Interior Obsessions – The Ceiling

We carefully select our flooring, choosing hardwood planks or thick pile carpeting. We adorn our walls with paint, wallpaper and artwork. But so often, our ceilings are forgotten, painted white, a bit of an afterthought. So today I wanted to celebrate the ceiling with images and ideas from those who have put a little more thought into the roof over our heads.

This extra effort can be as simple as adding a little color, or stenciling/painting on a quote or pattern. It can be simple tongue and groove planking, painted out or left to showcase the wood. It can be an inset panel that defines a space, or dropped down to do the same. It can mean pulling away the ceiling to open it up with a skylight. It can be a small grid that references old culture, allowing air into an outdoor room while blocking the hot afternoon sun. It can be an undulating grid of thin boards that brings movement into a space and makes it feel more cozy. Or an explosion of rafter material that grows like a tree, branching out to overtake the area around it. And if you decide to leave it plain white, that’s okay too.

(above) Pop of Color + Concrete Story

Black-painted Planking

Starbucks Tree Structure

Outdoor Grid + Greenhouse Roofing

Wavy Wood

Which ceiling would you want in your home?

Let me know in the comments below.

Amy wrote this post. She is the designer and owner of FormFire Glassworks, where she creates modern lampwork glass beads and jewelry, and by day designs custom homes for a small firm in Southern California. You can follow her twitter @formfireglass.

23 comments | Click here to reply

RT @papernstitch: Interior Obsessions – The Ceiling: We carefully select our flooring, choosing hardwood planks…

Ashleigh A. Coyner (@BleuOiseauPhoto)

The ceiling is so often overlooked when people decorate their homes! I can’t help to notice that corporate and public spaces often utilise their ceilings to a much larger extent. Thank you for reming me to figure out something creative to do with my ceiling the next time I decorate! I’m moving in September, so I’ll start thinking about possible ideas! 🙂

ps. found you through B-school – love what you’re doing!


You are right Marthe. It is definitely more creatively used in public spaces and even some corporate buildings more so than in someone’s personal home. Maybe its because large buildings usually have a lot more room to play with very, very high ceilings? I don’t know. Definitely something to think about though. Good luck with your move. Thanks for stopping by!



It’s amazing what a difference having a creative and interesting ceiling can make! It’s like waking up one day and realize that when you change your hairstyle, you can change your life. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing. What an awesome blog.

Sally Hope

Sally Hope

would you ever paint your ceiling a color?

(@papernstitch) (@papernstitch)

RT @papernstitch: would you ever paint your ceiling a color?

Farah (@yfinishingtouch)

Thanks Sally! 🙂


Very cool! I used grass paper on the ceiling of my first massage office, thinking of this very concept. I when I flipped people over, they were looking up anyway 🙂


I LOVE the red pop of color….and I also love the wavy wood…but I think the wavy wood may get a little old after a while.

thanks for the inspiration!


Ohhhhh, I am loving the black painted planks, gorgeous!


Love the colour in the first image. We have renovations planned its definitely something to keep in mind


Wow, what great images! I am so inspired! I think I am going to put some beautiful tree branches across the ceiling of my bedroom…how lovely to wake up to! Thank you!!

Thea Beaudoin

I have a small apartment with low ceilings so the idea of having the ceiling painted in a bright red is definitely appealing. But, hands down, my favorite is the greenhouse roofing. Lots of light, you feel in commune with nature and it also gives you the feeling that you’re outside enjoying the day, even in the dead of winter.


Ohh I want the ceiling with the letters painted on! How cool! Very inspiring images, we do always forget the ceilings. I think mine may need some extra attention soon!

Kat Bouchard

I love the pop of red in the first photo! Not sure I could get my hubby to go for that, but painting is on our to do list this summer.

Christie Halmick | Jewels Branch Creative

The greenhouse roof would be really sweet–as long as someone else kept it clean on a regular basis.

Years ago, when we bought our first little house, the bedroom walls were cream, but we painted the ceiling the same sky blue that old-fashioned porch ceilings used to be painted.

Mary C. Weaver, CSCS

Wow what an interesting and informative post. It’s not something I’ve really thought about. To me, the ceiling should just “be there”. Clean. Unobtrusive. What a wonderful and different perspective you’ve given me. Brilliant.


Love all these ideas for ceilings!

Alethea Fitzpatrick

You have completely reignited my love for interiors. I am totally book-marking your site so I can stalk you. LOVE LOVE LOVE this artice too! I would definitely want a glass ceiling so I wouldn’t have to shut the beautiful blue sky out.


Not sure I’d like the typography on my ceiling, it reminds me of something out of a horror film!


Oh my goodness; I love these pictures! I am super adventurous with color and style within my home and you are right up my alley! I have a red ceiling in my dining room and love it! I would definitely love the letters on my bedroom celiing reminding me to get up and get going!

maureen wielansky

so true! decorating a ceiling is not usually something i think about… ever.
i love the idea of stenciling a quote on the ceiling, especially on the bedroom ceiling. thanks for the inspiration!


Using the ceiling as a focal point is not so common because it makes you uncomfortable in your own home. It’s hard to relax when your eyes are being drawn upward. Use this idea carefully, it also makes it tough to resell.

Edward Stuart
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