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That is the question. We’re talking about the dining room and kitchen ceilings!

Let’s take a look back at what it used to be:

And here’s where we are today:

Walls and trim are all BM Simply White, and the ceilings are pretty much the way we found them under the plaster – dark, rough-hewn beams, many with the bark still attached.


Here’s a not excellent shot of the dining room from the kitchen, through an opening that used to be a wall. The diagonal crossbeam will eventually moved up, so it’s not at head height, and the drywalled portion of the ceiling (the 3′ above the laundryroom door) will be nicely trimmed out and eventually have little recessed lighting to brighten a shelf / unit / something in the future, so it wont’ feel so random. So we’ve lived with these wood ceilings for over a month now, and originally my notion was to paint the ceiling boards white, leaving the beams exposed in a natural wood color. I think I’ve perfected a way to reduce their reddish hue and get more of a weathered gray barnwood look (if you look hard, you’ll see a bit of it on the diagonal crossbeam where it hits the main 8’x8′ post.) It’s subtle, but I think it’ll help make everything not look so… heavy.

SO, the original plan was something like this:

But, now I’m thinking that painting the ceiling boards white would be so … permanent. So I’ve started toying with lightening/graywashing the whole darn thing.

Like this:

It’s definitely a heavier look, and those rooms have wallfulls of beautiful windows and tons of (non green-tinted) natural light. We have 4 windows in the kitchen (going to be 5 one day), and two small, Northeastern facing windows in the dining room.

So… what do you think? Jed suggested lightening/staining the entire thing, and living with it for a bit. If we didn’t like it, we could always paint the ceiling boards white. That sounded nice to me, but also like a ton of potentially double work.