Ceilings Details That Pack A Punch

Posted on | December 21, 2012 | No Comments

What is overhead can have as much of an effect on the design of a room as the layering of the fabrics furnishings and accessories. Today we hear from Anita Oates, a Raleigh interior designer with the firm, Otrada L.L.C. Anita offers us her insight into various ceilings and their impact on the design of the space.

In designing a new space, we often focus on the floor plan which involves our circulation path and placement of furniture. However, we should also think about what is above our heads that may help to create a powerful visual impact. The ceiling plane is critical in setting the tone of a space because it’s the “sky” for a room and most of us will naturally glance up if the ceiling has any interest.

Images Courtesy of Otrada L.L.C. ©

A coffered ceiling, like the one shown here is based on a grid. It sets a traditional and orderly tone to the room with a bit of formality. It is geometric in pattern, light in color, and sits as a wonderful contrast to the dark and rustic wood tones in the rest of the space.

An upholstered ceiling may add a layer of texture and warmth to a very large space. They can also help to define a seating or dining area within an open floor plan.

Another option is a stained or painted ceiling, as seen above. This one shown has both. Again, this is a geometric pattern, yet the high contrast of dark stained bead board against the off-white trim paint is dramatic and makes this screened porch feel finished. I have also seen designers use metallic gold, silver, or bright hues to create a bit of drama.

Barrel or domed ceilings are a bit rare to find, but they enclose the space and make it feel more intimate. The curvilinear line is also more natural in feel since all of nature is without straight lines! They offer a great space to accentuate special lighting fixtures, artwork, or both.

Cathedral and shed ceilings create a large expanse from the walls to a central peak. It makes a space feel more spacious, open, and grand. Many great rooms today have cathedral ceilings and home buyers are accustomed to expecting this feature.

Tray ceilings have an inverted area that accentuate the perimeter of a room. Many builders have used this type of ceiling to add interest to Master Bedrooms and Dining areas. Although, I’m not a huge fan of Tray ceiling details, I still appreciate the effort to add interest above our heads!

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