that our customers desire and give the appearance of authenticity. We have many different styles and textures of Poly-Beams from a smooth texture that can receive a beautiful painted finish to very rustic giving the appearance that the beam is 100+ years old and was reclaimed from an old barn. Our Poly-Beam at the Barn Door store are also lighter in weight that a hardwood beam and are priced generally 25% less that the hardwood beams.

In smaller rooms it is also important to respect the overall scale and size of the room, especially the ceiling height. If a room has low ceilings, we recommend that a low- profile beam is used. A low-profile beam can be wide on the bottom face of the beam to give the appearance of being substantial in size and strength, but it should not protrude downward from the ceiling more than 4” to 5”. By using a low-profile beam in a room with a standard or low ceiling height, the ceiling will not feel like it is encroaching downward. In many instances ceiling beams will make a room feel bigger than it is as the eye will have paths to follow in relation the depth and detail of the room’s architectural characteristics.

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