Innovative Ceiling Ideas

When remodling, homeowners rarely think of ceiling ideas. But, with a little creativity and effort, you can bring interest and beauty to the "fifth wall" of any room.

Types Of Ceilings
Although they've become popular for their economy and modern look, flat ceilings aren't the only option available. There are several popular ceilings types:

  • Tray - Featuring a raised central portion, tray ceilings can add detail in a small amount of vertical space. The raised portion of a tray ceiling can conform to the shape of the room or be in a hexagonal or octagonal shape. The side slopes that connect the raised main ceiling to the lower perimeter ceiling can be straight, sloped or a combination.
  • Coffered - A coffered ceiling takes the tray concept and creates a pattern out of it. Coffered ceiling divide the ceiling into regularly shaped recessed areas using intersecting beams or drywall forms. Coffered ceilings can add dramatic detail to a room and work best in rooms with higher than normal ceilings.
  • Vaulted - Vaulted ceilings use a series of flat surfaces to create and arched or "barrel" type ceiling. Vaulted ceilings create a dramatic, old-world look, but can require extensive engineering and custom roof truss designs.

Bling For Your Ceiling
One way to add impact to traditional flat ceilings is to add ornamental elements. Fashioned from fiberglass, polystyrene or lightweight plaster, ceiling ornaments can be easily added to your existing ceiling to add detail and beauty. Some popular options are:

  • Domes - Typically recessed, shallow domes can add the detail of a tray ceiling, but with the softer lines of a circle. Available in a number of sizes and designs, there are domes available to match any type of interior design.
  • Decorative trim - Lightweight and easy to install, decorative trim ranges from circular rims around a light fixture, to elaborate carved molding to define the edges of the ceiling. These pieces typically come primed and ready to accept paint or stain.
  • Ceiling medallions - A classic ceiling design element, medallions are perfect for decorating chandelier and ceiling fan installations.

"Standard" Ceiling Solutions
Don't feel left out if your ceilings are a standard 8-foot height. It is a common misconception that lower ceilings limit your design choices. Here are a few quick fixes to rise above the standard:

  • Crown molding - Crown molding, especially larger styles, can be a great way to define and bring attention to the ceiling. Crown molding painted with an accent color really draws the eye upward, expanding the look of your room.
  • Soffits - It is relatively simple to create the look of a tray ceiling with shallow soffits created using 2" x 4" wood and drywall. These soffits don't take up much headroom and help to give a dramatic lift to your ceiling.
  • Patterned tiles - Installing patterned tiles can be an effective way to add detail to plain ceilings. Tin and copper are popular choices for this quick fix.
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