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Exposed rafters

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Once upon a time, we used to board up and plaster over some of the most incredible original exposed rafter and truss work in favour of flush ceilings and straight cornices. Whilst that has been the fashion for the past few decades, we have finally started to see a resurgence in retaining the rawness and beauty of an exposed ceiling displaying and highlighting the rafters, trusses or beams.

The bare structural work reveals an almost skeletal side of the building; you can see the necessary elements required to keep a ceiling standing, which in itself is charming and magical. We have put together an ideabook to either fuel the fire for home owners to peel back their ceiling lines to reveal moments of the past, or for those who are grappling with the idea of keeping or adding exposed beams to their space.


This is one of those stunning and unique moments that displays a fusion between a buildings past and present. The stark white render and geometric elements play off exceptionally against the aged existing ceiling. Having a tarnished appearance, it is old world versus new world but, somehow, they have been married together in complete harmony and provided us with a setting as incredible as this. 


 Bathroom by Pientka - Faszination Naturstein
Pientka—Faszination Naturstein

Pientka—Faszination Naturstein

Pientka - Faszination Naturstein

A space which would be considered generally unusable due to its size and oddly shaped angles, has been transformed into a bespoke and breathtaking bathroom. Instead of removing the trusses to make way for other furniture, the room has been creatively arranged around them, ensuring they are both a focal point and blended element of the space.

Maritime flair

This scene evokes feelings of being shipwrecked or on a boat. The timber which appears to be salvaged, frames the room perfectly and adds a touch of seaside elegance to a mountainous scenery. All elements excluding the seating in this case, have a timber finish. Ordinarily, you would think is a lot of wood and timber for one room. However, the different shades and grains on the floor, trusses and tables tie in together beautifully creating an almost mismatched unity.


Stepping away from the clash of modernity and antiques, we find ourselves in a kitchen that oozes with rustic charm. A far more understated scene as opposed to the previous photographs, yet not an inch less beautiful. The focal point of this room is the marble island with maroon stools and the exposed timber ceiling in this case becomes something that just adds to the overall experience of the space, rather than a defining factor.

Pure white

 Terrace by IMAGO DESIGN

Interior design—Glass Cube Padova


For the minimalist and modernist devotees out there, a white on white colour scheme is generally speaking an desired scenery. It is not uncommon that exposed trusses or rafters are painted to blend more into their surroundings. As you can see, whilst the ceiling here is very much a focal point, by painting it white it aids in creating the look of the space on a whole as opposed to trying to fuse too many different styles together. This particular living room has a quasi-country barn feel to it but with the clearly modern window frames and furniture, we are lead to believe otherwise. 

New world

Chalet Gstaad:  Dining room by Ardesia Design
Ardesia Design

Chalet Gstaad

Ardesia Design

Since exposed ceilings are so beautiful, it seems only natural that the effect would be recreated in new homes. Here you can see smoothly sanded blocks of timber have been attached to a ceiling clad in wood giving the space an alpine come Swedish spa feel. The designers, understanding the beauty of the ceiling, have cleverly placed lights so that the rafters are illuminated and a highlight of the room. The other light is spotlighted directly on top of the table, ensuring guests always see the effort that has been placed not only downwards but upwards too.

Loft living

As with the previous example, this is an entirely new space with the addition of new timber beams. Following the shape and geometry of the room, the wooden planks in conjunction with the wrought iron bars, help the create perimeters. The beams show were the ceiling line should be, had it been installed, and separate the space below from the small loft space to the left. Another clever idea for those who love the look!

For more exciting ideas see ’Ridiculously cool kitchens and Innovative living ideas’.

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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