I just bought a house and already want to change a few things but wanted to try to get some ideas...or at least narrow them down. The great room of this house has a lot going for it (solid wood floors, wood burning stove in the middle of the room, 15 ft vaulted ceilings) but needs some updating. The walls are wood panel which I plan to change to sheet rock. The ceiling is covered in 4" wide tongue and groove planks that have been painted white (really more like whitewashed as you can still see the grain/knots). I think it would look better to have the ceiling stained a darker color and the aforementioned sheetrock installed. Not sure how easy the ceiling will be just yet but I wanted to see if anyone had any better ideas, insights, words of wisdom, etc.
I think that would look great. If you like sanding you could remove the ceiling and beam planks, sand and refinish in complimentary shades. Maybe a light stain for the ceiling and something darker for the beams. It would look just like the inside of a post & beam prow cabin:
This is from someone who loves real wood and hates to see it painted. Some ideas...
I noticed there is a track light at the peak of your ceiling. You could replace that with a fan or chandelier but I favor uplighting. I installed some on the cross beams, pretty much like what you show in your picture, for a friend and she really loves it. Of course, you'd have to love the finish on the ceiling if you're going to highlight it that way.