CREATIVE INTERIORS: Decorate the ceiling -- the fifth wall of your house

By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann Published:

Many people don't even consider the ceiling when designing homes.

And we generally don't address it other than in terms of putting lights and fans there.

So perhaps it is time to talk about decorating the ceiling. It is, after all, the fifth wall.

Let's start with color.

The "standard" that many put on the ceiling is white, and that is fine. Actually, light tones on the ceiling create a feeling of height in the room.

In contrast, tones that are a little darker will create warmth and coziness. Family rooms, including dens, are perfect for darker colors. Bedrooms benefit from darker ceilings, also, particularly master bedrooms.

Having said that, generally speaking, we consider the ceiling only when choosing lights and fans, we should choose those items with design in mind.

The fan, for example, should reflect the decor you have elsewhere in the room rather than just having it as a utilitarian piece.

If the room is tropical, go for a fan that looks tropical, perhaps with bamboo blades.

If the decor is ultra contemporary, the fan should be as well.

And there are many choices available out there, so the ceiling (think sky) is the limit.

Textured ceilings are interesting.

There are panels for ceilings that come in textured patterns and can be applied to the ceiling rather easily.

Another well-used idea is to put molding on the ceiling and paint either the ­molding or the ceiling inside the molding a contrasting color.

Consider stenciling the ceiling. Create your own or purchase a kit or have a painter come and do the job for you.

It was customary to put wallpaper on the ceiling, but that faded from the design scene. Or did it? Well, yes, for a while, but it is back in vogue. Though not as popular as it used to be, wallpapering the ceiling is making a comeback.

Certain formal rooms, such as dining rooms, do well with fabric on the ceiling.

Master bedrooms work with fabric ceilings, too. It can be draped for a tent effect or clustered close to the ceiling for an interesting, warm look.

Well, there you have a few ideas to get you started. Pick the idea that pleases you and go for it. You will be glad you did.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at DsgnQuest@aol.com.

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