Gaze up: creative ideas for a gorgeous ceiling

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Walls & flooringWallpaper
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Most people are accustomed to finishing rooms with various colors and decorative materials. However, often it's the objects on the walls and floor that get the most attention when it comes to decorating. Looking up, it's very common to find a smooth white or off-white ceiling with no special story to tell, but that doesn't mean it's your only option! From textured paints to murals, and from false ceilings to exposed beams, these interior architects have brought forth some crazy, colorful and intriguing ceilings that serve to lift your gaze skyward when you enter the room!

Wallpapered ceiling

As a surface that's parallel to the floor, a ceiling offers a strong visual connection to the floor level. By adding interest to the ceiling, you draw eyes from floor level to ceiling level with a greater sense of lift, providing extra visual space in small rooms. This room is an excellent example of this lifting and space-making effect. By blurring the border between walls and ceiling, the room grows visually, and the patterned wallpaper only adds to the strong optical element drawing your gaze upwards. For a quieter approach, simply use a solid colour of paint to extend the statement wall across your ceiling.

Exposed beams

Structural elements such as beams can produce a striking aesthetic that sets the tone for the entire interior. In these exposed constructions, the beams are usually found at a height of over 20 feet, forming a wide open space with an absent upper level. Exposed beams look especially appropriate on manors, country homes, and renovated farm buildings, but they can be easily worked into just about any design, such as a nautically themed or all-wood, eco-centric room.

Hallway contrast stripe

A simple white ceiling is always nice, but look how this hallway gains a sense of it's own atmosphere with this exposed grey stripe running along the length of the hall area. This clever design visually distinguishes the areas designated for transportation and for dining without the need of any walls, and the height contrast brings attention to the sheltered and cozy feel that the slighter lower ceiling brings to the dining area. 

​All wood

An intricate wooden ceiling creates an interesting pattern full of depth, variety, and a hint of the natural world.  In addition to its aesthetic, installing a wooden ceiling has the potential to mask any number of odd technical fixtures or ventilation ducts – a good solution for older homes in need of a touch-up that still has a traditional character.

​Painted planks

Painted in a simple white, this ceiling solution stays within the comfort zone without overwhelming the decor, while the horizontal plank design brings an additional element of energy and direction to the ceiling of the room. You'll notice how the grooves in the ceiling seem to channel the light, spreading it like rays throughout the room. This painted plank solution is an excellent choice for darker rooms in need of extra energy and illumination.


For hundreds of years, humans have stared in amazement at the sky – recreating the image of a starry night sky with small light bulbs peeking out from a layer of drywall or plaster is a beautiful way to add interest to a bedroom or media room ceiling.

​Designs that give shape to the room

Often, it's the walls, window, and floor plan you consider when arranging and giving shape to your rooms. You can expand your mindset to include your ceiling as well – see how the elongated, seamless ceiling planks bring a strong sense of distance and reach to this long open concept room.  These horizontal lines really emphasize the shape of the room. Likewise, a ceiling offering a centered chandelier brings a focused, balanced feeling to the room. A suspended ceiling in a narrow hallway serves to draw attention to the height and length of the corridor's shape.

You've seen some interesting ceilings – now how about the floor? Here's an ideabook with 9 Nifty Floors to Keep you Grounded

What do you think of these unique ceiling designs? Comment below!

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