coffered ceiling hiding two new 
steel beams in this remodeled shingle-style cottage
Photo: Susan Gilmore
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A Coffered Ceiling

To get the new rooms they wanted upstairs, where two and a half makeshift bedrooms and a bath sat alongside the attic, the couple had to underwrite major structural work below. Footings were repaired, and walls opened up to add studs. Channels for new wiring, ductwork, and plumbing had to be found, too. Lead carpenter Pieter Maas says a drainpipe found its way down inside a column, one of a pair designed to set off the opening between the dining and living rooms.

The crew added two steel beams over the living room, boxing them out and adding a grid of false beams to create a coffered ceiling. They also dispatched an existing fireplace faced in crumbling pink-red brick. "The hearth didn't meet code; it was just sitting on the floor, so eventually it would have cracked," Maas says. They pulled down the brick, slipped a beam underneath a new firebox, and rebuilt the hearth with a surround designed to reinforce Andrea's deep-blue, crisp-white, and stained-wood decor.

Sconces: Hudson Valley Lighting
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