Faux Beams For The Living Room

As I have mentioned before, the house has a dated early 90’s feel to it. This includes case-less, rounded windows and rounded wall edges, rounded archways and built-in niches and ledges. The textured plastic window blinds, yellowed with time, are a super nice touch to complete the look. Naturally I had a bunch of crazy ideas for remodeling the living room, but Aaron, not to mention our budget, sort of put a squash on some of them. But not on the faux wood beams!

The First Faux Beam To Go Up

Our living room has a single vault that goes up to a height of around 12′, with the other side being your typical 8′. To stay within budget, we decided that the shorter wall would get the rustic beams. So we started in the corner. We screwed blocks of 2 x 4’s into the studs. These would act as braces, giving us something to attach the beam to. We decided to work on the window at the same time, adding wood trim to hide the round edges. So Aaron started by removing the MDF stool and apron:

Wood Beam In Living Room

Then with the window, we put down a new solid wood stool, and trimmed the sides and top with 1/4″ real wood paneling:

Hiding Rounded Window Edges

Next, Aaron mitered two 1 x 6’s, and cut the angle for the ceiling. We then nailed them into the 2 x 4 braces. Followed by putting on the casing around the window:

Rustic Living Room Makeover

We took another rough 1 x 6 and nailed it flat along the top:

Rustic Faux Wood Beams

Rustic Living Room

Once the flat 1 x 6 reached the wall edge, we created another three-sided beam over the entryway. The intent was to make it appear as though the beam continues into/through the wall, with only part of it exposed. We accomplished this by using the same 2 x 4 blocks for braces method. First, braces were screwed into the ceiling joist. Next, two mitered 1 x 6’s were nailed into those braces. We then nailed extra braces in between the 1 x 6’s, so that we could have something to attach the bottom section of the beam to, which we did by nailing it in to the bottom blocks:

Mitered Faux Wood Beam

Faux Beam Made Of Pine

I came in with a tub of wood filler, patching nail holes and small gaps as each piece went up. Once the filler was dry, I sanded and stained everything, except for the window trim which we painted white. We have to finish it with two more vertical beams on either side of the entryway. These will also cover the small gap where beam meets wall. And what about those wonderful plastic blinds? We tossed them and built cedar shutters instead.

The Before & After

So here is the before pic, from the real estate listing:

And now for the after:

Of course at this point we hadn’t stained the wood floors yet. But it’s already a thousands times better than before. We replaced all the MDF baseboards with solid wood as well. This room is far from done. I wanted at least one accent wall, which I’ll be posting about next!