Colourful Ceilings: Are They The Final Frontier?

While they might be considered daring by some in a domestic setting, focal ceilings have been around for centuries. The Victorians were no strangers to a colourful and ornate ceiling decoration; however, this is not just a trend that lends itself to period properties. Ceiling roses and cornices look stunning painted in hues that complement your space but so does a modern home which can benefit from the depth and dimension a colourful ceiling can bring. We’re certainly not suggesting you commission the next Michael Angelo, but here are some fail-safe ways to spice up what is being coined as the ‘fifth wall’. Interior Design teacher and blogger Mad About the House says, ‘it helps to think of it as the fifth wall - because you will actively choose a colour for the other four so why not this one?’ and we couldn’t agree more!

Many interior enthusiasts subscribe to the school of thought that darker ceilings can make your space appear smaller, or more closed in, but we’re here to tell you that not only is that not the case, but a dramatic ceiling colour can elevate your space taking it from drab to fab in a few sweeps of a roller. 

Top tips: Before you decide on your new ceiling colour and begin painting, there are some useful tools you should equip yourself with for this project. Decorator’s tape is an essential piece of kit along with a laser level, an extendable roller and a good cutting-in brush. Since you’re going to be looking up a lot, you might also want to consider some protective goggles to prevent any paint from getting in your eyes. 

Want to have all the gear and all the ideas? Shop our range of tools and painting supplies 🤩

Here are some of our favourite colourful ceiling ideas to inspire you to embrace the fifth wall… 

Feeling inspired? Grab a swatch of your fave shade and see how you can transform your space ✌️

Dark ceilings

If you’re going to give colourful ceilings a go, why not truly embrace it with a dark, sultry and soothing shade? Don’t shy away from the deeper tones which work wonderfully in bedrooms, living rooms and home offices. Consider how far down the wall you want to bring your ceiling colour: you can stop at the picture rail, or even create the appearance of a faux picture rail by stopping the colour approximately twelve inches down from the ceiling.

If you’re lucky enough to have a space with a higher ceiling than most, you might even consider bringing the colour further down so that the colour line sits behind pictures and wall hangings for an even bolder look. For a daring and glamorous ceiling, our russet red shade, The Old Corset Factory is a warm and welcoming choice. If a deep blue or teal green is more your style, you can’t go wrong with The Drink or Ditch The Tie. Once you’ve painted your new ceiling colour, choose a dramatic light fixture or shade to complete the look. You can’t go wrong with a pendant light from Industville as they have everything from retro to modern style. Brass finishings would look amazing against darker palettes, while matt black brings a modern and sophisticated element to brighter wall colours. 

Bright ceilings

Can you think of anything more cheerful after a long and boring commute home from work than looking up to see a bright colour enveloping you from above? We think a bright pink, green or yellow ceiling will provide a fantastic pop of transforming colour and is ideal for a space towards the back of your home that might be afforded less natural light.

You might even consider using your fantastic new ceiling colour to highlight other small spaces in the room such as a bookcase or door frame to cohesively bring your room scheme together. For a cheerful sweep of yellow give House Points or Moritz a go, and for a pop of salmon-tinged pink you can’t go wrong with Baked. If you’re more keen on green, Home Grown is a soothing and subtle green that will act as a gorgeous focal ceiling colour.

Feeling inspired? Grab a swatch of your fave shade and see how you can transform your space ✌️


Subtle ceilings

Of course we love bold hues here at COAT, but that’s not to say you can’t dabble in the painted ceiling trend in a more subtle way. A muted ceiling will help to bring a sense of calm to a bedroom. We also think it’s a beautiful way to enjoy a monochromatic look by matching the ceiling and wall colour. Take a look at our Factor Fifty and Persipan which will create a warm and cosy feel in a bedroom. Complete the look with some heavy linen curtains like these beautiful ones from Urbanara for an upscale boudoir feel. 


Contrasting ceilings

You might shy away from pairing colours when painting a ceiling and believe that your other wall surfaces should be a shade of white. While that’s certainly one way to go, choosing two contrasting colours to dramatically transform your space will show you mean business when it comes to interior styling. It’s a more playful and striking choice but get your palette right and you won’t be disappointed with the end result. 

Patterned ceilings

If you love patterns and stripes and you’re feeling adventurous then a patterned statement ceiling could be the choice for you. It’s also a lovely concept for a child’s bedroom or nursery. You could create circus-tent stripes, sunny skyscapes or bold geometric patterns that will give your little one's room a personalised touch. This is certainly a space in which your creativity can thrive. For a more grown-up, traditional take on patterned ceilings, a bold stripe can give the appearance of an elongated or wider room while delivering a dose of drama to the space. Two colours that work perfectly together for a child’s room are Percy and Pool House. For the grown-ups (or big kids), The Establishment, Park Life and Well Grounded are a triple threat!

Not sure about what colour to go for? Chat with our Colour Consultant and get that vibe nailed 🙌

Top tip: It’s a good idea to plan this project out, as it’ll take you some time to tape your pattern to the ceiling. Why not do it over a long weekend - your arms will thank you for a rest after having them above your head for hours on end! Alternatively, if you’re going for a pattern, have a look at the stencils on offer from The Stencil Library.

Extending a vertical border

In a similar vein to taping a horizontal line around your room to create a border, why not flip it on its head and do a vertical band through the room and across the ceiling. This band acts as a fantastic room divider and will instantly make a longer room feel like its two distinct spaces which is ideal if you want to separate a living room from a playroom or study space, or even to zone your dining area if your ground floor is open plan. You could also use this technique to draw your eye to a particularly distinctive piece of furniture or artwork that you want to take centre stage.

Have we piqued your interest and tempted you to try a colourful ceiling in your home? If you need some help finding the perfect shade of low-toxin, eco-friendly paint for your ceiling project, get in touch, or read our expert tips and don’t forget to tag us in your interior shots on Instagram. 


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