The other day I received a question from reader Mary on the East Coast. Mary purchased a 1970s post-and-beam mid-century in New Jersey and needs some interior design advice from a mid-century expert. Here is her question:
Dear Take Sunset:
Love your website and wondered if you might be able to give me a little advice on a Mid-Century Modern house I recently purchased? We have an early 1970s Mid-Century Modern post and beam Deck House based on a late 1960s design by William Berkes. We are desperate to find someone who can advise on whether painting out the wood tongue and groove ceilings will decrease the value or ruin the historical integrity of the house for future resale. We have looked at all the examples on your site and it seems post and beam ceilings are often painted out, however the key is for the ceiling to flow seamlessly into the eaves of the roof (which in this case is wood.) The interior of the house desperately needs to be lightened up and we would love to paint the ceilings white but we are purists at heart so we don’t want to ruin the place! Oh, one more thing, is it a total architectural faux pas to paint the lower floor out white and leave the main floor with the wooden ceilings?
Here are some ideas we are considering:
1) Paint all the trim, walls & the brick fireplace white and leave the ceilings natural.
2) Do the above but also whitewash the floors to eliminate the “sandwich effect” of the dark floors and dark ceiling.
3) Leave the exposed wood on the upper floor as described above but paint the lower floor’s tongue and groove ceilings white, leaving the beams dark, and putting in a cork floor (the dark beams on the lower floor extend out the window so this would allow the indoor/outdoor aesthetic to be retained but lighten up the lower ceilings).
Any additional ideas would be most welcome!
The ceiling in question:
So I ask you readers, what would you advise to Mary? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks!