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Look at your ceiling. Then back at your screen. Then back at your ceiling, then back at your screen.

Does your ceiling look like the ceiling you want? Is is white, like most ceilings? Or another boring, neutral color that you could really, really do without?

I find that the ceiling is one of the most underrated spaces in the home for creativity and originality. Adding a special touch to your ceiling also gives focus and depth to a room–and a lot more “wow” than if you had left it bare.

Let’s have a look at some examples of light, dark, and brightly colored to inspire your next painting choice!

Light ceilings: open up

The beauty of a light ceiling is how it opens up a room. It’s especially helpful in small spaces and rooms where you want to balance dark walls with a lighter touch.

Traditional Home Office by Albertson General Contractors Prestige Custom Building & Construction, Inc.

This dark, masculine room would be downright oppressive the ceiling wasn’t this bright shade of icy white. Yeah, it’s white, fine, but in this case it’s actually a good choice because of all the dark wood in the room. And the grid provides interesting visual movement across the room.

In other cases, a light ceiling can provide a nice contrast to other colors and elements of a space.

Traditional Patio by Charlotte General Contractors Andrew Roby General Contractors

This beautiful light blue ceiling reminds me of the sky–which is probably what the designer went for as well. The blue provides a nice touch of color in this space dominated by neutrals. It’s just enough to be interesting, but not enough to make it look eccentric.

Dark ceilings: cozy up

When you start playing with dark ceiling colors, you can play with a bunch of fascinating effects that make a room look cozy and inviting.

We always think high ceilings are desirable–and that’s true. Low ceilings can make a room look choked. However, there’s also a point where ceilings that are too high can make a space look too large and imposing–intimidating. This is where you can use dark color to make the whole look a lot more intimate.

Transitional Dining Room by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators McGill Design Group Inc.

To make this dining room comfortable and intimate, the designer painted the ceiling black and added a very low paper lantern. This seems like the perfect space for a dinner among friends or a romantic evening, don’t you think?

Large, open spaces can also benefit from a dark ceiling if you want to make it look a little more defined.

Industrial Basement by Cincinnati Architects & Building Designers Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

This basement kept a lot of its industrial look with pipes and ventilation. However, finishing it all with a black paint makes it all look polished. The space is also quite large, and the black ceiling adds some definition and intimacy to the different sections of the room. People sitting at the bar in the back wouldn’t feel like they’re encroaching on the Indiana Jones fans in the living space.

Bright colors: express yourself

Some people are a little more daring and would prefer to stay away from black, white and pastels. All righty, then! Let’s see how bright ceiling colors can perfectly finish a room.

Sometimes, the ceiling is the accent color that attracts all the attention.

Contemporary Kitchen by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Tara Seawright

My first reaction to this is “That yellow!” This not-so-subtle touch of bright color provides the perfect balance this very modern black-and-white kitchen. I mean, even the kids’ shoes have matching yellow velcro snaps! This ceiling brightens up what could be just another boring, minimalist decor.

A bright ceiling color can also turn a bedroom from “bleh” to “bold”:

Transitional Bedroom by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Against the neutral walls and furniture, this pink ceiling has the perfect amount of pop to make this bedroom feminine, but not cloyingly sweet. The geometric patterns of the bedding adds to this thoughtful feminine effect. And, should the girls get tired of this as they grow up, it’s easy to repaint just a ceiling than all the walls in the room.

From boring to amazing

Each of these examples used different types of ceiling colors for effect: opening up, adding intimacy or displaying personality. Look at your ceiling again. Could it benefit from one of these effects?

Have you ever experiment with ceiling decoration? How did it look? Share your ideas in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.