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Need help for this weird hanging beam
Chris Wong
December 26, 2012 in Design Dilemma
My living room is open to above; however there is a weird hanging beam in my living room. If I can remove it, it will create a much nicer space from the living room to the upper floor. But it cannot be removed. Any idea that I can decorate to make it better?
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Jayme H.
I can't see it very well, but you could get it wrapped with planking. Could be similar colored to your stairs/railing if you like that tone. Or I have seen things wrapped with whitewashed planks, which look nice too if you like the wood-look .
December 26, 2012 at 10:08am   
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Chris Wong
Thanks Jayme, Do you mean wrapped with faux wood beam (http://www.fauxwoodbeams.com)?
December 26, 2012 at 10:13am   
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Harrut
I'm guessing you'd like to keep the height it affords?
If so how about painting it in a stunning colour to make a feature of it, perhaps then find an object to hang along it.... say if you were a rower then a set of oars, or perhaps extend a short shelf from it and create an area of foliage/book shelf.
If you don't want the height how about just getting plaster boards and plastering over it? Simple but effective.
So for me it's either feature or a vanishing act!!
December 26, 2012 at 10:16am     
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Chris Wong
Good idea. I never thought of it. But wondering doing will be expansive. In fact, I am struggling if I should leave the space because I quite like such a height. Three more clearer images attached. Thanks so much guys for your generous and good ideas.
December 26, 2012 at 10:30am   
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PRO
Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
Is there enough height to create a loft? If not, I would consider softening the beam with a paint color or wrapping it with wood.
December 26, 2012 at 10:31am   
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Chris Wong
yes. actually the hight is enough for another room but doing so might require a major re-modelling.
December 26, 2012 at 10:33am   
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Chris Wong
please let me know if you guys also think this beam is weird. Thanks
December 26, 2012 at 10:34am   
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PRO
Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
I agree it looks out of place.
December 26, 2012 at 10:39am   
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Chris Wong
so your recommendation is to seal it, making another ceiling? Is it possible?
December 26, 2012 at 10:42am   
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Chris Wong
I photoshop it and make a ceiling. What do you guys think? Best solution with a ceiling?
December 26, 2012 at 10:45am     
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Chris Wong
If I cover it with another ceiling, what should I do with this extra space? appreciate all your comments.
December 26, 2012 at 10:51am   
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PRO
Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
There are trade offs I would rather have the high ceiling and live with the beam. If you need the extra space and have the budget for remodeling, turn it into a loft.
December 26, 2012 at 10:58am     
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Chris Wong
thanks so much for your comments.
December 26, 2012 at 10:59am   
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Chris Wong
It looks like wrapping with wood is the best solution so far.
December 26, 2012 at 11:00am   
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Chris Wong
I photoshop the beam with some wood, please let me know if you think it is improved. Thanks guys.
December 26, 2012 at 3:12pm     
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Jayme H.
Walking in, it is fairly visible and I prob. would tie a wood wrap in to match the stairs. It can be done with any type of wood if someone who knows what they r doing wraps it. Doesn't have to be a special fancy/expensive type..just stained to match. I also like the openness and would embrace the beam.
December 26, 2012 at 3:16pm     
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Linda
I like the look but think it would be best if it matches the stairs so I would look for a lighter stain unless you have plans to make the stairs darker.
December 26, 2012 at 3:18pm     
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Darzy
You could try your hand at faux painting the wood with one of those faux wood "rocker" brush type thing. I think the wood or wood look is your best option.
December 26, 2012 at 3:19pm   
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Jayme H.
I think the wood looks MUCH better!! Good job...just maybe lighter but I realize u prob. already r aware of that! Good job!
December 26, 2012 at 3:24pm   
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Chris Wong
Thanks guys. Here is the revised version.
December 26, 2012 at 4:05pm     
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Darzy
Yep! That's it Chris! Looks way better.
December 26, 2012 at 4:09pm     
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Chris Wong
thank you all. Hope doing it will not be very expansive.
December 26, 2012 at 4:10pm   
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PRO
Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
It should not be expensive. You can use plywood veneer. I am not sure from the photo if the wood is maple, oak or douglas fir. Either way, the materials should be less than $100. A finish carpenter can do the rest.
December 26, 2012 at 4:25pm     
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Chris Wong
Thanks Murray. This info really helps.
This site is wonderful. I don't expect there are so many people responding my question. Again, thank you guys.
December 26, 2012 at 4:28pm     
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Chris Wong
another mock
December 26, 2012 at 4:52pm     
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iceddopio
go to the shelter and get some cats...they will love to hang out on the beam.
December 26, 2012 at 10:48pm     
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PRO
Anish Motwani Associates
hello

cover the beam with Mirror on all sides...

regards
December 26, 2012 at 11:32pm   
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cohoek
Maybe the beam is already made of wood? Paint stripper is al you need. You could use the beam for your collection of colored vases or wooden toy cars or antiek picnic baskets or wooden boxes or a beautiful sculpture . Look around your house and get creative
December 27, 2012 at 2:20am     
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adam_nicolle
I would paint the beam the same colour as the wall and ceiling, I wouldn't make a feature out of it.
December 27, 2012 at 2:40am     
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PRO
Summit Stairs & Millwork
The picture that someone photo shopped a ceiling in it could be done with stained glass to make a really nice feature and still let some of that light through to the upper stairs. Just a thought.
December 27, 2012 at 5:37am   
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PRO
J. Powless Fine Cabinetry
The beam is a very strong Architectual statement. The cheapest way to minimize it ( good luck!) is to paint it the ceiling color. Anything else you do, like wrapping it in wood, will just make it stand out more. It can be concealed under a new ceiling line, at more expense.
December 27, 2012 at 6:12am     
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Chris Wong
Since the ceiling colour is white, I just paint it white?
December 27, 2012 at 6:16am   
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apennameandthata
Just remove it and don't tell anybody...
December 27, 2012 at 6:25am   
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Chris Wong
As I said before, it can't be removed. It is a structural beam
December 27, 2012 at 6:30am   
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decoenthusiaste
Is this a rental or yours? Looks like you may be into contemporary, but if a rustic theme ever appeals to you and you're up to major work, I like these looks for your beam and stairs.
Georgetown Development
North Shore Kitchen
Stanyan Street
December 27, 2012 at 6:42am     
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Chris Wong
Yes this is what I like too. Did you see my mock created by photoshop?
December 27, 2012 at 6:45am   
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PRO
J. Powless Fine Cabinetry
Painting it white will minimize it against a white ceiling and only set you back $35.
December 27, 2012 at 6:49am     
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Harrut
I have been looking at the beam with your new photo's and it looks more rustic than in your original photo. What occurred to me ( as also in the recent post) that maybe if the wood on the stairs is reduced with perhaps a runner to bring more colour and distract away from the large amount of wood on the stairs which may be emphasising the beam?
Apologies if wood is your thing, it's just my own observation !
December 27, 2012 at 6:51am   
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Chris Wong
But still when I look at that with another angle, even painting with white ( currently it is light yellow, almost white) it is still very pronounce and lonely
December 27, 2012 at 6:52am   
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Harrut
Ps.... This beam has certainly got us all thinking judging from all these posts.....
December 27, 2012 at 6:52am   
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Chris Wong
The problem of this beam is
1. Too sudden;
2. Too lonely;
3. Cut off the lovely open to above space

Solutions so far
1. Remove it (it can't be as it is structural)
2. Paint it with ceiling colour
3. Wrapped it wood
4. Cover it up with a new ceiling
December 27, 2012 at 6:57am   
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Chris Wong
@J. Powless Fine Cabinetry. I have painted it white already. It is still very pronounced. What do you think? Thanks.
December 27, 2012 at 7:07am   
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hmschoolmom
I like it wrapped in wood. It makes it look more planned than necessary for structure. What about adding some vertical elements like columns? They could be white to match beam (if it's kept white) or done in wood. I think that the country oak turned staircase spindles create a strange dichotomy with the contemporary look of the white beam in my opinion, which is why I think a wood wrap is best.
December 27, 2012 at 7:27am     
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Chris Wong
it looks like there are two camps here.
This is my new house actually. I did not see the beam as a problem at al beforel. However the more I look at it, the more I think it is out of place. That's why I have to think of a solution to minimize the impact or just make it as a design. So far, rustic wood wrapping seems like a solution but I still want to hear more opinions. I really appreciate all you guys' comments so far. Thanks very much
December 27, 2012 at 7:33am   
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Jayme H.
I always am looking for economical, sensible solutions. I would start by wrapping it with wood. I think the staircase looks fine. The rendering with the beam wrapped to match the stairs makes the beam look like it at least belongs there. Additionally, nowadays people are mixing and matching woods so if it's not a perfect "match" to the staircase, it may still look fine. Tearing up a new place would be my last step...try smaller changes first in my book. But then again, it's what you want that matters! :)
December 27, 2012 at 9:13am     
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Chris Wong
your book? which book?
December 27, 2012 at 9:20am   
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Chris Wong
@ Jayme Hobbs, I just found out "in my book" is an idiom. :)
December 27, 2012 at 9:35am     
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Chris Wong
without the beam, it is much better, right?
December 27, 2012 at 9:40am     
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Talk to a contractor that beam might be able to be replaced with a post at the base of the staircase.
December 27, 2012 at 9:40am     
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Chris Wong
i just remove some of the paint of the beam, it looks like it is made of steel.
December 27, 2012 at 10:21am   
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Interiors International, Inc.
Well that means you cant replace it with a post. The best looking idea I saw above was the stained beam.
December 27, 2012 at 10:25am     
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Harrut
Is there any chance of creating a stud wall and then either a door or open space entry?:- that way using the beam and concealing part of it in the process?
December 27, 2012 at 1:44pm   
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Chris Wong
If I get your idea right, doing this will make the open space concept gone.
December 27, 2012 at 1:56pm   
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Harrut
Ah... Well if you want to keep the open space idea... and hide the beam, the stud wall could include a clever window panel idea, this would allow the see through effect,and take attention away from the beam.
The partial "window wall", would keep the open effect going . It would give the feel of an indoor conservatory....
December 27, 2012 at 2:11pm   
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Harrut
Ah... Well if you want to keep the open space idea... and hide the beam, the stud wall could include a clever window panel idea, this would allow the see through effect,and take attention away from the beam.
The partial "window wall", would keep the open effect going . It would give the feel of an indoor conservatory....
December 27, 2012 at 2:11pm   
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Chris Wong
thanks. Let me think about it.
December 27, 2012 at 2:14pm   
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calikym
What about mounting some cool light fixtures from it and directing them where needed? Or even some colored LED up lighting? If you have to keep the beam, use it for something unique. I don't like the plants or vases since they can fall off.
December 27, 2012 at 4:05pm     
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Chris Wong
good idea. but i think I will still wrap it with wood + some light fixture.
December 27, 2012 at 4:08pm     
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MAlps
Wrapping it with wood would only make it more noticable, and a loft would get dusty with no way of cleaning it! I would add some light fixtures- lets say 3 neat ones in a row. And than the beam wont be so noticable
December 27, 2012 at 4:18pm   
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MAlps
Wrapping in wood would only make it more visible and a loft would be hard to clean and eill aleays be dusty. How about hanging some lighting there!?
December 27, 2012 at 4:20pm   
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Staged for Perfection
It is really bad Feng Shui to have a beam stand out. Paint it the same colour as the ceiling and add some vertical artwork next to it. The art you have on the wall in the picture is too small. Fill up the whole wall with art - lots of smaller pieces or 1 or 2 big pieces.
December 27, 2012 at 4:20pm   
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Chris Wong
@Staged for Perfection: the current beam's colour is very close to the ceiling colour already and as you can see it is very noticeable without significant reason. That's why I consider to wrap it with wood to create a more rustic look.
December 27, 2012 at 4:23pm     
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Chris Wong
@MAlps: Hanging some light would not be possible. As you can see the beam is very close to the staircase.
December 27, 2012 at 4:27pm   
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MAlps
I dont see where wrapping in wood will help you? It will only get you more nervous! By hanging light fixtures the beam will look like its meant tto be there.
December 27, 2012 at 4:27pm     
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Chris Wong
wrapping it in wood will make me nervous, may you please explain why? thanks
December 27, 2012 at 4:32pm     
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calikym
Light fixtures don't need to hang down. They can point up or sideways and point at a piece of artwork on the wall or staircase or even up lighting. I would NOT put wood around the beam. You would simply want to paint it white after that.
December 27, 2012 at 4:32pm     
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Chris Wong
are you talking about pot light? (point up)
December 27, 2012 at 4:34pm   
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Chris Wong
hey, is it what you mean? I place a wood frame on top of the beam and put the pit light inside. What do you think?
December 27, 2012 at 4:45pm     
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calikym
That looks better for sure. You could also put some colored LED lights up there that change color. At night, it would look super hip. You could also paint the sides of the wood box that you added to the beam but not the entire beam. Maybe black or some other color you are using in that room that you love and want to emphasize. Make it a modern, fun color.
December 27, 2012 at 5:01pm   
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Chris Wong
you mean the sides of the woodbox or the sides of the beam?
December 27, 2012 at 5:08pm   
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calikym
Leave the beam. Paint the box you add and put cool lights inside. Both my husband and I like the idea of adding a light box to the top. It looks very good in your photoshop image. Just paint the box you add black or another cool color. Black would be best if you are going to use multi colored lights.
December 27, 2012 at 5:52pm   
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Jayme H.
That last rendering looks kinda cool Chris. Lights will draw more attention to it, but it seems lke in a good way in that pic! Makes it seem more purposeful too.
December 27, 2012 at 7:34pm     
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Chris Wong
yeah i quite like it too. it is more like a balanced solution.
December 27, 2012 at 7:35pm     
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broccoli10
You should do a different way of supporting the ceiling and get rid of the beam because it looks really weird :)
December 27, 2012 at 8:00pm   
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Chris Wong
not sure if you read the previous posts. This is a structural beam made of steel and cannot be removed. Any good suggestion?
December 27, 2012 at 8:02pm     
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apennameandthata
C'mon Chris, "structural", "steel". No need to be a naysayer, just hire a grinder and chop that sucker right out. No one needs to know. With modern building codes being what they are, and legislators being in the pocket of the steel industry, there is no way you need that "structural" beam. Please post pics after the beam goes.
December 27, 2012 at 8:17pm   
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Chris Wong
really? May you explain why? it must exist for a reason. Support beam is very important in a house and usually should not be removed unless a professional structural engineer approve it. Please tell me more why you think it can be removed. Of course, if it can be removed without risking safety, i definitely will remove it. Thanks
December 27, 2012 at 8:27pm     
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Jayme H.
Pretty sure the steel says the story....In one of my old homes we took down two load bearing walls and needed to install a laminated beam to tie into the house frame to prevent the second story from caving in down on the main floor. We had rooms directly above it and covered it. Not open like Chris' home. It would be a major and expensive job to hire done. It is a structural change, not a decorative one. Chris...this has taken on a life of it's own...if u charge admission to this debate, u could just buy a new house! lol!! Best wishes and luck on your decision.
December 27, 2012 at 8:35pm     
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Chris Wong
thanks Jayme. Ideally, if you look at one of my rendering, without a beam is the best looking. If I can remove it without risking my life, i will do it. But in my case, I don't think so. If i really do it, I will consult an architect. So far, I think the last rendering is the best. I do see some other houses have big rustic wood beam across the house and it looks so cool. Probably this does not fit my small house. I don't know... still open to more ideas.
December 27, 2012 at 8:40pm     
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Harrut
Ok, one final suggestion for as Jayme says this debate now has a life of its own. I'm sure a single, lonely beam, sticking out like a sore thumb has a psychological story in itself which is why there is much interest to fix it!
Question:- have you discussed the structural possibilities with an engineer to see if there are any solutions to remove, and still ensure the house doesn't keel under?
December 28, 2012 at 12:17am   
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PRO
liyong
你的梁看起来有些孤立了,所以你需要把它跟其他结构结合起来,图片展现的是我的想法,通过格栅的木方将梁跟其他结构联系起来,能为您提供更多表现的空间。你能发挥自己的想象来修饰这个格栅木质顶。希望能帮到您。
December 28, 2012 at 1:32am     
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apennameandthata
You are in luck. As a matter of fact, I am a qualified engineer. As you know, if a beam has any load on it, it will bow slightly. If it was put there to appease the steel industry unions, it will not have a bow in it. I have removed "structural" beams before with very good results, as you will see below.

As you can see there was some cosmetic work to be done after the change. The same thing happens when you lift a house to do an up-and-under extension. I really opened up my friend's living area there. When he got home after the weekend, he was a little upset, but he soon came around. I think that he was embarrassed that I had gone to so much trouble for him.
December 28, 2012 at 2:51am   
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Chris Wong
So do you mean that this beam might not have any reason to be there?
December 28, 2012 at 4:53am   
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lisa faley
I would try to lose it.....meaning minimal attention to it.....it is very weird....I have to think it is a king beam supporting your roof, otherwise why would anyone do that. If for some reason it is not, remove it!
December 28, 2012 at 5:01am   
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Chris Wong
I hope this picture may give you a better idea if that beam can be removed. As you can see there is a column supporting that beam.
December 28, 2012 at 6:40am   
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lisa faley
If you are really invested in this property Chris and plan on staying here for some time, I would get a structural engineer in to determine if it needs to stay. If it does need to stay, the picture where you match the staircase seems to be the best solution. It is a small space and I would be hesitant to add a rustic look to it. With the columns already in the room, keep it simple, don't over design. Good luck!
December 28, 2012 at 6:52am     
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lulamarie
I am not an expert, but if the builder went to the trouble of installing a huge steel beam across the house, and added a column, I suspect it's there for an important reason. Definitely ask an experienced and qualified engineer to come to your house to determine this before you move forward with your plans.
December 28, 2012 at 6:55am   
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Chris Wong
hey lisa, are you talking about the rendering that I wrapped the beam in wood or another rendering that i add a light fixture inside a wooden box on top of the beam? I really appreciate all you guys comments
December 28, 2012 at 7:02am   
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lisa faley
The rendering wrapped in wood that matches the staircase...if you want to add lights, add them to the wrapped beam, not an added box light. (Be sure to put lights on a dimmer switch for atmosphere) Keep it simple, Above your couch place a very large bright multicolored piece of art. When you walk into that room the eye will be drawn to the art piece and not the beam. Good luck Chris
December 28, 2012 at 7:59am   
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Chris Wong
Hey Lisa, may you tell me why you don't like the second idea- pot light within a wooden box added on top of the beam?
December 28, 2012 at 8:02am   
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calikym
The added box looks nice, Chris. If you wrap the beam with wood, it will stick out more. When you added the box to the top of the beam, it looked nice, plus you can hide the electrical cords in there.
December 28, 2012 at 8:15am   
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decoenthusiaste
You can have the two best solutions that have emerged and seem to appeal to you. Wrap it with salvaged wood and build a salvaged wood light box for the top (not sure about the colored light, but LED's for sure.) Next time you have extra change, re-do the staircase as in my earlier rustic post. It will have much more style as a rustic, salvaged wood focal point. And on to another subject, would the wall opposite the sofa look good in SW's 6788 Capri, picking up on the blue in your artwork? Take the eye away from the beam with a color somewhere else. The same color might look nice in the upstairs hallway too.

December 28, 2012 at 8:22am   
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Chris Wong
thank you guys. I will upload another rendering tonight
December 28, 2012 at 9:50am   
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apennameandthata
I still think that you should remove the beam and that houses are overbuilt. But, I do need to show you the outside of the house after I removed the "structural" beam. I think that you should have courage. That is the American Way.
December 29, 2012 at 3:45am   
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ndhegedus
The height of the ceiling and the openness are so nice, if you could get rid of that beam going across stariway. I know you said you can't remove it BUT - I bet you could if you re-do the support of the ceiling - my idea is similiar to Lisa F above - ask a strucural engineer if you can remove the part of the beam across the stair and re-do the support with a column which begins at the bottom of the stairs (and becomes a part of stair rail) and goes directly underneath the ceiling part were it looks like you need support - I don't know how to photoshop but I will try to figure it out and send a pic.
December 29, 2012 at 4:36am   
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mmkelly77
Man you have some cool editing software...go with the beam!
December 29, 2012 at 4:59am   
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mmkelly77
Another wood wrapped beam diagonal to this one may be neat...i think wrapping just the beam in matching wood to stairs is the best option.
December 29, 2012 at 5:13am   
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mcgibs55
Hey Chris,
Personally, I think that I would wrap the beam to match the stairs, and have the potlights above. I think it would have the best impact on the room and it would be less expensive than removing the beam, if thats a possibility. I would expect that inside the column that is underneath the beam is a high strength steel post, which definitely cannot be removed, so bear that in mind, as you would be restricted in the amount of the beam you can cut away.

Go with what you feel suits you best; as useful as our opinions are, you are the one who is going to have to live with it after all.

Good luck!
December 29, 2012 at 5:33am   
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Chris Wong
@apennameandthata: sorry I don't quite understand your point. you asked me to remove the beam but also show me a picture that the house kneels down. In you previous post, your tone sounds like that it is safe to remove the beam. May you clarify a bit? Thanks
December 29, 2012 at 6:45am   
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calikym
She was cracking a joke by adding a photo of what might happen id you remove the beam. She was being sarcastic. . If you make the staircase and light box look rustic, it will not match the column holding it up.
December 29, 2012 at 7:30am   
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Chris Wong
Hey calikym, are you an interior designer?
December 29, 2012 at 7:38am   
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PRO
Positive Space Design
What if you used the beam as a structural base to a raised library? You could build from the beam up and either keep them open on both sides or close the back (which I originally thought would be nice for your space) and then use the back as not only a separating wall but to hang art that will be visible when going downstairs. The base of the beam could then be used on the living room side to house a rolling library ladder that would give you ease of access to your new beautiful storage solution and object gallery. I'm attaching some images to further explain, however I wasn't able to find exactly what I'm suggesting. The first picture has a room type setup where your shelves would be however that shape/ size is similar to yours so it may be easier to picture shelving units inside of there. The others are two story shelving units whereas yours would be one.
December 29, 2012 at 8:37am     
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Chris Wong
Thank you for your idea. However, doing this will require me to remodel the staircase
December 29, 2012 at 9:16am   
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PRO
ds interiors pvt ltd
instead of wood use leather to wrap it ...it would look well and also good if u have hyperactive people and children
December 29, 2012 at 9:18am   
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Darzy
Chris....apennameandthata has a sense of humor and is just "pulling your leg"! He/she is joking with you..if you remove the beam your roof will fall down! By the way, the vertical, tall paper lamp is making it look like in the pictures (at a glance) that you have another vertical "beam" there! Can you put the lamp on the other side of the sofa? (Your 3rd picture three days ago).
December 29, 2012 at 9:42am     
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Darzy
First, try the faux paint wood "rocker" brush. It's only paint so if you don't like the wood look all you have to do is paint over it. But, my vote is wood veneer wrap and lights above.
December 29, 2012 at 9:45am   
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Chris Wong
Hey Darzy, thanks. I think apennameandthata's another comment (claiming he/she is an engineer) is also a joke then, in which he/she explained to me why removing the beam has no problem at all.
Since we just moved in, everything is temporary. But I do appreciate your suggestion. Thanks.
December 29, 2012 at 9:46am   
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apennameandthata
Yes, Chris I am an engineer. I am disappointed that people question my credentials and even think that I was joking. I think that I know why. I must be truthful now. My friend's house kneeled down. I still think that that was cosmetic. Especially as my friend is rather short and always wanted the interior of his house to be both cosy and unique. Anyways, now for the bad part. Due to the house being wired badly when it was built, when we arrived back from meeting our parole officers, we were confronted with this. My friend thinks that it was not the original electrician's fault! :( He is very unreasonable. So: check your wiring THEN remove the beam.
December 29, 2012 at 11:33pm   
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jewelgirl
Assuming the beam can not be removed or that you dont want to spend the thousands to do it....I am wondering if you did it in the wood like the stairs but unstead of the beam ending at the wall,put a faux beam vertically under the beam against the wall? And maybe if you added another beam elsewhere then this one wouls look more deliberate? Just a thought. I kinda like it....it has character, not just a square box room. The staircase looks traditional but if you wanted to moderinize the space paint ithe wood all (and the beam) black and do a beam on the wall. Leaving it white is a mistake.
December 30, 2012 at 12:32am   
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PRO
CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Hi Chris, I would embrace the contemporary architectural elements by changing the stair railing to glass then change the art and furnishings to contemporary as well. Best, Diane
December 30, 2012 at 12:55am   
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Chris Wong
@apennameandthata: I really appreciate all your posts. However, I still do not understand your point.
One of your post saying that removing the beam is fine; another post also asked me to remove the beam but showing a picture that the house kneels down; and now you asked me to do the same thing again but check the wiring. Probably my comprehension is bad but I just don't get it. Do you mean that I should rebuild the house because that beam is overbuilt and weird enough that it must be cut off even though the house might kneel down? Your stand point is no matter what the cost, just REMOVE it?
December 30, 2012 at 6:54am   
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Chris Wong
@apennameandthata: If my interpretation of all your posts are correct, I am afraid that I cannot take your suggestion because I have a limited budget. To you, the house kneeling down is a cosmetic thing but to me (i believe to most people) is a disaster.
December 30, 2012 at 7:08am   
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Harrut
Chris, you are trying to work out if the last post is do able, valid etc....
How I read it is that they are practicing for "comedy central" and at the same they are making a point:- in terms of checking the safety of the work you do!!
I'm sure you understand what a parole officer is!?....
December 30, 2012 at 9:07am   
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Harrut
Chris, you are trying to work out if the last post is do able, valid etc....
How I read it is that they are practicing for "comedy central" and at the same they are making a point:- in terms of checking the safety of the work you do!!
I'm sure you understand what a parole officer is!?....
December 30, 2012 at 9:10am   
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Chris Wong
hey harrut, I understand all the words, but i just don't get his/her point. yeah it confused me. Sorry that I don't get this comedy. Anyway, I think I just get back the problem and find a good solution for it. So far, I appreciate all comments even though I may not totally understand some of them. Thank you so much.
December 30, 2012 at 11:21am   
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Jayme H.
I hope u get it figured out Chris..there are some really nice ideas on here. And you already know that there is quite possibly a structure issue. I would go with the positive ideas that you like and fit your budget and style. Then whatever route you do go, find a recommended contractor as well. I really do think this beam could be improved for a reasonable price. If u wrap it, live with it and still can't stand it, move forward with more aggressive changes. I still don't think it's THAT awful...didn't stop you from buying the place/prob. wouldn't stop others either!!
December 30, 2012 at 11:29am   
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Chris Wong
thanks. In deed, I quite like the space; it gives me a unique feeling; yeah the beam is weird but as you have said, it is not that bad at all.
December 30, 2012 at 11:36am     
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apennameandthata
Actually, it was quite a night. After all the kerfuffle died down, people were able to return to what was left of their homes. Then they came after US! We managed to double back behind them and got a shot of them going out to look for us. I found it quite frightening, actually.
December 31, 2012 at 5:07am   
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Chris Wong
I welcome all the comments but please say something related to the question. Thanks
December 31, 2012 at 5:22am   
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PRO
CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Hi again Chris, due to the entertaining/surprising comments from some, I think you may have missed my note about 33 hours ago (per the discussion time stamp) I suggested that you embrace the modern elements and revised the stair rail to glass and metal...have you considered that approach? Happy New Year, Diane
December 31, 2012 at 10:06am   
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Chris Wong
Hey insideout, I am glad that you suggested me to embrace this element and I like your idea too. Thank you and happy new year. Are you an interior designer?
December 31, 2012 at 10:10am     
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PRO
CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Hi Chris, yes I am an interior and landscape designer in Southern California :-)
December 31, 2012 at 10:28am   
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apennameandthata
News! Things have taken a turn for the bizarre. I was renovating a house this morning. The house was built in 1913. I tore down a wall and inside the wall cavity was written the following.

MY BROTHER
--------------------

It has been your fate from birth
To wander far across the earth

Until you meet a big white beam
The wrongest one you've ever seen

Hiding in this iron egg
Lying quiet no need to beg

Held inside an I-shaped prism
Gaining strength to make a chasm

Like a chicken in its shell
Biding time to unleash hell

Its opening up its amber eye
To stop it now my Chris must try

Rent a grinder from a shop
Through its neck now you must chop

Press the metal cutting wheel
Through that evil egg of steel

Set us all free from disaster
The threat of chaos you must master

But one thing please don't you get wrong
Or with disaster we'll all be gone

Mothers peck their chicks' eggs open
You will do the same it's hopin

Cut the middle not the end
Or early freedom you will it lend

Do not ignore this tale from yore
I'm pleading and can do no more

It has been your fate from birth
Stop rent this evil from its birth



So, my brother, looks like we have some forces acting on us here. No coincidence I clicked on this thread. Check that the beam is an I-beam and cut towards the middle, not the end. Pls post picks.
December 31, 2012 at 8:22pm   
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Chris Wong
apennameandthata, sorry to say that i am tired of your comments.
December 31, 2012 at 8:31pm     
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nasmijati
Hello, Mr. Wong. I have two ideas for you.
1. It seems to me that the square beam should have a round column on each end. The way the beam enters the wall on the stairway side is very abrupt. (Please look at the first photograph of a support beam with columns on each side.)

2. The second idea is similar to what others have already said. The pillar and stair rails are fancy and the beam is plain. It would be expensive, but the whole entry and stairway could be rebuilt to accommodate the plain beam, which cannot be removed. (Please see the photograph of a contemporary style staircase, all in one wood color.)

I am sorry that the photographs on this post will not enlarge. Both of them are from Houzz PHOTOS. 1.) ENTRY -> stairs with support columns. 2.) ENTRY -> stairs with support beam.
January 1, 2013 at 5:50am   
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Chris Wong
thank you so much. would you mind uploading a bigger picture as I cannot see it clearly?
January 1, 2013 at 6:29am   
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Chris Wong
your ideas look good to me and i have found the pictures. thanks
January 1, 2013 at 6:32am   
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readerskeeter
This has been the most amusing conversation I've read in ages!
January 1, 2013 at 6:40am     
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Jayme H.
With a touch of annoying..poor Chris, all he wants is some good advice!
January 3, 2013 at 1:01pm     
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