Ceilings: The New WOW

What’s the neatest way to immediately, easily and fairly inexpensively snazz up your living space? It’s over your head. Literally. 

Ceilings-usually constrained to off-white palettes-are the new WOW, now seen in any of the other 95% of the colors. Trim isn’t just about the size or detail, and lighting fixtures are just a whole lot more fun-and affordable!-than this Westchester County Decorator ever remember them being. 

This look is so appealing, so refreshing for many reasons: It’s adaptable to most any space, personality and pocketbook. With all the possibilities, you are pretty much guaranteed a truly unique statement, AND-it genuinely changes how we look, and feel  at a space.

 Unlike the rest of a room, ceilings don’t have a lot of other things to consider when planning a change. You can add a bold accompaniment to what you already have/like,  pick something you love as a starting point, OR like the paint commercial-visually open up, and make a  purple ceiling the whole point of a small unremarkable hallway.

Troll around some paint counters, be inspired by what’s out there. Consider:

  • Special effects paint: Rustoleum’s Hammered Metals on ceiling moldings;  Benjamin Moore Studio Effects Glaze for a subtle, sophisticated look,  or their clear Glitter Effects over a color to glam up a powder room, walk-in closet or your very own princess bedroom
  • Wallpaper the ceiling, finishing it off with painted molding. Especially striking in a Dining Room, where there is usually more wood than color or pattern anyway; and very pretty in a Bedroom… (Nothing too directional, though-a texture, like grasscloth, or  allover floral, abstract or paisley tend to work best).
  • Do both!  Paintable embossed vinyl wallpapers come in white, and in designs from the traditional tin-ceiling grid to the more contemporary abstracts and textures.

Our eyes are always intrinsically, immediately drawn to color and light; choosing a fixture with personality enhances, and adds more OOOOHH! to a decorated ceiling.  Creative is the new pedigree, as traditional materials are mixed, re-worked, and new ones are introduced.

Seen at this years’ Architectural Digest Show, these two fixtures struck me as perfect for over a dining table. One used pressed glass medallions to diffuse the harsh glare of the bulbs;  the other a very fine, stiffened linen over a thin wire frame.  BONUS: the latter also provides acoustic benefits.





  Some ideas that add more than just function:

  • A mini-crystal chandelier in a powder room or walk-in closet is a delightful surprise, but will also balance, even enlarge a small space
  • A pair-or grouping-of smaller fixtures over a dining room table-instead of one big, or long one adds a visually delectable,  sculptural element
  • Something you absolutely love in your entry is money well-spent. It will set  the tone of your space, you-and your guests will see it immediately, and again, can make a space interesting without feeling crowded.  Years ago I chose a Monrovian Star  (top photo) first because of the look, then the history, and still enjoy it, every day.

The Refreshed Home is in the good idea business.  Looking for your own, new WOW? Let’s talk today!