Do you ever get the urge to freshen up the interior design in your house, but you’re not sure what to do? Are you home right now? If yes, look up. What do you see? If you have a typical ceiling, it’s plain and white and the perfect canvas for impacting your existing design. Professional designers refer to the ceiling as the fifth wall, and according to Fifth Wall Designs, ceilings are often neglected in most design phases, yet they are just as important as the other walls.
In fact, a dull ceiling is a missed opportunity to create a beneficial and mood-enhancing environment. The National Counselling Society states that a bland environment can potentially have a negative impact on mental health. So, unleash your creativity and splash some color, breathe some life, and spice it up by designing a ceiling that brings you and others positive energy every time you enter the room.
1. Roll into color with a painted ceiling
Paint is always an economical choice that doesn’t take expensive equipment or special know-how to complete the job. A ceiling doesn’t — and shouldn’t — always be white. Mad About the House raves about color combinations that are unexpected and delightful. Choosing a color for the ceiling that completely contrasts the walls can be stunning and dramatic, but striking a cohesive chemistry between the colors can be challenging. Instead of contrast, you can go with colors in the same family to create a gradient or blended effect.
The Interior Editor suggests using paint to highlight special features in the architecture of the ceiling. For example, you can paint a sloped ceiling a different color than the horizontal part. Another example would be to paint an existing medallion a color other than the rest of the ceiling. Finally, you can paint a design or pattern across it to add visual appeal. But if paint isn’t your favorite design choice, don’t fret — there are plenty of other creative options.
2. Romance your ceilings with stamped metal tiles
One nostalgic look that can really add interest to your ceiling is stamped metal tiles (they also come in plastic or foam these days). Inspired by turn-of-the-20th-century designs, patterned tiles are now available in a variety of designs and colors, so it’s best to start by thinking about the style you’re trying to embrace. Metal Ceiling Express describes popular styles as Victorian or traditional, Bohemian, rustic or farmhouse, mid-century, industrial, contemporary, and modern or minimal.
These tiles are lightweight, paintable, flexible, and easy to install. They’re also made of fire-rated material. Most are designed to be glued in place and can even cover popcorn ceilings, according to Simplicity in the South. If you’re applying these tiles over a popcorn-style ceiling, secure any loose bits by painting the ceiling first. For smaller rooms, this technique gives a big wow factor at a reasonably low cost.
3. Build ambience by adding wood to your ceilings
Want to add warmth to your room? Go for the natural ambiance and versatility of wood. For your ceiling design, you can choose wood panels (plain or beadboard), beams, planks, or a combination. And once you’ve chosen the type of wood product to use, you can go further and use clear coat, stain, or paint. For even more character, wood can also be mottled or burned. Although the end result is worth it, working with wood requires some skill with proper measuring and cutting, which may be a bit more than some DIYers are comfortable with.
Armstrong Ceilings recommends prefabricated tongue and groove MDF (medium-density fiberboard) for homeowners who want a wood-look ceiling that can be put up in a weekend. MDF can be a great alternative to authentic wood because it handles temperature and humidity fluctuations better. Plus, MDF doesn’t require sanding and preparation. But if you really want to use natural wood, go for it. Not only is it beautiful, Spigo Group explains that it’s also good for sound dampening and insulation. You really can’t go wrong with either wood or MDF.
4. Pizzazz your ceiling with wallpaper
Wallpaper brings uniqueness to a room, especially if applied to the ceiling. According to Prime Walls, it’s one way to solidify the design of a room and bring interest to the fifth wall, which is often ignored. This technique works well in rooms where most of the wall space is hidden by furniture because it adds aesthetic interest. It also works well in a minimalist setting when a jolt of color or pattern is desired.
Rooms with slanted or sloped ceilings are charming but can pose design challenges, especially those with multiple angles. Approaching them creatively with wallpaper as a custom solution is a way to embrace the character of the space. Wallpaper from the 70s says that any room with sloped ceilings can have wallpaper as a decorative element above. However, wallpapering a ceiling can be tricky and lead to pain from working overhead for a long time, so they recommend a sturdy ladder that gives you enough headroom to prevent neck strain.
5. Sophisticate your ceiling with a modern medallion
Adding class and sophistication to your ceiling is simple with a modern medallion and some glue. Medallions were originally made of heavy plaster to collect soot and absorb heat from gas lighting fixtures, says Kevin O’Connor of This Old House in an interview with The Money Pit. People love medallions because they are beautiful and timeless. The lightweight ones made today make it possible for anyone to install them quickly and easily. The hardest part will be picking out the style and size of the medallion to fit appropriately in your room.
O’Connor explains that a quick measurement guide can help determine the size of the medallion you’ll need. He says to divide the room’s square footage by seven to get the diameter of the medallion for the ceiling. And if you don’t like math, he suggests getting a piece of cardboard and shaping it to the size you think looks best. Then, using it as a guide, you can measure it and get a medallion that size. Your ceiling will go from boring to sophisticated in no time.