Add Character to a Boring Ceiling

For an attention-grabbing ceiling, consider these design ideas to add dimension and texture.

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For most homeowners redoing a room, the ceiling is completely overlooked and usually treated to nothing more than a fresh coat of ceiling white paint. But just because there's a product manufactured solely for ceilings doesn't mean you have to use it. Leaving your ceiling a white void is a wasted opportunity to add warmth and dimension to your rooms. At the very least, it can be painted a complementary color to your walls and trim.

But for an attention-grabbing look, consider a paneled or coffered ceiling. The dimension and texture an artfully embellished ceiling can contribute are equally at home in a simple cottage or a grand formal dwelling.


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Paneled Ceilings

In a cottage-style house, beadboard paneling is a popular choice for ceilings as well as walls, and it adds charm to a casually put-together design scheme. It's a natural fit in a country-style kitchen, but it also works well for a bedroom, adding to a cozy, enveloped feeling.

Wood ceilings are a great way to add texture and warmth to a room. A ceiling covered in 1x6 tongue-and-groove or beadboard paneling and painted with a half paint/half water mixture will instantly make a room feel cozy and customized.

Coffered Ceilings

For a large formal room, especially if the ceiling is very high, a coffered ceiling application can amp up the elegance. Designer Barry Dixon frequently uses an octagonal pattern on a coffered ceiling to add the graceful geometry of this medieval design. Medallions at the intersection of the grid can add an elegant detail to a formal room design.

A simple grid, either painted or stained, can add distinction to a library or a living room. In a highly traditional room, a medallion where the chandelier attaches to the ceiling is a refined finishing touch.

Beamed Ceilings

A room with exposed or painted beams has immediate and powerful architecture. Even if you don't have beams to expose, new beams can be installed, with either reclaimed wood, with its beautifully rustic look, or paint-grade wood, used to blend with the room's color scheme.

Beautifully grained wood, like butternut or mahogany, though more costly, adds a warm note of elegance. Exposed beams are a great way to bring a dose of masculinity to an otherwise feminine design scheme.


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Finishing Touches

With the recent popularity of pale, waxed wood finishes, a paneled ceiling can be pickled for a light and breezy look. Or consider the rustic texture of pecky cypress boards for a ceiling, with their inimitable warmth. Whether painted or left in its natural state, a wood ceiling is truly a room's crowning glory.

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