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Panel of Experts

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Panel of Experts

Beaded paneling had its first heyday in Victorian times, not quite halfway between this house’s construction and its latest reconstruction. Architect Scott Simons and builder David A. Cimino used beaded fir as an aesthetic bridge from the early 19th-century building to a contemporary addition. “It gives a warmth to spaces,” Simons says, “almost a Scandinavian or Japanese feel. You almost paint with it to get a desired effect.” With a clear finish, it also serves as a visual link with the exposed, rough-sawn beams of the earlier 1980s-style living area.

The material takes center stage in the second-floor studio, where it highlights the angular geometry of the dormered roof. To make the trimless wall-to-ceiling joints, Cimino installed gypsum board on the walls first, then cut the paneling for a tight fit. He and his crew were extra picky with their stock. “We didn’t want any knots or imperfections,” he says. “I bet we would keep 70 percent and send back 30 percent. We knew we had irritated the lumberyard when we ordered more material and they delivered the stuff we had already sent back.”
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