8. Add beams. If you can, use corner beams and keep them exposed. If you have the height, cross beams going across the ceiling can work beautifully in a contemporary structure or as an addition to an antique house. Try to find recycled materials, which show wear, nail holes, and ax marks where the tree was literally chopped down. Salvaged and antique architectural details can be found at RESTORATION RESOURCES. All of that adds history and warmth.
9. Add higher ceilings. If you wish the ceilings were higher, an addition to the house can be built a step or two down to lead into the new space—a simple solution that will give you taller ceilings and add drama when going from one level to the next. You can easily create a foot or two in height without having the addition look out of scale with the original structure.
10. Think of storage. We never seem to have enough storage, especially for all that stuff we never use. It’s wise to create extra storage space during renovation rather than find out later that you don’t have enough. (During the renovation of a Cape Cod house, a dear client measured every mixing bowl, platter, dish, pot, pan, cover, cup, saucer, storage container, knife, fork, and utensil. The result was that everything had its place in her new, efficient kitchen.) Always build a cedar closet for seasonal storage. Mine is packed with clothes I will never wear, but I refuse to give them to the moths.
This article originally appeared on Veranda.com. Puruse Charles Spada’s products on his Dering Hall storefront.