Colour on the ceiling

Colour on the ceiling

Colour on the ceiling

When it comes to choosing a paint colour for your ceiling, most of us would opt for a shade of white. For years, white has been considered the safest option for our loftiest wall and its true, most times its the perfect choice but a white ceiling is not always the right ceiling. Just as colour on our walls can add drama or sophistication to a room, colour above us can transform a rooms look and feel.

For most homes ceilings are not the feature, but if you have a high stud height, theres no reason why you cant bring some colour onto the ceiling, says interior designer and colour consultant Debbie Abercrombie.

Applying a colour to the ceiling can dramatically alter your perception of the rooms space, making it appear larger, smaller, more formal or casual. A dark colour can visually lower the height of a room, while a light colour can give the impression that its taller.

With a low stud height, say 2.4m, you really need to keep the ceiling light, says Debbie. But once you get to a stud height thats 2.7m and higher you have more flexibility. If you have a higher stud height, the world is your oyster.

Designers often use darker colours on high stud ceilings to evoke a sense of coziness or snug retreat. But a stand-alone room that can be shut off from adjoining rooms is a stronger candidate for dark hues than primary living spaces.

In living spaces where you spend a lot of time, you dont want to bring your ceilings down, says Debbie. But if its a separate room, somewhere for entertaining a separate dining room or a home theatre for example, it has a different purpose and you can close those rooms in.

Powder rooms and hallways, which have a clear purpose, are great places to introduce fun colours.

I have a client at the moment who has a very wicked sense of humour and we are putting a wallpaper with lips on the ceiling, says Debbie. Thats in a bathroom, like a powder room for guests. So thats not kids, who are going to be using it all the time; its a space thats used for a purpose, and youre in and out.

Anaglypta is becoming increasingly popular on ceilings too. These uncoloured, embossed wallpapers bring texture to a room and can be painted over in your choice of Resene colour.

However, where a room has a focal point, ceilings are best kept plain and light.

In a kitchen, for example, your benchtop or cook space is the focus, so if you try to put something on the ceiling, the eye doesnt know where to focus, says Debbie. In a dining area your dining table is normally the focus, in your living room it might be the fireplace or your seating. So for certain rooms that have their own focal point, we generally dont focus on the ceiling.

Head to a childs room though, and colours can be used to lighten or brighten the mood. Lighter colours are generally more restful, whereas dark colours can be a little gloomy. But darker colours arent necessarily a no-no in kids rooms.

Sometimes it comes down to the personality of the child, says Debbie. You dont want it to be too dark for them. But some children actually like that sense of security, so it can be a little bit darker. But you can lighten it by maybe putting clouds or stars on, or decals.

Or try sparkly metallic paints as a fun way to spice up a room.

Colour on the ceiling

I am working on a project at the moment where we are going to use some of the Resene Metallics on the ceiling. It is a project that is a little more theatrical than most so we can add a theatrical element to it. You can do that in the dining room, you can do it in a plasma room rooms where you want to make a cosy atmosphere and in childrens rooms. The metallic paints are reflective, so they wont be too hard and dark to look at.

Excess colour may not be to everyones taste, but using colour on the ceiling in a childs room may be a happy medium for parents who prefer all the walls in their house to be painted the same colour.

Resene colour consultant Sarah Gregory says its a neat way to compromise. Where parents want the same colour all the way through the house but the child wants colour in their bedroom, you can pop colour on the ceiling. Its different, theyve got their colour, but it doesnt affect the overall look of the house.

Sarah also says that dark colours on ceilings, while not commonly used in childrens bedrooms, are not unheard of.

Ive done a really dark jade for the ceiling — Resene Japanese Laure l — in a villa which had quite a high stud. A high stud can take a darker ceiling. At the Viaduct, Ive also done a black ceiling in high gloss so that it reflected all the lights.

Resene Japanese Laurel

But if that sounds too daring for you, there are other options. One trick often used by interior designers when painting a ceiling is to use the same colour as the walls, but a shade or two lighter. Since ceilings appear in shadow, using exactly the same shade as you used on the walls will make the ceiling appear darker.


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