Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shh, I have a secret....

...ok, quite a big secret, actually. As I've mentioned before, whoever built our house had quite the love affair with timber. Oh, and exposed bricks, but that's for a whole other post. So, as I was saying, we have timber everywhere. I've just covered a whole lot of it when I painted my kitchen cabinets, and the difference is amazing. But now that the kitchen is a lovely, glossy, gloriously bright white, the surrounding areas look a little, shall we say, shabby in comparison.

We have cathedral ceilings in our kitchen/dining area, and while I love their loftiness, I'd love them a whole lot more if they looked like this:

Sadly for me, my ceiling looks nothing like these beauties. Yet. But it's now firmly on my soon-to-be-tackled list, as I can't stand it for much longer. Ok, just between you and me, this what my ceiling actually looks like:

oh dear!! and don't worry, the lights are on the hit-list too

 in accordance with blogger workplace health and safety regulations, the size of the above images has been kept to a minimum, as enlargement may cause serious eye injury

Ok, so I thought I knew exactly what to do - paint everything a clean, crisp white and live happily ever after. But then, the lovely Jules from A Diversion Project (of course you all know about her most excellent blog, don't you? If not, you need to get on over there soon as you're finished reading here, of course!) threw a spanner in the works. She posted this image:

Aargh! I'm now torn between a complete whitewash, and these dramatic charcoal numbers! What to do? Do I stay true to my original vision, or do I go with something like this? 

Ok blog buddies, I need you to set me straight. Is it black or white? Or something in between? Each and every piece of advice will be gratefully received, I'm all asunder! As I've said before, i find it so much easier to make a decision for someone other than myself.

Have a great day everyone, and please feel free to send your opinions my way!

oh, and unfortunate images of ugly timber ceilings by me!


  1. Oh we really were separated at birth! I wrote to Jules the other day when I saw this post and said that was exactly what I was going to do with MY cathedral ceilings (because yes,I have them too!) Oh how funny! But then of course, I am wondering whether to go all white too...can't wait to hear what everyone says...cause I'm sorry...I'm stealing your readers comments!! xx

  2. White, white, white! Let's call it Project White Out! Rachaelxx

  3. Hi Kerrie! I actually really LOVE the soft black beams. It is crisp and classic and I don't think you'd ever tire of it. It also highlights the beams where with white they might blend in more. So I guess....highlight or blend?....THAT is the question : ) and it's one of personal preference.
    I'll look forward to what you work out! xx P&H

  4. yes - i agree! do them white!!!
    that top image is to DIE for!!!
    Kerri - can you do this right this second i want to see the results already!! I looove the look of catherdral ceilings & white ones are even better! Have you seen the pictures of ralph laurens house in the bahamas??? go find it!
    sal x

  5. Kerri I Agree as above white white white. When I looked at the first few images i fell in love with the stark white beams and them i went to the black one and sorry it did nothing for me. Stick to your original love and don't stray from your vision it just all gets too confusing otherwise. Cannot wait to see this project lucky you having all that timber in the house. It's going to be a huge job will you do it yourself? I would invest in a good roller with an extension pole. Good luck with it all its going to look amazing and will make the area pop and seem so much larger. Sandy xx

  6. Since you will likely have to prime before painting, see how you like it with the primer as it will at least give you a good idea as to whether you like it all white or not. Loved your kitchen makeover.

  7. It's going to be amazing! How lucky are you to have those amazing ceilings?!! I vote for white :) xx

  8. Love that gorgeous Jules!! And I love the dark grey beams:) They make the room look more 'farmhouse' to me. I think Mary's primer idea above was an excellent one!! Whatever you choose, it is going to look gorgeous Kerri!! Can't wait to see the results:) Wishing you a fabulous Thursday my lovely ~ Tina xx

  9. I would go white...
    but it depends on what your home looks like over all and the theme/style you want to go for if you want a farmhouse look then the dark grey will do the trick but I just looooooooooooovvvvveeee the white! Can't wait to see it.

  10. Oh, you're a sweet heart Kerri. I'm really loving hte charcoal, but then again with the right room and furnishings i'm seeing possibilities for pink, deep turquoise or even yellow!!! too many possibilities, and white of course always looks fab!!

    i know you'll pick something totally brill! can't wait to see : ) julesxx

  11. I have to say I love the contrast with the black and white. Or even white with a really dark stain. And if you ever get tired of it you can always paint it again!
    Yesterday I just put that second pic (of the bedroom) in a post I'm currently working on so it was funny to open up your blog and see it because I'd never seen it before yesterday and now I've seen it twice!

  12. I prefer white... particularly if you don't have a period home... but given the magic you worked in the kitchen I think you are the best person to decide!! Ann x

  13. Black (or even charcoal) beams summon memories of awful pretend Tudor houses or 'shoppes' - so I guess I'm in the all white camp! I want to paint my painfully planked cathedral ceiling white, but my husband likes the wood - plus of course, once done it can't be undone. The worst part is that I DID paint it white - but then realised we needed the extra insulation, so filled between the beams and planked with cut CDX.

  14. It is so much easier to tell other people what they should do in their homes. I am the same with my own home- I am very indecisive, Both look good but I love the white beams- it looks fantastic in the photos. Now all you need is a very tall ladder and some paint:)

  15. Once they are painted you probably won't be up for changing them again. Unless you have some blackish colors going on in the room I would go for white. I like the lift it gives to the room and it still has a cool texture going with the differnt woods. The black look more contrived to me IMHO. Of course I am just looking at the ceiling alone not the whole room, I still vote for white!! Kathysue Goodluck!1

  16. Hi Kerri! Yay, a before pic with no instant after pic!! Love it!
    I reckon go for the crisp white - they'll look brilliant. I am really hoping I can do this in my shocking bathroom that was built under a verandah with a similar ceiling. Then, once it's done, if you're not super loving it, add in the different coloured beams :)
    Just be careful up the ladder!
    Cheerio, Sar

  17. Gosh Kerri, how slack of me, I just realised I wasn't a follower! I was sure I was! Now I have to read back through and see what I missed. All is well now!

  18. White ! But it does depend on the overall look you want to achieve in the room. There are times I like the mix with the dark beams also. At the end of the day you will make the right choice for you , as you always do.
    Have you started painting , I would love to see the finished result by the end of the week please.
    Karyn x

  19. Go for it . White will look perfect.
    Good luck and share picks with us.

  20. you just have to tone it down i guess (try the mushroom tone)just don't kill the grains... for me natural wood is still beautiful! :)

  21. Kerri I love the black and I love the white on its own, says she with the timber kitchen...have a plan and am working on that one..Hmmmm I think I would go white as it makes everything so much cleaner. Whatever you decide it will be fab..just look at that kitchen...can't wait to see the result :) Kym X

  22. Dear Kerri,
    I have to go with white. Beams were never meant to be black. That came from when, hundreds of years ago, cottages had an open fire in the main room that went straight to the roof and charred the supporting beams. I also have to say that, the black and white beamed look reminds me of 'footballers wives' !!!!....but, don't let me put you off. What do I know ? I think that, whatever you do, it will look wonderful and you should really go with your own instincts. Good luck with it and, I look forward to seeing the finished kitchen. XXXX

  23. white, definately white. let me say out loud I LOVE WHITE (-:

  24. looks like we like the same things...this was all just what i love too....

    glad you stopped by to visit with me and Teddy..we are so IN LOVE with him....

    i'll be back to visit soon....

    kary and teddy

  25. You are hilarious...
    White, white, white!
    Simple = special. ALWAYS.

    Good luck.

  26. Lovin' the all white look. I can't wait to see them done.

  27. I'm chiming in here rather late, but I would do all white. I find the black beams a little distracting. It is going to look amazing.

  28. WHITE!!! no question... and this answer comes after have just finished your Black & White awning stripe post ;)
    I say white, all white, I think you will tire of the contrast, and then again, you can always strat by painting the ceiling, leaving the beams, and then finish them later if you feel a need....

    Northern Light Blog



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