Global interior trends are finally looking up. Up to the ceiling, that is. It’s time to exploit the high-flying feature wall just over your head. Grab a ladder, give your neck a good click and read on.
Not since the Sistine Chapel has so much attention been paid to the ceiling. Often overlooked (or rather underlooked), it usually gets little more than a perfunctory coat of white paint. But no more. A flat, bright colour or effective paint technique is an economical way to add to a room’s light, life and sense of height and space.
You needn’t be a quirky or creative person to pull off a detailed ceiling, says decor consultant Kim Bougaardt from the Freeworld Design Centre in Cape Town. “If you pick the right paint colours and techniques it can work in any space. Plus you can bring decor themes through by picking up accent colours.”
Because people don’t expect colour on the ceiling, you’ll add an instant element of surprise at a fraction of the cost of painting an entire room. “And, the best part,” says Kim, “is that in a couple of years, you can change it. That’s the great thing about paint.”
Here are some ideas.
1. Blue-sky thinking
A vibrant ceiling is instantly uplifting. Here Plascon Cashmere Wonder Lake (B2-A1-3) alludes to the sky without making obvious use of cloud patterns. This look can effectively make a piece of designer furniture or an artwork stand out. The technique will work in any neutral space. Keep walls and floors clean and fresh and allow the ceiling to shine.
2. Colour bubble
Using one colour on all five walls really draws the eye into a space. A fresh colour like Plascon Kitchens & Bathrooms Teal Bubble (G6-B2-1) is perfect for a bathroom, but a darker colour would work just as well, says Kim.
3. High society
A clouding technique will add elegance to any sophisticated space, but can be tricky if you do not have a lot of paint technique experience. Start with your darkest colour, such as Plascon Double Velvet Speak to Me (Y6-E1-4). Then mix three different glazes using Double Velvet Sweet Angelica (Y4-C1-4), Fynbos Leaf (GR-GO-5), and Peanuts (O7-C1-2). Add one part paint to one part Acrylic Scumble Glaze and some water. Always test the colour and consistency of your glaze in a small area. Lightly dip a piece of mutton cloth into one of the glaze colours and apply to the ceiling in soft circular motions. Once dry, add the other glazes, one at a time.
4. Lighten up
Bring light into a room by choosing a fruity-fresh colour like Plascon Cashmere Green Light Go (G2-A1-2). This will draw attention to the ceiling and accentuate a skylight or beautiful light fitting. It will also instantly uplift a darker floor and help to create an overall sense of space and height.
5. Over and above
Turn a small space into something spectacular with a feature wall of stripes in soothing colours. By extending the stripes from wall to ceiling, the room will look taller and deeper. For even more depth, keep your background stripes a lighter shade than the side walls of the room. Neutral shades will work best, says Kim – shades like Plascon Cashmere or Polvin Walls & Ceilings Twirl (B2-E2-2) and White. And save this look for quiet rooms like a study or reading room.
By accentuating corners with colour you can create a space that looks separate from the rest of the room, instantly making the space appear bigger. Have fun with a stepped effect that cuts into the room – it works best in narrower spaces and can be effective with any choice of colours, such as White and Plascon Cashmere Tropic Breeze (B3-B2-1).
How to: Paint the ceiling
Before you begin...