A reimagined ceiling can make a room appear larger, brighter and best of all, more memorable than any common accent wall could.
Every year there’s quite a rush of excitement when Pantone announces it’s color of the year and new shades are released to the public, but in all honesty, those new paint shades offer very little change in tone and inspiration as we’ve all seen enough accent walls and clever takes on wallpaper installations to bore us to no end.
But ceilings? Now that’s fresh! In fact, the last time we can note ceilings making such a buzz. From expressively painted to lacquered to wallpapered and molding covered ceilings, there’s much to be said about the enticing visual impact thinking about what we often dismiss has to offer.
These modern ceilings, though, aren’t the sprawling tableaux of yesteryear. Instead, they’re done with bold paints, tailored wallpapers, or Expressionist elements. Je/Love Studio’s Lili Diallo describes the modern statement ceiling as a fifth wall, a response to a “clutter” averse generation. “It’s a good way to occupy space. You don’t need tons of furniture.”
You do, however, need a clear vision of what you want. Not just because the trend isn’t for the faint of heart—they don’t call it a “statement” for nothing—but, functionally, it’s quite difficult to remove one. When done right, however, the risk is worth the reward.
But, how, exactly, do you pull one-off?
1. Painted Statement Ceiling
Painting a ceiling is the quickest, easiest way to pack a punch. Beware, however, of strong colors. With no light shining on them, the paint will read even darker, which makes space look smaller. “Remember that the eye will be drawn to a strong color so the perceived ceiling height will drop—great if you have very high ceilings, but it can make for a claustrophobic space if you have very light walls,” Joa Studholme, an international color consultant for Farrow & Ball, said. For white and cream walls, stick with gentle pinks, yellows, or blues.
If you’re dying to go bright and bold, however, Studholme has a word to the wise: “If you are wary of the ceiling height dropping, then don’t paint over the edges of the ceiling with your bold color, and take the wall color up over the crown molding onto the ceiling.”
But regardless of what color you choose, make sure you use a lacquered or glossy paint. “You can achieve reflections that fool the eye into believing a ceiling is twice as high, thus upping the drama stakes and really capturing the imagination,” Bullard said.
2. Wallpapered Statement Ceiling
If painting brings the drama, wallpaper brings the romance. Bullard’s favorites? Scenic prints. “They] create a transformative, magical experience. The pattern can be really cool, like a faux marble paper, applied between molding on a ceiling. It will add grandeur and an old-world ambiance while retaining its fresh appeal.” Bullard also recommends metallic wallpapers. “They add such depth to space and always amp up the glamor.”
Studholme is a sucker for geometric patterns, especially ones that can take up the wall and go over the ceiling. But, like Bullard, she also can’t resist a dash of metallic. Her favorite wallpaper is Farrow & Ball’s Brockhampton Star. “The metallic stars catch the light creating a ceiling that is eye-catching but not overpowering.”
Want to do wallpaper but don’t know where to start? Pick one that has the same hue as your wall. It’ll create an uninterrupted, cohesive flow. “I think it feels a little more finished,” said Diallo.
3. Muraled Statement Ceiling
A muraled ceiling is by far the most difficult type to pull off. It takes a lot of time, energy, and, since it needs to be done by a professional, money. Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the interior design duo behind Roman and Williams, braved the final frontier of statement ceilings for New York’s Le Coucou. For them, the atmospheric ceiling was a tribute to their love of the lost art. “Painting a scene or even a series of tones that recalls the sky can transform a space, re-creating the feeling of being outside, when you are inside,” says Standefer.
Their tips on how to pull it off? Don’t attempt to replicate well-known murals. Instead, try to evoke the feeling of the scene you want to depict. For example, if you want a sky: “A simple ombré is nice—avoid puffy clouds and blue skies—go for something moody like a Turner sky or an Impressionist interpretation of a sky. Perhaps by an unknown painter, or paint it yourself small and have a muralist copy it,” says Alesch.
Statement ceilings may be a trend for design daredevils, but why not aim high?
4. Vaulted centerpiece
Instead of covering your entire ceiling, experiment with stunning centerpieces that can add real architectural interest to your home. From decorative tiles to painted motifs, a centralized ceiling design will draw the attention of all that enter the room! A vaulted or barrel ceiling is an ideal canvas for a dazzling design, but if you have a flat surface to play with, consider other framing options, such as wood, tiles or lighting.
5. Simple and suspended
A statement ceiling doesn't have to be bright, bold or heavily pattered. In fact, some of the most striking designs are simple and minimalist. The suspended design shows how beautiful a stripped-back ceiling can be. The tiles are mounted on a bracket and can be moved with ease, allowing you to personalize your 3D feature whenever you like!
6. Artistic statement ceilings
Yet another option for statement ceilings is to go for artistic vistas. These can be geometric patterns, natural flowers, foliage, a skyscape and much more. It’s a great way to bring unique art into space. And if you get creative enough, the ceiling painting can be part of the room’s larger theme. Some designs even make use of an added light fixture or art element that goes with the painted design.
7. Fun statement ceiling colors
The easiest way to get a statement ceiling is to paint the ceiling a bright color. The color of the ceiling tends to match accent walls or elements in the room décor. In that way, you can use your statement ceiling to create cohesiveness in the room. However, you can also use a statement ceiling as a point of contrast for a space with a bright, artsy flair.
8. Geometric statement ceilings
Another way to get statement ceilings is to seek out geometric designs that draw the eye. Many of these also have a three-dimensional element; however, the dimensions tend to be flatter, and the focus is more on the geometry of the design.
Many geometric designs make use of beams to create an eye-catching pattern. Other designs simply use cleverly placed paneling. Still, others use paint, making them a more accessible option if you’re looking to update a space without a significant overhaul in structure and design.
9. Three-dimensional ceilings that literally pop
One of the most popular ways to create statement ceilings is to choose three-dimensional designs. Three-dimensional ceilings could be as simple as raised beams around lighting fixtures, with traditional white or cream paint to keep things subtle. However, you also have the option of going wild by incorporating bold colors in your design.
Usually, the ceiling in any space goes fairly unnoticed. Seen as just a way to hide insulation, roofs and attics, ceilings tend to get painted a light color and then left alone. But if you’re looking to create a space that really pops, you might want to consider adding some artistic flair to the ceiling. Wild statement ceilings come in all types, from funky geometric designs to creative colors to three-dimensional creations. All you need to do is decide what kind of ceiling you want , and you are ready to start with your work. These are some types of ceilings that you can pull off according to your taste. We hope this helps you in deciding your ceiling design!