Design Against The Grain

Design Against The Grain

Vaulted Ceiling

The owners of this Manhattan Beach house had a vision on how they wanted their home to look and feel. They have what I call a "Dwell Magazine", modern living experience in mind, which grew into a unique design that I had the best time working on.

This is a pyramid ceiling, with no trim moulding of any kind, so each of the 128 compound mitre joints would show four crisp lines. The last four 16 ft. pieces were compound mitered and scribed to the wall. Out of the thirty-two 3 ¼" pieces of Fir, twenty-two of them were one single piece. In laymen's terms, this means that every mitre/cut had to be EXACT. If any piece was even 1/16" of an inch off, it wouldn't work. Of course, as in most homes, the framing was off. The room itself was off-square by 2 ½" and the ceilings were off pitch. In order to account for all these factors, I had to take into consideration the moisture content of the wood (for shrinkage), etc.

Because I had never seen or heard of this being done before, I took it as a challenge to myself to do it. The demands I put on myself for this project were very extreme. It's the most challenging (and rewarding) project I've ever done.