The Hidden Spot You're Overlooking When Decorating

Just look up

wood bedroom ceiling

DESIGN: MICHELLE BOUDREAU / PHOTO: LANCE GERBER

Whether you go with paint or wallpaper, the impact of a feature wall is well-regarded in the design world. But when it comes to truly making a statement, there’s one canvas in your home that you might be completely ignoring—we’re talking about the ceiling.

Ashley Mecham, designer at Decorist, has some advice when it comes to making your ceiling a focal point and a true statement in your home. "Ceilings are a great place to add something unexpected while maintaining a balance with the room's current colors" she notes.

With the help of a few design experts, we found several ways a statement ceiling can transform a space, and asked the pros for their tips to get the look at home.

Meet the Expert

  • Guillaume Dupré is the senior kitchen designer for Bakes & Kropp with more than two decades of home and kitchen design experience.
  • Ashley Mecham is a designer at Decorist who loves neutral colors and interesting textures.
  • Eilyn Jimenez is the founder and creative director of Sire Design in Miami, Florida.
  • Jennifer Matthews is the CCO and co-founder of Tempaper.
  • 01 of 06

    Consider Your Space

    Living room with a statement ceiling made with wallpaper

    Courtesy of Tempaper

    As Guillaume Dupré tells us, certain rooms work better for incorporating a statement ceiling than others. “When we have a narrow room with a high ceiling, it does help to change the proportion by lowering the ceiling,” he says. “This will visually accentuate the width of the room.”

    Mecham agrees that there are some limitations, noting that an open concept space might require a bit of consideration before adding a statement ceiling.

    "Statement ceilings can work in a variety of rooms, from bathrooms to offices to entryways," she notes. "However, you should determine if your space is an open concept or not before adding one. Rooms that have a defined ceiling are easier to incorporate a statement ceiling–however, it can be a great option to add some dimension and give a nice flow between rooms in an open space."

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  • 02 of 06

    It's All About Balance

    statement ceiling ideas

    Erin Williamson Design

    When it comes to planning your statement ceiling, Eilyn Jimenez of Sire Design feels one element is more important than any other: balance.

    “Balance is a key element in a design," she notes. "While the height of the room plays a significant role, you must also consider the impact a ceiling’s design will make in a space. This is very much a statement design feature, so you don't want it competing with other stand-out elements.”

    With this in mind, she says that a room with a low ceiling doesn’t need to be avoided, just considered.  “If the intention is to draw attention to the ceiling, then, by all means, run with it,” Jimenez says. 

    Mecham agrees. "A statement ceiling can definitely be done in a room with a lower ceiling," she says. "If you are adding in pattern or wallpaper, it can be a great way to draw the eye up even with a lower ceiling height."

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  • 03 of 06

    Think Creatively

    Statement ceiling made with wood.

    Design: Bakes & Kropp/ Photo: Nicole Larson

    Dupré created an absolute stunner of a ceiling using an unexpected material: wood. “It is great to create movement in the ceiling through design,” Dupré says. “This kitchen layout was perfect for that, as we had a high ceiling and a perfect symmetry on the centerline of the island length.”

    Dupré explains that using the same wood on the ceiling as he did on the island made for thoughtful cohesion in the space.

    "It was nice to use the same wood species and finish as the island, which created a mirror effect and framed it nicely,” Dupré explains. “Lastly, I decided to spice it up with the perfect diagonal pattern to further accentuate the symmetry and mirroring.”

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  • 04 of 06

    Use Removable Wallpaper

    A room decorated in temporary wallpaper, Botanical Blossom by Tempaper.

    Courtesy of Tempaper

    If you’re not ready to fully commit, Jennifer Matthews of Tempaper suggests an easy-yet-stylish solution: removable wallpaper. 

    “Hanging removable wallpaper on the ceiling isn't much different from applying to walls, but it might be a bit more time-consuming,” Matthews says. “The end result is worth it, though."

    Matthews' tips for a perfectly wallpapered statement ceiling? "Grab a friend, make sure you are working with pre-cut wallpaper panels and a smooth ceiling, and use painter's tape to tack up one end of the panel while you are working on the other side," she notes.

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  • 05 of 06

    Create an Ambiance

    Sitting room with a navy statement ceiling.

    Courtesy of Tempaper

    Much like the walls, the color or pattern you choose for your ceiling is going to set the tone of the room—so choose wisely.

    “When choosing a wallpaper for the ceiling, think about the mood or energy that you want to create for the room,” Matthews says. “Dark colors make a space feel cozy, which would be ideal for a bedroom or a reading nook. Light and airy wallpaper patterns make a space feel larger, perfect for the living room, kitchen, or another room for gathering.”

    Mecham follows similar guidelines. "It comes down to how you want the space to feel," she says. "There are so many ways to create a unique space that brings out your personality."

    There are so many ways to create a unique space that brings out your personality.

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  • 06 of 06

    Play On Your Natural Light Source—Or Lack Of

    A children's playroom with a colorful statement ceiling.

    Design: Sire Design / Photo: Grossman Photo

    If you’re working with a room that’s naturally light and airy, your options will be different than in a room that’s darker. 

    “For a light and bright room, you can really explore many design options,” Jimenez says. “Anything from unique molding, scalloped ceilings, decorative statement chandeliers, and textured wallpaper or murals are a great way to add a unique statement.”

    On a recent project with exactly that problem, Jiminez opted for a pastel-striped wallpaper. “We had tall ceilings and the room was intended to be a playroom, which gave a perfect opportunity for a playful wallpaper,” she explains. “The room has no windows, so we picked a vertical stripe pattern to trick the eye and create an illusion of a larger room.”