Painted Ceilings – The 5th Wall
I think it is safe to say that most ceilings are ignored when redecorating is in progress. Most people toil over what color to paint the walls, or which wall should be the accent and what color that accent should be. In the end, the walls are covered in a fresh coat of paint and the ceiling remains… white. As an interior designer, I too have left most ceilings white for one reason or another, but every so often I run across the right situation and a courageous client who allows their ceiling to join in the fun. I have recently completed a residential project (above) that included a living room that was the perfect candidate for a dark painted ceiling. Although the client absolutely loves it now, it wasn’t an easy sell. In fact, most people wouldn’t want to deviate away from the white ceiling. It is not because they didn’t have the ceiling heights or imagination to go for it, but rather they are simply accustomed to the norm and never considered the ceiling as “The 5th Wall.” Let’s explore.
This cozy sitting area by Douglas Levine has warm toned linen wallcovering and a dark painted ceiling that almost disappears. I would estimate the actual ceiling height to be about 10ft, but with the ceiling painted it appears taller. Blocks of light colors in the rug helps to contrast the dark elements within the room.
This Benjamin Moore inspirational room has a semi-gloss mocha colored paint to reflect light downward. Although it is difficult to apply a semi-gloss paint on large field without seeing roller trails, this image is an excellent display of how a medium-toned ceiling color can warm up a space without shrinking its appearance. Even using a darker toned metallic paint instead of a gloss or semi gloss will also have this reflective effect.
It is difficult to imagine this dining room without the dark chocolate ceiling to mimic the walls and flooring. These dark elements are contrasted by the off-white base/crown molding that ties into the cream colored furniture. The blue inner chair upholstery and drapery trim adds just a touch of elegance and flair in perfect proportion. This is one dining room certain to make your mouth water!
This dining room has incredible ceiling heights and a hearty abundance of molding on the ceiling and walls. The off-white color of walls, trim and window treatments are a beautiful contrast to the black floors and ceiling. The gorgeous details of the ceiling medallion would have been lost if it weren’t for the black contrast ceiling paint. Also notice the selective area of black paint within the dining room molding square, but not the ceiling square beyond the molding threshold. This was well thought out and balanced.
This mauve-pink color may not be for everyone, but it definitely makes a statement in an otherwise standard setting. Designer Sara Story used a piece of artwork to inspire this ceiling color. Afterall, the kitchen is the liveliest area of our home, so maybe you’ll think “outside the paint can” next time around.
This Hampton’s home was revamped by interior designer Steven Gambrel who installed this living rooms expansive black plank ceiling. “Rather than making a space feel smaller, as you might expect,” Gambrel says, “it helps to define its outer edges, encouraging visual scale.” Photo by Eric Piasecki for Elle Decor
This uber eccentric living room can launch more than a discussion about painted ceilings. The black flooring and crown molding relate the upper and lower portions of the room, as the walls wear glossy teal blue panels. Gold trim strips conceal the seams on the teal panels, and one might assume that the gold ceiling was inspired by the gold trim. Regardless of how these layers of colors were decided, this designer pulled together a colorful masterpiece. It may not satisfy everyone’s taste but it can surely trump most 5th Walls to boot. Thanks for sharing Elle Decor!