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Saturday, January 16, 2010


I would imagine that most of us think about the walls in  our rooms when we think of paint, adding architectural elements or accessories.  Have you ever thought of your ceiling in the same way?  As the fifth wall in your room.  I have always been intrigued by those that would paint the ceiling in their rooms a different color other than white, or the same color as the walls.  A few years ago  I decided my living room needed a different color on the ceiling.  I actually had made the decision to paint it but was trying to decide on the color.  I was looking in the sage green family.  I had three choices, one was too bright, one was too gray and one scared me because it looked a little dark.  I sound like Goldilocks, don't I?  My sweet husband was ready to paint (trust me this does not happen often, he actually hates to paint).  We were losing time because the paint store was closing in 30 minutes and this was the one day he had the time and the inclination to do the painting.  I took a deep breath and went with the one that I thought might be a wee bit dark.  The painting has been done for a long time and now when I look at that ceiling I remind myself sometime we have to force ourselves out of our comfort zone.  I am going to show you some pictures of different  treatments that can enhance your ceilings.  Some are as simple as Paint.  Some are literally a total rebuilding of your ceiling.  But they are all thought- provoking. Enjoy the view!

In the Southern states they often paint their porch ceilings blue.  Martha Stewart even has a blue paint called porch ceiling blue

I have thought about painting my porch blue many times but I am not sure it would look appropriate in a typical California Ranch in Suburbia.

How about some great wallpaper?  There are so many lovely patterns that could work on a ceiling and as you all know , wallpaper is IN again!

Another fun look with wall paper done by Jenna Lyons in Domino Magazine

Something as simple as blue paint makes this room more inviting

In my guest room the walls are painted a french vanilla and I painted the ceiling the palest blue I could have mixed, it is a customcolor that I formulated.  I love to look up and see the blue

Here is the green ceiling in my living room with a simple accent moulding to add a little architecture to the room.  This is another effective way to enhance your Fifth wall.

This bathroom has a tray ceiling and they chose to paint it gray to make it pop and to show the depth of the tray ceiling better.

This is a picture of my own kitchen ceiling.  This is what is left of the 1978 covered flourescent light box.  We kept its orignal size and form but added mouldings to make it look like a tray ceiling.  We dressed it up with the ceiling medalion and a 1940s mini chandelier.  I have its mother in my living room.  Simple and Cost effective.

Pink and green is always so sweet, they chose to add the pink in the ceiling instead of on the walls, Good Choice!

This is a ceiling that is a little more labor intensive, It is a coffered ceiling but look how interesting it is.

This room has a tongue and groove ceiling that adds so much charm to this gorgeous room done by Brooke and Steve Giannetti .  Brooke is the ever talented author of one of my favorite blogs, Velvet and Linen. Steve is an amazing architect who was just featured in Veranda magazine.

Here is a plank ceiling that has been stained in a natural woodtone.

Sorry this picture is rather small I hope you can see the destinct lines in the ceiling.  This type of ceiling is called a Groin Vaulted Ceiling.  This is definitely a more complicated ceiling treatment but so elegant and interesting

This is another Groin ceiling , I think this is a better picture.  I find this type of treatment fascinating.

Oh My!  I love this entire room.  Look at this ceiling and the wonderful mouldings and medallion that has been added to enhance the gorgeous chandelier. This is rather elaborate but imagine a simple version of this look in your own home.

Another use of just mouldings and again it is a great impact.

A picture of the medallion on the sage ceiling in my living room with the accent moulding and the dentil crown.  None of this was that costly but it really gives the room a simple elegance.  The chandelier is the Mother to the one in my kitchen, both from the 1940's

Last but not least I have to leave you with a bit of whimsy.  This is a little girls room done by designer Candace Olsen.  Too Cute!

I hope you have enjoyed this little gallery of ideas to enhance your Fifth Wall and maybe it will inspire you to do something different in your own home.  Let me know if you decide to make any changes!!!

"Enjoy The Process" of: Enhancing your room with a new ceiling treatment


Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

My dining room is on the list to paint and I think painting the "fifth wall" with some color would be fun! Thanks

Sue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

Our house was built in 1996 and has 9 foot ceilings, but they are textured. I hate them, so we keep them white so as not to draw attention to them. Looking at all these pictures just made me hate them more! I just can't figure out a cost effective way to change them.


Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I love a painted ceiling but I have never had a client paint one without major worry...then only to find out that they love it. My own home has the stained planks in the living room. I love that too. Thanks for your sweet note on my little tater bug, he is so cute!!!

Foley said...

I also have a covered flourescent light box in my kitchen..love what you did to yours. I have to find a way to change it!

You've given me some ideas for my den..I just love your blog!!

Lauren said...

loving your blog-- cant type much bc baby is in other hand but am reading through all your posts!!! love you home!!

La Dolfina said...

What a fabulous post!
Thank you so much for pointing out so many wonderful options for the ceiling or rather 5th wall!!
Happy Weekend!!

Cindy J. said...

Beautiful Kathysue..I love ceiling detail, I don't recall seeing that picture of your living room draperies and moldings before..just gorgeous! I've always loved how you handled your kitchen ceiling..very clever and really the best treatment of those old boxed lights I have ever seen. You are one talented and wonderful lady. Love, Cindy

Cindy said...

I just love your kitchen!!! If I ever move into a place with those old lights I'm going to try to remember your little trick! It looks so great with the chandelier in there!!

Paula Bee said...

You know how much I love painted ceilings! These pictures are gorgeous. Love,

Kathysue said...

Paula, I should take pictures of your ceilings, that is where I got my first inspiration to begin with.You know what I say about your home,it is what my house wants to be when it grows up!!Love you,Kathysue

The Brick Cottage said...

Wow! So much inspiration in these pictures. I love the look of a painted ceiling and just recently painted the ceiling in our bathroom and love it!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Kathysue, I love all the pretty room you find and show, but I really love all the pretty moldings that you use in your home. Your ceilings are just gorgeous, and all of your chandeliers are beautiful. Very pretty and interesting. Hugs, Marty

cotedetexas said...

I always (usually, that is) paint my client's ceiling in a 50% formula of the wall paint. that way it blends into the walls but isn't quite as dark- just a good rule of thumb. of course - sometimes I paint it a completely different color that the walls, too!!!
great topic.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Wonderful inspiration, as usual. When we remodeled our house, I told the painter that for each ceiling, I wanted to mix the wall color into the white ceiling paint (1/3 wall color; 2/3 white). It's not a very obvious thing, but I knew I didn't want stark white ceilings. I love your green ceiling. laurie

xinex said...

I really enjoyed looking at these interesting and detailed ceilings, KathySue. I like the ones in your home too. Funny you mentioned about blue ceilings of porches in the South. Do you know why? I did not notice ours was painted blue (it is very subtle) until our maintenance guy pointed it out) He said they do that because bugs keep away from it because they think it is the sky....Christine

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Kathysue! Yes, I love our blue porch ceilings here in the South! Unfortunately, I have another Southern trait in newer homes...the stippled ceiling! One day...maybe one day...oh well! Happy weekend...hugs...Debbie

Velvet and Linen said...

What a wonderful post, Kathysue.
During our trip to New Orleans, we went on a trip of the Garden district and noticed that most of the porch ceilings were all the same shade of light blue. It really was a beautiful detail.
Thank you for including our clients' bedroom in this well thought out post!

Jenny said...

Beautiful ideas. We have coffered ceilings in several rooms - some with just oak and some with oak and bevelled glass. The one in the dining room is handy because it has mirrors so when you play cards you can cheat!

My husbands office is a kind of mustard color and I painted the walls the same color as the ceiling and it is very warm and cozy.

Thanks for this great post.

Kat said...

Great ideas Kathysue. We have the dreaded popcorn ceilings everywhere, and and slowly but surely scraping them and repainting them. The kitchen and dining room are the same color as the walls, but when we get to the LR we may try something a bit more dramatic as it has vaulted ceilings. And that yellow bedroom has gone into my masterbedroom reno inspiration book! Hugs, Kat

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Our fifth wall is a forgotten area. They all need to be painted in the worst way, right now along with alot of other things, that project is on hold. Doing too many things at one time seems to bother Mr. P. so I have to go at things at a slower pace. I enjoyed this post.. would love to put wood on my ceiling in the kitchen... hugs ~lynne~

Barb @ The Everyday Home said...

Hey dear one! Did you know Southerners paint their porches blue b/c supposively it helps kepe the flies away. Didn't Debbie tell us that? I can't remember where I heard that from. Love all your inspiration pics. I have always thought the ceiling was the "6th dimension" of a room. Unfortunately, we have those dreaded popcorn ceilings in most rooms. We are slowly getting rid of them. ick! Great post by the way! Hugs to you, Barb

Unknown said...

Kathy, love this post. Ever since I saw your living room ceiling, I've wanted to paint the ceilings in my dining room and entry and add the mouldings. This post has motivated me to finally take the plunge. It's scary trying to choose the right shade, but I might try Joni's formula. My guest room is also painted french vanilla and the blue ceiling would look great in there. A new project for my sweet hubby, he'll love that!
xoxo, Vicki

ashley@decorologyblog.com said...

Gorgeous Kitchen! Thanks for the paint color source!