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15 Unique Ideas to Decorate Your Ceiling

Generally speaking, the ceiling is the single most ignored wall in people’s homes. That said, the days of ceilings being a neglected design element are rapidly coming to an end once again as homeowners are looking up ceiling decoration ideas and inspiration (which is probably why you ended up on this page).

Designers often refer to the ceiling as the fifth wall – and for obvious reasons. Given that it is technically a wall, it only makes sense to decorate it as a means of enhancing a space overall.

Fortunately, there are a multitude of ceiling decoration ideas that can add to a home’s warmth, elegance, charm or other ambiance you aim to achieve. If you are seeking out ceiling decoration ideas to add excitement to your home, here are 15 concepts to consider.

Turn Your Ceiling into a Work of Art with Ceiling Tiles and Tins

1. Paint the Ceiling and Walls the Same Color

One of the simplest and easiest ceiling decoration ideas is to paint it the same color as the room’s walls. This approach requires little in the way of contemplation or complicated decisions and is sure to match the rest of the room.

What makes this technique an excellent ceiling decoration idea is that painting the ceiling the same color as the walls makes the two run together, thereby eliminating any visual clues when each begins or ends. The result is that the room looks larger overall.

ceiling idea same color paint

Alternatively, if you so choose, you can also paint the ceiling a slightly lighter tint than the walls as this achieves a similar effect but helps to add a bit more character to the space.

2. Paint the Ceiling in a Contrasting Color

Want to add a little more drama to your room? Then painting the ceiling in a color that contrasts with the walls (but goes with the décor) can be a highly effective strategy.

While painting the ceiling differently from the walls may seem like a way to create a room that clashes with itself, by matching the ceiling color to the furniture, carpet or the like, it will help to create a cohesive experience.

3. Stripe the Ceiling

A roof decoration idea that many are fond of is painting stripes on the ceiling. Moreover, as far as direction is concerned, stripes can truly run any which way you please.

Stripes that run perpendicular to the flooring, meet at different angles and mirror the tread of wooden floorboards are all excellent choices. However, you will need to consider the size, shape and purpose of the room. For instance, bedrooms, nurseries and bathrooms are all ideal for striped ceilings. However, this approach might make a kitchen look too busy or could make a living room appear smaller and less spacious. That said, a hallway could look fantastic with a striped ceiling design.

Therefore, if you opt to go this route, be sure to put considerable thought and care into its application.

4. Install a Ceiling Medallion

Purchasing a ceiling medallion to complement light fixtures is a fantastic way to draw attention to your ceiling and add some elegance and character to the space.

Ceiling medallions can be found in a multitude of historic homes from different periods and have the ability to evoke a sense of grandeur and sophistication in pretty much any place that they are found.

ceiling idea ceiling medallion

If you want to install a ceiling medallion, it is best to start by doing some research into which style will complement your home, based on its architecture and layout.

5. Put Wallpaper on the Ceiling

While some might consider it a bit unorthodox, putting wallpaper on one’s ceiling is not all that uncommon. That said, this is one of those ceiling decorating ideas that requires a bit more determination and gumption as gravity will be fighting against you.

That said, when done well, this can give a room an incredibly tasteful appearance, particularly if the wallpaper is framed within a recessed portion or used in a home that has a coffered ceiling.

If you opt to implement this ceiling decoration idea, choose your color and pattern carefully. For instance, darker tones can make a room feel cozier and come with a sense of weight, whereas lighter colors can make a smaller room feel bigger.

6. Install Moldings on the Ceiling

Similar to installing a ceiling medallion, installing molding is another way to infuse a room with a sense of elegance and grandeur.

decorative plaster molding on ceiling

Moldings are a wonderful means of adding interest and definition to what would otherwise be a space devoid of character. Additionally, depending on the method you choose to utilize, they can actually be quite easy to install.

7. Create Three-Dimensional Concepts

If you want to go beyond molding and go for a more artistic feel, you can instead choose to create a three-dimensional installation. With this concept, you will be seeking to turn your ceiling into a piece of art.

To achieve this look, you can create and suspend various geometric shapes or patterns, clouds, flowers and other designs made from sheets of drywall from your ceiling. Doing this will make your ceiling fantastically complex and a design feature to admire.

This is another great option for those with coffered ceilings. However, if you decide that this is the ceiling decoration idea for you, just be aware that this will work best in large, sprawling rooms as the size of the design will certainly add to its impact.

8. Install Ceiling Tiles

Yet another means of making a space more elegant and sophisticated is to purchase tin ceiling tiles.

Tin ceiling tiles have a long history, dating all the way back to the 1880s. This means that this ceiling decoration idea is perfect for older, historical homes. However, even if your home is more contemporary, this ceiling decoration idea can give certain spaces that vintage look and feel.

ceiling idea ceiling tiles

Moreover, the idea behind tin ceiling tiles was not only an affordable means of decorating the fifth wall but to mimic high-end plaster molding. But that doesn’t mean you have to go with that Victorian feel as tin ceiling tiles come in a variety of patterns ranging from Americana to art deco and beyond.

Additionally, tin ceiling tiles are great for a variety of rooms, large and small. Just make sure to get the right tile size for the room you are upgrading!

9. Go High Gloss

A recent trend in ceiling design is to implement a super high gloss, reflective finish overhead. Like some of the other ceiling decoration ideas, this is a great tactic for making rooms feel larger, particularly if they already feature lighter colors and furniture.

That said, in order to achieve the desired effect, the surface must be polished to a smooth sheen so that no bumps show. If this is not possible, then it might be best to go with a stretch ceiling as this serves to cover an existing ceiling by installing a track into the perimeter of the walls of the room a couple of inches below the ceiling line.

Stretch ceilings come in a variety of patterns, designs, materials and the like, meaning this could be a relatively quick and easy way to get that high gloss look.

10. Brick and Stone

room with arched brick ceiling

While a bit more limited in application, brick or stone ceiling designs can add a great deal of character and warmth to a given space. Naturally, you will want to choose brick colors that go well with the room’s furnishings and potentially consider using wood for the walls to stick with that rustic, earthy kind of vibe.

As far as where to apply brick ceiling designs is concerned, this tends to be the perfect choice for arches and curved ceilings. Additionally, brick ceilings can also be found in kitchens across the world.

If this idea appeals to you but you are concerned about the cost, you might instead choose to utilize brick veneer as this is much more affordable and is only a fraction of the weight of its traditional counterpart. The reason is that brick veneer only uses a thin layer of cut brick.

11. Fabrics and Fibers

Rags, rugs, ropes, satin tapestries and the like are all quick, relatively low-cost ways of altering the appearance or feel of a room. While wedding venues are notorious for adorning their ceilings with such fabrics, these materials can absolutely be used in the home as well.

These types of materials are fantastic for giving a room a lighter, billowier look and feel. Additionally, you can also utilize layers to get a more dynamic appearance when using this ceiling decorating technique.

12. A Variety of Wood Designs

When it comes to ceiling decoration ideas, wood is about as traditional as it gets for most homeowners. Wood ceilings add a definitive warmth and charm to a room, no matter if it is natural, stained or painted.

However, you don’t need to have a fully wood ceiling to reap the benefits of this material as wood accents are both commonplace and classy. The fact of the matter is that there is a wood stain and style for any room you could imagine, making this one of the most versatile of the ceiling decoration ideas on this list.

ceiling idea wood design

For instance, beams are one of the most typical yet beloved ways of integrating wood ceiling designs. However, there are a panoply of different options as well, such as wood-accented tray ceilings, stained tongue-and-groove, slim panel designs and more.

Shop Ceiling Medallions to Complement Your Home’s Lighting Fixtures

13. Stenciled Ceiling Designs

Ceiling stencils are a long-established means of adding class and elegance to an otherwise ordinary ceiling. Additionally, there are options in how this idea is approached. For instance, you might opt to create a faux ceiling medallion around lighting fixtures, place a large stencil in the middle of the ceiling as a focal point or use an allover stencil pattern to cover the entirety of the ceiling. Additionally, ceiling stencils have come a long way over the years, making the process easier, better looking and more affordable than ever before.

Ceiling stencils come in a wide array of shapes, designs and concepts, meaning you are sure to find one that fits whatever room you want to enhance.

14. Photos and Art

Earlier, we discussed the concept of stretch ceilings. For a quick refresher, this method covers a ceiling by installing a track into the perimeter of the walls just below the ceiling line.

Moreover, since you can use this tactic to achieve that high gloss look, you can also use it to implement all sorts of unique ceiling decorating ideas. For instance, you can use stretched ceilings to install large prints, photos, graphics or custom designs to turn your ceiling into the main focus of a room.

With this strategy, there is basically no ceiling to what you can do (pun intended).

15. Flip the Script and Keep It White

While this is a bit antithetical to the idea of this piece, another viable option is to simply keep your ceiling white and paint the walls of the room in bold, contrasting colors.

home with white ceiling

Not exactly a groundbreaking ceiling decoration idea, but it will certainly achieve a dramatic effect, if that is what you are seeking.

Decorating the Fifth Wall

Your home’s ceiling has a ton of untapped potential for adding to your home’s style, elegance, richness, warmth and overall character. Don’t let this massive canvas go to waste.

Mull over the ceiling decoration ideas listed here and figure out which ones will work best for different rooms in your home. After all, you don’t need to stick with one single ceiling design throughout.

If you end up needing some materials for your project, Van Dyke’s has a wide array of ceiling lights, tiles, medallions and other components to help you achieve the look you desire.

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