• Jessica Bellef

5 done right: Painted ceilings


In this series, I pull together 5 images that give us insight into a certain styling topic that deserves a little analysis and explanation. For my (very tardy) second instalment, I look at statement ceilings and instances where a bold colour choice over head has worked oh so well.


Hands down, taking a paint roller to the walls is most interior industry insiders go-to tip for an instant refresh of a room. That's all good and well, but the real POW-effect happens when the paint is applied to the ceiling and the colour pop is deliciously unexpected. It may draw the space in, highlighting the contours and height constraints, but it also forces the eye up and through - the whole room is experienced and appreciated. A colour overhead imbues an element of fun energy or irreverence. It can also be a showstopper, a cause to pause; something that gets an involuntary 'wow' response.


Scroll through for 5 different instances of painted ceilings that deliver equal measures of POW and WOW.

Image by Juli Daoust

Like sunshine beaming down from the sky, this spicy yellow ceiling adds warmth and happiness to the intimate nook. Keeping the walls white and the flooring in an ashy whitewashed tone allows for the walnut timber shelf unit to stand out in a way that complements the richness of the ochre hue overhead.



Image via Pinterest

Muddy olive soaks the ceiling and walls in this stark transitional zone, finished unevenly (perhaps it's plaster ?) and emphasised by the graphically-charged black doorways and the polished stone floors. The surface finishes are key here, as is the fact that the colour flows from the ceiling and down the walls, creating an immersive atmosphere. The experience of travelling through this space would be heightened as you step into the white, bright lightness of the attached rooms- the contrast adds to the drama.



Image via lonny.com

A hallway is where a painted ceiling can really come into its own. In these narrow spaces that are often too tight to include furniture and decor, a channel of colour overhead makes a dramatic style statement without taking up any floor space. In the example above, the ruby red is a striking unexpected choice and it completely changes the mood of the area, adding a sense of exoticism and theatre.


Image via welken.nl

This deep emerald green ceiling does a top job of highlighting and modernising the original ornate plasterwork. With such a large surface area covered by the lush hue, the generous proportions of the room are boldly celebrated. The drop of the pendant light further draws the eye up, while the monotoned artwork, perfectly to scale, fills the wall space in a way that doesn't compete with the rooms hero feature, aka that incredible ceiling.



Image via Chloe Warner / Lonny

The shimmering champagne gold ceiling reflects rosey hues and ups the glam-factor, making this a dining space fit for a sparkling dinner party. However, the room is thoughtfully balanced and manages to toe the line between formal and relaxed. The matchstick blinds and the woven detail in the chairs add an organic casualness, bringing the ceiling and the chandelier down a notch or two on the luxe scale. Nice one.

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