Ceiling- the 5th Wall

Interior design projects in this innovative age are a great source of creativity, interest and inspiration. However, it is nothing short of surprising that ceilings, which make up one-sixth of the space in a room, are still, most often simply painted white. This has been looked on as the simplest and even the best choice in interior design for decades. If you never consider anything beyond ordinary white, you may be missing an opportunity to add excitement and drama and much more interest and elegance to a room’s decor. This thinking has prevailed because of the general rule that ceilings that are lighter than the walls feel higher, while those that are darker feel lower. “Lower” need not mean claustrophobic. Visually lowered ceilings can evoke cozy intimacy.The room below would be much less interesting with a basic white ceiling.

upscale dining room with tall ceiling painted charcoal and light area carpet

It is the overall ambiance that is important. Colour is the cause of a great deal of worry for home owners. Though they may love colour when they see it in a completed interior design project, they simply do not have the confidence to put the same colour in their own home. We are here to bring that confidence and let colour have some fun in your home. The childs’ room below is beautiful as well as fun and interesting to be in. The pink ceiling can easily be returned to bland white for resale of the home, although what child would not enjoy this room as it currently is?

In a room that tends to be dark, whether that be due to lack of incoming sunlight during the time you are using the room, or simply due to insufficient electrical lighting, one is tempted to stick to the tried and true ordinary white. Truth be told, builder lighting is often woefully inadequate and decades after the home was originally built, the original poor lighting remains. As a result, many clients are convinced that their small rooms can only be decorated using a pale colour palette. This conception robs them of a lot of the fun and drama of interior design and the range of beautiful colours available to us. Adding better lighting is crucial, whether the palette is kept light or dares to be dark.

luxurious living room with black wall panelling and light armchair

Your interior designer or interior decorator can help improve the illumination in the home and thus provide you with more avenues for bolder colour and more interesting choices as a result. This is one of the topics of conversation which can come up during a paint colour consultation.

 contemporary dining room with ornate silver ceiling

Bright daylight bouncing off a blush pink or sky blue ceiling creates an airy feeling; candlelight and lamplight reflecting on tomato red produce a rich glow. Ceiling paint is usually flat, but an eggshell or satin finish paint offers just a hint of reflective sheen – a benefit if you’re using a darker colour. Realize, however, that a ceiling must be in near-perfect condition since higher-sheen paints can call attention to surface flaws.

baby's room with bright glossy orange ceiling

Colour on the ceiling can enhance a room’s character, but beware of excess.  For primary living areas, keep the ceiling treatment simple so you don’t grow tired of it. White ceilings are often the best choice for a room because white overhead tends to disappear, so your attention focuses on the walls and furnishings. A white ceiling can also play up bold wall colour, making walls look crisp and sharp. The room design below makes use of a wall treatment applied, as well to the ceiling. The wood ceiling adds richness and warmth and the additional lighting keeps the room feeling fresh.  The room is anything but bland or dull.
contemporary living room with floor to ceiling stone clad fireplace

Often, too sharp a white can appear too clinical and stark. You may have wondered why the desired effect in your room was a bit off. It could be the automatic choice of clinical white for the ceiling. A softer version of white can result in a room which feels more mellow, less high contrast—more cozy, as seen below. Mid hue walls with a texture and softer shade of white ceiling can appear spacious, as well as dramatic.

upscale master bath with free-standing bath tub and sculptural floor to ceiling wall tile

In rooms that receive scant natural light, many would be reluctant to use a dark ceiling, certainly not a black one. The room below is an example of interior design where a black ceiling is used to advantage, as a dramatic accent in a relatively small area. This room is elegant and interesting.

foyer with black floor, doors and ceiling detail

Using a contrasting colour on the ceiling can change the room dramatically. The colour will bounce down into the room and affect all the colours used in the room. This adds great character. You can even use a dark colour on the ceiling, contrary to popular legend. Wallpaper has come back in a big way. Nothing adds drama to a room like a spectacular wall covering. Your colour consultant can help you with these choices and help predict the effect ceiling colour will have on the room.

contemporary bathroom with white and black wallpaper, black ceiling and lime accessories

Using the same colour on the walls as well as on the ceiling is not for everyone. It likely will make the room appear smaller but has the advantage of producing a seamless, low contrast, restful intimacy. You may find this very nice in a bedroom or bath. Focus on the furnishings and accessories will be emphasized. This technique is also helpful in great rooms, helping to alleviate the chilly feeling of the unusually high ceiling.

upscale master bath with tall ceiling, custom draperies, large abstract artwork, and free-standing tub

In a more pronounced example, we can produce a room design that is very dramatic if that is the sort of client that we are working with. For instance, we can use even black in the room design and it will be beautiful and interesting. This is not for everyone, but certain clients love this sort of look. So do we.

large bedroom with tripod floor lamp, upholstered headboard, custom draperies, and Paris map wallpaper on the ceiling

An oddly shaped room or one with an angled ceiling may become a golden opportunity to use colour, rather than the insurmountable problem you thought it was. Consult your interior designer or interior decorator to help open up the possibilities of unusual architecture for you. You also have several options with architectural trim. You can choose to highlight it, make it blend, or make it disappear, all depending on the effect that you desire to produce in your home.

Since 1993 Mulberry Interiors, interior design consultants have been assisting clients in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Brampton, Milton, Georgetown, Etobicoke, western Toronto, and Vaughn. We specialize in residential interior design and decorating and are at our most creative when we use colour as our theme. We offer a full range of interior design services such as choosing paint colours, space planning, furniture sourcing, custom draperies and soft furnishings, flooring selection and accessories. Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.

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