Ceilings. Ceilings. Ceilings.
The empty space and blank canvas which sits above our heads. What was once thought of as no mans land is now considered your fifth wall or one-sixth of your space. In fact, and in reality, it has always been the fifth wall! In the past a white ceiling has been the most popular choice and for good reason – white is safe and white works BUT a white ceiling is not always the right ceiling – not for you!
Incorporating your ceiling into your design plan whether building or renovating can drastically change the feeling of any room. How? Well let’s take a look at a few ways you can use your ceiling to create a whole different look and feel…
If you already have low ceilings and you want them to feel higher and your rooms more spacious then you need to work with lighter colours BUT light doesn’t necessarily mean white! Whites range from cool to warm tones and your perfect selection will depend on your wall colour.
If you have a ceiling height over 2.7m you have more freedom to change it up a bit. To create warmth, cosiness or add a bit of drama you could paint your ceiling in rich, fulfilling colours. Using deep warm colours that bring the height of the ceiling down is great for home theatres, bedrooms or rooms where you require relaxation – yes this could even mean the bathroom!
I love these feature beams on this high ceiling, don’t you!
Image from: thestarphoenix.com
Where white is concerned it’s important to note that a stark white doesn’t always work! And choosing the right white isn’t always the easiest option considering there are a thousand whites ranging in cool and warm tones. Time and time again, though, you will see that ceilings aren’t even a consideration in the colour selections and design of homes and a standard ceiling white is used more often than not. Always consider the ceiling when selecting your wall colours. This can change the overall appearance of your home.
If you use warm colours, like orange or mustard, on your four walls then a better option for your fifth wall might be an ivory. Cool colours work well with crisp whites for a fresher feel and also with soft greys for lightness and mood.
A dusky blue/grey ceiling fills this dining room but leaves it open, fresh and airy. Image from: homedit
A way to make a room cohesive, smoothing the transition from surface to surface is to choose 2-3 hues of the same colour. Using the lightest hue on the ceiling (which will naturally appear a little darker than the actual colour), the middle hue on the skirtings/cornices/doorframes and then the darkest hue on the walls. Think ombre!
Using the same hue on all five walls can enclose a room if not chosen carefully as this leaves no breaks in colour, leaving nothing that defines one surface to the next. BUT when used right this look can evoke a soothing and restful feel which is perfect for bedrooms!
Alternatively try contrasting a deep wall colour with the sharpness of white, whether warm or cool, on ceilings/doorframes/skirtings this will make a room feel polished and sophisticated.
This is a stunning example of dark walls/white ceilings and how it can make a room dramatic but sophisticated. Image from decoist.com
Well I could go on about colour and different ways to combine them but let’s move on shall we ….
Texture & Structure:
There are many ways to bring your ceiling into focus as a feature … A feature not an eyesore!
Beams in natural timbers in long lines across your ceiling whether to draw your eye to the view outside or to lengthen a room. White beams (or bulkheads) used in a grid pattern are very stylish and well used in Hamptons style properties – my all time favourite! Using bulkheads in open plan rooms can define areas without adding obstacles at eye level.
Grid beams Image courtesy of: ceiling leaderpost
Grid beams with bead boards Image courtesy of homebunch.com
Bead board (another favourite of mine) adds instant texture and lineage to the ceiling. These can be painted in white or if you’re feeling brave in colour. Be aware when using timber boards that they can feel heavy and will lower the ceiling but are great for coffered sections, feature bulkheads and pitched ceilings.
Bead board ceilings
Image courtesy of abcgreatpix.com
Wallpaper. Yes you read right. Wallpaper. Again it might not suit a whole ceiling throughout an entire house but used as a feature in a kids bedroom, an entrance, in a coffered section over the dining table with a ceiling rose and gorgeous pendant and well, it’ll be a hit!
Wallpaper feature ceiling
Image courtesy of lushome.com
Pressed tin is beautiful and easily accessible these days. Again a whole ceiling could be over bearing in a large expansive open plan living area but featured in coffered areas would be perfect! You can also paint it any colour you like or leave it natural!
Pressed tin and bead board!
Image from Pintrest
See how many things you can do to your fifth wall? The magic happens when you balance the ceiling colour, pattern or texture with your decor. Echo the intention you’ve set and style you’ve created. Using your ceiling as a style piece in your home design brings a new dimension to living!
If money was no object and you were feeling brave, what would you do to your ceiling?
Stop dreaming it, start living it!