When you walk into a room, your eyes naturally look up upon first inspection. It’s not that you’ve been told to look there, but rather it’s an instinctual notion for your eyes to notice the ceiling over the floor. So shouldn’t you be paying more attention to this area of the room when designing it? We think so, and so does our guest today, Sarah Bartholomew of Bartholomew Designs.
BACKGROUND: Decorating is really Sarah’s first love. She’s been painting, moving furniture, and generally trying to make things prettier as long as she can remember. A Virginia native and graduate of UVA, she has a deep love and appreciation for classical architecture. As a mostly self-trained designer, today, she gets great joy out of driving around a car filled with fabric samples, lamp shades, and paint chips. She aims to make a house a home for her clients, and develop a relationship with the spaces she designs as well as the people who live in them.
The Cure for the Common Ceiling
Heads up butter cup! Chances are you are looking at some variation of ceiling white paint on drywall. Am I right? Ceilings are usually the most neglected parts of our homes. After all, we have already agonized over selecting the perfect paint color for the walls, we have hunted down those unique antique statement pieces, we have shelled out more than we want to recall on that custom rug and those well-appointed window treatments, we have selected and ordered our upholstery pieces, we are exhausted and we say sure, just paint that ceiling white, right?
Wrong! Consider your ceiling the 5th wall in your room. Give it the attention it deserves, and make sure that it complements and finishes the room. Think of your ceiling it as the exquisite lining on that beautiful coat you’ve been eyeing. The coat is pretty without it, but the lining makes it that much more elegant and refined.
So without further adieu here are some pics of my favorite ceilings:
Panels and Planks:
Whether you use driftwood beams or lime washed pecky cypress planks, rustic woods on the ceiling add warmth and character to a room.
If your room calls for clean and light, rather than warm and rustic, consider painted planks, beadboard, or beams
For those of us who aren’t renovating or building, and have standard drywall ceilings, wallpaper can add unexpected flair. I love the idea of a grass cloth in larger living areas and bolder wallpapers for smaller spaces such as offices, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.
Do you have an attic bedroom with sloped ceilings? Why not wallpaper the entire room, ceilings and all, to create a space that is undeniably chic!
Have low ceilings? Lacquering or paint the ceiling in a high gloss finish is a great way to create the illusion of a higher ceiling height.
Pale, pale, pale blue ceilings are a popular choice, as they give the feeling of the sky. I often recommend Benjamin Moore’s Horizon. It’s the perfect pale blue-gray .
A few final thoughts before I wrap up. If your room is painted a light neutral color and you want to create a soothing, simple feel, paint the ceiling the same hue as the walls. In order to create this look you have to paint the ceiling with a paint that is half the strength of the wall color. In general, if you paint the ceiling in the same color as the walls, the ceiling will appear darker than the walls. So if you want the ceiling to look the same as the walls, ask for half strength of the wall color on the ceilings. For rooms with darker walls, or any rooms where you want a clean white ceiling, use your trim color at half strength instead of your standard ceiling white. Trust me, your ceilings will thank you!
Sarah Bartholomew / Bartholomew Designs
image 1 (Darryl Carter) , image 2 (unknown Pinterest), image 3(unknown Pinterest), image 4 (Victoria Hagan) , 5 ( pinterest?) , and 6 (windsor smith), image 7 (Suzanne Kaler) ,8 (Pinterest) ,9 (David Kleinberg, Veranda),image 10 (Windsor Smith) , 11 (Gil Schafer),Image 12 (Phoebe Howard), Image 13 (image Tom Scheerer)
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