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Timber beams: keep or plaster?

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We've just bought this house, and my husband and brother-in-law (our carpenter) think we should plaster the ceiling, for a few reasons:

1) Able to insulate

2) Will open up the room (the real estate photos make it look much brighter than it is)

3) Will solve the somewhat rough finishes where the beams join the ceiling, we're going to have to spend quite a lot of time and money fixing a lot of them

4) Easier to keep clean

5) Cost to paint beams (see below)

We have had a designer out who suggested painting the beams white (they're currently painted an unflattering latte-type colour), and keeping the pine boards as is between.

My gut tells me to keep the boards, but I do understand the practical reasons. I feel like this ceiling is one of the unique features of the home, it'd be a shame to lose it?

What do you think?

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