A FauxWoodBeams.com customer opened up her living room space, making room for her gorgeous new faux Reclaimed beams in Walnut. Out of all the wonderful things popularized in the 1990s, media centers are not amongst them. The huge, oversized furniture units that housed VCRs, stereos, cathode-ray TVs and a host of other bulky media equipment (not to mention the stacks of VCR cassettes and CDs that you played on them) are now as much a cringeworthy part of that decade’s history as Dharma & Greg and Pogs. Reclaimed beams add a beautiful framework to the more open living room space. One reason for this is the evolution of electronics. Today a smart, wifi-enabled flat-screen TV has access to everything several bulky electronic units used to provide – and that means a ‘media center’ can discreetly be installed onto a single wall surface, instead of taking up a huge unit of furniture. This reality is something that our customer recently came face-to-face with, when they decided to follow through with a long-overdue renovation of their living room. At the center of the room was a massive media unit, with shelves and cupboards and space for a multitude of electronic units – all of which the proceeding decade or two had rendered obsolete. BEFORE The media unit was immense and filled almost a quarter of the entire room. Getting rid of it was an obvious decision – and promised to make the room seem immensely larger and more spacious as a result. However, taking all that sleek, brown wood from the room also made the space appear very white, empty, and hollow. As we wrote about in June, sometimes it’s important to have dark wood contrast in a room to ‘frame’ it and as ironic as it sounds, the media unit helped provide that. This is why the homeowner needed to come up with some other contrasting wood elements to provide that sense of scale and depth. What they didn’t want to do, however, was fill the space with another large furniture unit and lose the advantage they gained from ditching the old one. The solution they came up with was provided by FauxWoodBeams.com. The homeowners ordered our Custom Reclaimed Beams in dark Walnut color and installed them on the ceiling of the room – providing a very elegant dark contrast to the open space and white walls, while retaining all the extra space they’d freed up. The installation was very straightforward, and almost a textbook demonstration of how to install beams correctly. The homeowners did some research into where real wooden beams would have been used to support a ceiling like theirs, and then measured and installed the faux wood to mimic that configuration. Mounting blocks were discreetly installed into the studs in the ceiling, and then the beams were slotted over them and secured with screws. The only additional step was to trim the ends of the beams to fit flush with the existing crown molding – giving the illusion that the beams extended from the walls themselves and the molding was installed around them, rather than the other way around. It’s a project that’s elegant in its simplicity – and as you can see from the pictures, the result is clean, stylish and perfectly in keeping with the color scheme and furnishings of the renovated room. Eliminating the media center (and the ceiling fan) totally transformed this room – making it feel twice as big. The dark leather sofa, wooden electric fireplace and dark window shutters pair perfectly with the Walnut-stained beams, and the end result is a room that’s as timeless and classic as the original had been dated and cluttered.