Throughout the Southwest there are many traditional styles of homes. While there are fewer and fewer houses boasting the classic adobe look, modern homes have borrowed a few architectural elements from the Southwest style. For instance, viga beams, which were a staple of Southwestern homes, have found their way into modern ceiling designs to great affect. If this is the style you’re after, here’s how it can be accomplished using today’s faux wood beam products.
Viga beams are large structural beams that were commonly seen in adobe houses and other Southwestern homes. These beams were typically made of rough hewn logs, and retained much of their natural character. Today, many builders still go for this rustic look, but modern builders sometimes use squared beams instead. Unlike European inspired ceiling beams, another feature of Viga beams is that they often run around the room in concentric circles working out toward the edge of the room or in the same direction as the ceiling’s longest stretch.
In addition to Viga beams, many Southwest style homes also feature ceiling planks. These flat planks slide together to create a beautifully textured ceiling finish. In some cases, the ceiling is covered by these planks first, and then the viga beams are installed beneath them, adding multiple dimensions to the look. The best way to do this is to install the beams perpendicular to the direction that the planks run, which will draw the eye upward. In addition, using larger beams over the planks creates a more pronounced look, and you can even choose a darker color for the beams to accent the light colored planks.
Another staple of Southwest style architecture is the protrusion of beams on the exterior of the house. You can add these accents to the outside of your home along the roofline use faux wood accents. These small sections are designed to mount easily to the exterior surface of your home and match your trim. These can be installed even if the interior of your home does not have matching beams. You can also find matching shutters and vents that look great with these exterior posts and dress up your windows and any high points on your roof. There are many distinct facets of Southwest style architecture, and with faux wood beams you can mix and match them to find a look that suits your home. To learn more about faux wood products and Southwest style accents, visit Volterra online and check out our gallery.