If there is one part of the home that is routinely ignored when it comes to making home improvements, it is the ceiling. Whether you want to increase the sale value of your home or you're simply looking for a way to spice up various rooms, there are a number of ceiling treatments that will let you accomplish a variety of things.
Enhance the look of a room's lighting, make the room feel more expansive or add a touch of class. No matter what effect you would like to achieve, the following ideas will inspire you to try creative new ceiling treatments.
1. Consider Coffered Ceilings
Coffered ceilings were long considered to be French in origin, but it turns out that the earliest coffered ceilings ever discovered were at least 2,000 years old, buried in the ancient Roman city Herculaneum. So what does this have to do with modern home improvements? It's simple: Coffered ceilings bring a timeless look to a room, and when paired with the right furnishings and room design, they can also bring a touch of antiquity to the room as well.
There are many ways to go about coffering your ceilings. Build simple squares, painted white or left natural with the ceiling itself serving as a contrasting element for the French country look, or do something more elaborate by installing decorative metal panels in each of the recessed areas.
While you're at it, don't forget about the lighting. Recessed lighting works wonderfully well with coffered ceilings, as do chandeliers.
2. Try Gloss Paint
Gloss paint is generally saved for walls, often in places like the kitchen or bathroom where easy cleanup is a necessity. There is no real reason, however, to avoid putting it on your ceilings. Certainly, as it does in your kitchen, gloss paint will make ceilings throughout your home much easier to clean, which is a major bonus since ceilings are one of the more difficult areas to clean.
There is another, even better reason to use gloss paint on the ceiling. Because gloss paints are so highly reflective, they throw more light around the room than matte or satin paints. This makes the entire room feel more expansive and it makes your ceilings feel higher than they actually are.
3. Keep it Simple with Medallions
Medallions, which are basically decorative plates that you attach light fixtures to, are an easy and inexpensive way to give your ceilings a finished look. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials — brass rounds, sometimes with decorative patterning, wood, glass and more.
You can find a variety of medallions at most home improvement stores and you'll find a broad selection of medallions online. Some inventive homeowners even make their own medallions with tile, mirrors or other materials. The best part about this project is that if you have a little bit of do-it-yourself experience, then you'll be able to get this project done in an afternoon.
4. Use the Space to Create Interesting Designs
Bland ceilings don't add very much to a room. If you're serious about making your home stand out, the ceiling cannot be ignored!
Why not make the ceiling the room's focal point with an interesting design? There are lots of patterns that work well across a ceiling — fleur de lis patterns, honeycomb patterns, geometric designs and more. Best of all, you can create your designs with a variety of materials including paint, tile, wood, fabric or anything else that you have on hand.
5. Try Texturing (But Not Too Much!)
Texturing is a tricky subject because it brings to mind popcorn ceilings, sponged plaster or fan designs that span the entire ceiling, all of which is not only undesirable to most people, but also difficult to remove. There is certainly such a thing as too much texturing!
You don't have to texture an entire ceiling however. Instead, think about texturing as a decorative accent, similar to ceiling medallions. Create a nice textured design around a chandelier or simply texture around the edges of the ceiling to give it a little bit of separation from the walls. Avoid rough sponged or rolled texturing because even small amounts are incredibly difficult to clean. Remember, a little bit of texturing goes a long way.
6. Skip Accent Walls in Favor of Accent Ceilings
Accent walls are a very popular way to add bold color to rooms, but sometimes, there just isn't a good wall to devote to your accent colors. If this is the case in your home, consider putting your accent color on the ceiling instead. In fact, if you're having trouble creating a unified look throughout the room, a bright ceiling color might be what you need to tie the room together, top to bottom.
7. Tear the Ceiling Down
That's right! Sometimes the best thing that you can do with a ceiling is to remove it and expose the beams above it. Of course, you'll need to know what is above those ceilings before doing something this extreme, but if your home is a stick-built home (as opposed to metal or concrete construction), then you may enjoy the look of exposed beams.
How to Select a Contractor to Upgrade Your Ceilings
Finding a good contractor is not always easy. When looking for a professional to upgrade or remodel your home, start by talking to people you know who have recently performed interior remodels and have had good experiences with their contractor. Get referrals from people who you trust. If you don't know anyone who has recently performed a home improvement, contact a local trade association. You can also contact material suppliers who work with contractors.
Once you've gotten the names of some contractors in your area, spend some time browsing their website and doing some research. Look at their portfolio to investigate the quality of their work. While you're on their website, look for information that could indicate that the contractor has the experience needed to get the job done. For example, look for information about licensure, certifications and awards.
Meet with each contractor in person, on the job site, to discuss your plans for your ceiling. Ask each contractor the same questions, such as:
- When can you get started?
- How would you handle a project of this type?
- What problems do you anticipate you'll experience when working on this project?
- How long will this project take?
- Will you have employees on site, or will you do the work alone?
Asking each contractor the same questions can help you compare them and decide. Once you have the contractors narrowed to one or two candidates, contact references. Ask each reference the same questions, such as:
- When did you work with this contractor?
- Would you hire this contractor again?
- What went well with the project?
- What kind of work did the contractor do for you?
Following these steps can help you find the right professional for your needs.
When it comes to ceiling improvements, even just a little bit can go a long way with making your rooms look complete. As with any home improvement project, pay careful attention to your home's overall style so that you can choose the ceiling treatment that best suits your home.
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