20 Painted Ceilings That Prove the Style Is Worth the Risk

painted ceilings-emily henderson

Design: Arlyn Hernandez for Emily Henderson; Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Want to take your home décor to new heights? You might want to consider painting your ceiling. Whether you swath them in a fresh coat of paint or apply your favorite wallpaper, there's a good chance you prioritize your room's four walls, leaving your ceiling in the dust. But, if you want to up the ante on your home décor, a painted ceiling is an easy way to make a huge impact.

That said, painted ceilings are often met with trepidation. Since most ceilings are white, added a bold color will dictate the rest of your room. But, as the painted ceiling ideas below prove, the risk is so worth it.

01 of 20

Opt for Neutrals

painted ceilings

Design: Bria Hammel Interiors; Photo: Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss.

If you're painting your ceiling for the very first time, stick with a simple, timeless palette—as Bria Hammel did in this living room. 

“Painting ceilings are a careful dance," she explains. "Finding the balance of painting a ceiling to add contrast or color without it feeling too loud or overwhelming is always our goal. For this beautiful sunroom, a warm gray was a wonderful choice, and we love that it draws your eye up but still makes the room feel light and airy. It was the perfect, subtle detail to make this space even more memorable.”

02 of 20

Beautify Your Tray Ceiling

tray ceiling idea

Design: M. Wilcox; Photo; Michael Hunter.

In many homes, tray ceilings are used to hide unsightly wires, plumbing, or ventilation systems. But, just because they serve a practical purpose doesn't mean they can't look good, too.

Texas-based designer Monica Wilcox beautified this tray ceiling by painting the recessed part a soothing sky blue. The soft hue pairs nicely with the tufted headboard, transforming this bedroom into cloud nine.

03 of 20

Break Boundaries

tray ceiling copy

Forbes & Masters

If you want to get the look of tray ceilings but aren't ready to undergo a full-fledged renovation, take a cue from Forbes & Masters. By painting the top of the four walls the same color as the ceiling, the design duo is able to create the illusion of a tray ceiling.

The key, however, is sticking with a similar color palette. In this nursery, the varying pink tones make a statement that's not over-the-top.

04 of 20

Embrace Bright Blue

painted ceiling

Design: Studio Munroe; Photo: Thomas Kuoh

When it comes to painting your ceiling, color is your friend. Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe juxtaposed this dining room's black and white wallpaper with a bold shade of electric blue. Midnight blue dining chairs and a tonal rug round out the room, creating some cohesion with the bold ceiling.

05 of 20

Play With Patterns

painted ceiling idea

Studio KT

For a room that hits that sweet spot between subtle and statement, offset your fresh coat with some printed wallpaper. In this home theater, Kara Thomas of Studio KT paired a light gray ceiling with a geometric wallpaper of a similar shade.

The consistent color palette used throughout gives this room a slightly texturized flair. Chic, cohesive, and oh-so-cozy? Consider us sold.

06 of 20

Paint it Black

painted ceilings

Gray Space Interior Design

For some design enthusiasts, a small, black room can seem a little claustrophobic. However, the team at Gray Space Interiors makes this dark hue look easy. Here, the East coast design firm juxtaposes a black ceiling with a whimsical wallpaper repeat. Bright pops of color—including the cobalt vanity—break up the bits of black and make room for some fun.

07 of 20

Go Bold With a Pattern

Ceiling

Design: Traci Connell Interiors; Photo: Michael Hunter.

Ready to embrace your bold streak? Take a cue from Traci Connell, who covered this playroom's ceiling in lime green and white stripes. While this painted ceiling might seem a little extra, the crisp white walls and verdant accents throughout make this pattern eye-catching, not over-the-top.

08 of 20

Add an Accent Wall

painted ceiling ideas

Design: Living With Lolo; Photo: Life Created

Attention maximalists: prepare to fall in love with this space from Lauren of Living With Lolo. Here, the Arizona-based designer punctuated a white room with a sleek, black ceiling.

But, while the high-contrast duo is an unbeatable combination, it can easily veer into "sterile" territory. The designer breathed some life into this room—and made the color combo feel less severe—by adding an accent wall and fringed chandelier.

09 of 20

Defy Gravity

painted ceiling ideas- ikb

Ike Kligerman Barkely

As this space from Ike Kligerman Barkley proves, a painted ceiling is an excellent addition to a double-height room. Here, the bright blue hue adds a jolt of energy to an otherwise neutral space, allowing your eye to move upward and admire the gorgeous architecture.

10 of 20

Add a Statement Light

painted. ceiling

Ike Kligerman Barkley

Another way to draw the eye upward is by adding some gorgeous light fixtures to the mix. This living room from Ike Kligerman Barkley masters the look by juxtaposing the light blue ceiling with several white light pendants. The multi-disciplinary firm repeats the color combo throughout the rest of the room, with the help of blue acrylic end tables and a big, white couch.

11 of 20

Go for the Gloss

painted ceiling

Marguerite Rodgers

Want to give your room a touch of drama? Take a cue from Marguerite Rodgers, who opted for a golden shade with a high-gloss finish. The Philadelphia-based designer accessorized the metallic space with ornate light fixtures. The final product: a room that truly glows.

12 of 20

Create Cohesion

painted ceilings-emily henderson

Design: Arlyn Hernandez for Emily Henderson; Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Just because you want to paint your ceiling doesn't mean you have to reinvent the design wheel. As this dining room by Arlyn Hernandez for Emily Henderson proves, one shade is all you need.

Here, the ceiling is painted the same color as the four walls, creating some cohesion in the process. For the perfect finishing touch, Hernandez added some dimension to the monochromatic room with a gallery wall, ornate mirror, and cool light fixtures.

13 of 20

Don't Forget Your Built-Ins

painted ceiling ideas

Mary Patton Design

Anyone who wants to double down on the monochromatic look will find a lot to love about this space by Mary Patton. Not only did the designer paint the walls and ceiling in a cool, magenta hue, but she also swathed the built-ins in the same shade. The bright orange sofa breaks up the floor-to-ceiling hue, making this room anything but a one-hit wonder.

14 of 20

Go Back to Basics

painted ceiling ideas

Rikki Snyder

Or, if you want to paint your ceiling the same color as your walls, leave the rest of your home's features au naturel. In this sun room from Rikki Snyder, the exposed wooden beam and door trim allow the potent mint hue to be treated as a neutral. Yes, it is possible.

When paired with an eclectic array of furniture, this room teeters nicely between subtle and statement.

15 of 20

Select a Soothing Shade

painted ceiling-rikki snyder

Rikki Snyder

A painted ceiling can set the tone for the rest of your room, so it's important to choose your hue with care. If you want to bring a soothing aspect to your space, spring for a light blue, as the color is often associated with relaxation and calmness.

Ready to double down on those chill vibes? Pair your blue ceiling with crisp, white walls, and let this serene bathroom show you how it's done.

16 of 20

Wow With Wood

painted ceiling idea

Ashley Montgomery Design

If you want to up the cozy factor of your wood-paneled room, consider adding a painted ceiling to the mix. In this country kitchen, Ashley Montgomery paired the light-stained wood with black cabinets, window trimmings, and, of course, a ceiling. To keep this space from feeling dark and drab, the designer lightened up the room with white countertops and a farm sink.

17 of 20

Get Creative With Coffered Ceilings

painted ceiling ideas-warehouse interiors

Design: The Warehouse Interiors; Photo: Dustin Peck Photography

Why settle for one color when you can enjoy a few? In this room from the Warehouse Interiors, the coffered ceilings are decked out in a blue and white palette. If you want to have your room pop—but don't want to coat your ceiling in an ultra-bright color— think of this tip as a controlled way to make a statement.

18 of 20

Stick With a Similar Color Family

painted ceiling

Design: The Warehouse Interiors; Photo: Dustin Peck Photography

So, the million-dollar question: how are you supposed to find the right color for your ceiling? One way to find the right balance between subtle and statement is by sticking with a similar color family.

For example, this space from the Warehouse Interiors uses light green walls and a blue ceiling. Since these are both cool tones, the colors are able to shine in their own right without overpowering each other.

19 of 20

Focus on Natural Light

painted ceiling

Sarah Fultz Interiors

Not sure where you should add a painted ceiling? The answer might rest in your home's natural lighting. For example, designer Sarah Fultz painted this living room's walls and ceilings a dark green hue. Though it might seem like the dark hue would make the room feel smaller, the skylight opens up the space, giving the verdant shade a light, airy edge.

20 of 20

Liven Up Your Hallway

painted ceiling ideas

Margaret Wright Photography

Let's face it: the hallway gets a bad rap for being one of the more boring rooms in a house. But, if you want to breathe some fresh energy into the often-overlooked space, consider painting the ceiling.

In this hallway, which was photographed by Margaret Wright, an all-blue space is punctuated with a matching runner and line of globe lights.

Related Stories