Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ceiling Choices

Like moths to a flame, Scott and I are also drawn to light.  As a result, we decided early on to make the interior of our house as light as possible. In order to achieve this goal, we needed to consider not only the light fixtures, but the reflective nature of the ceiling surfaces as well. The kitchen and the sun room have been of particular concern because we undoubtedly will spend a great deal of time in these two rooms.

For the kitchen, we selected light fixtures that would illuminate the work areas; add depth, dimension and interest to the environment; and, at the same time, provide gentle light to fill the room. We chose light fixtures for the sun room that would allow us the option of filling the room with light when we were entertaining or directing just enough light onto the pages of our latest good read.

We also wanted the ceilings to reflect as much natural light into the rooms as possible. The architectural plywood we used to cover the insulation was extremely reflective, but we never planned for it to be a final surface since it didn’t have the “look” that fit with the natural character of the house. After several false starts we decided to return to a material we have fallen in love with - bamboo. A thorough internet search led us to Creasian Bamboo where we found a product that was beautiful, reflective, and reminiscent of the straw underpinnings of our entire house.

Using a staple gun, we attached the bamboo panels to the plywood ceiling and then fabricated the battens which prevented the panels from sagging and, at the same time, covered the seams. Here is the finished ceiling in the the sun room.

Had we known we would eventually be using these bamboo panels as the ceiling surface, we most certainly would have tried to place the light fixtures in such a way as to avoid the intersection of battens and  lights. This would have saved us the many hours of time spent on detail work, but that’s the way it goes when you are making things up as you go.

Here I am tracing the arc of one edge of a light fixture.

Using a grinder to shape the edge of a batten to match the curve of a fixture.

The kitchen ceiling with several battens in place.

In the end, I believe we achieved our goal of creating spaces with good light that incorporate reflective ceiling surfaces. It looks good too.