What color are your ceilings?

bowyer123October 14, 2012

We are nearing the end of our build. The contractor had us look at a completed house where the ceilings were painted (I forget the name of the color) an off white to slightly yellow-ish-tan color. I looked good with the tan walls and Swiss Coffee trim so we said we liked it. He painted our vaulted living room on Friday and stopped.

We went to the house today and it seems more yellow than we expected. I understand it 'pops' because our drywall isn't painted and the mud is very white. He likes the tinyed ceiling color because it adds warmth and will let the crown molding show up better versus a white ceiling.

I called another friend who builds high-end spec as well as custom homes ($700K) and he says all of his work has been using plain, ceiling white ceilings. He like the brightness, the timelessness and the decorating flexibility of the plain white.

At some point I could paint the bedroom ceilings if we decided we wanted to go that route, but the vaulted area and kitchen is just too a job for me to do on my own, plus I figure now is the time to get it right.

All this to ask....what are your ceiling colors? Are you happy with 'ceiling white' or should I consider a slightly tinted color up there?

Thoughts? Thanks!

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On my last project the designer picked a ceiling color for each room that was 50% of the wall color with white. It looked a little less stark.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 9:23PM
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I thought I wanted plain white ceilings, but my interior designer encouraged me to use a 1/2 (or maybe it was a 1/4 tint ) of our wall color in each room. We don't have any bold colors, so the ceilings are very subtly tinted, most people wouldn't notice...but they definitely make our trim pop more. I spent a lot of our budget on trim, I wanted it to show up!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 9:24PM
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White in last house and SW's 'Creamy' in the new house. The SW 'Creamy' is just slightly off white and softens the harshness of the white just a bit to make the rooms feel cozy even though they are large. Our ceilings, crown, window & door trim, and baseboards are all painted 'Creamy'. We really like the effect of the soft white color, but I don't think I'd like anything darker. Remember too, that even if you saw it in another of the builder's homes, it will likely look different in yours depending on your balance of natural vs. artificial light, orientation of house to sun & # of windows, wall color, floor color, etc.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 10:24PM
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I wonder about this too. I a,so am considering doing high gloss in some areas like the dining room. It is supposed enrich the light and mood. This is overwhelming!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:02AM
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SW Creamy for us with "Pella" white trim. Our local SW has the formula for Pella and it saved $$$ vs painting the windows again.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 7:42PM
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I've never used anything but flat ceiling white. Light ounces off of ceilings and carries a tint throughout the room and a tint also reduces the amount of light both of which I try to avoid. Call it old-school but it works.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 8:31PM
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I really think we may go back to plain old ceiling white. I kind of like the clean, classic look. The tinted ceiling just may not be as versatile.

Down the road we may opt to paint some of the girls' rooms ceilings with a tint, something I could do myself. We recently went to a parade of homes tour and a lot of the houses featured had tinted and colored ceilings as well as colored crown moldings in the rooms. It looks good, but maybe not for our tastes.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:01PM
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I have black ceilings throughout.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Ours all match the wall color - some are 30% and some are 50% of the wall color.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

The only room in my house that has a white ceiling is my craft room. All the other rooms have painted ceilings which are a very important part of the color scheme. For instance, the dining room and library are open to each other, so the wall color in the dining room is on the ceiling in the library. The library walls are a shade darker and I put that color on the ceiling in the foyer and the library ceiling color on the walls in the foyer. This is a way of not only making the molding stand out but also tying the rooms together from a color perspective, giving the house a more cohesive feeling.

The family room also has a painted ceiling that is one shade lighter than the walls in there.

My master bath and study are rooms that are both tall for their size, so in order to bring the ceilings down and make the rooms feel less tall, I painted a darker color on the ceiling.
Master bath:




    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:28AM
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No white ceilings in our house...
white looks WAY too plain and WAY too unfinished with all the color we have.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 10:06AM
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I prefer a white or off-white ceiling. Off-whites can have a cool or warm undertone so I select it depending of the room or the mood I want to accomplish. In any case, I try to select a color that has a LRV (light reflectance value) that is higher than 82 for the very reasons Renovator stated and you can still get a subtle contrast with the trims or crown molding.
There is nothing wrong using some color in the ceiling because color is a matter of personal preference but I do think that whites are timeless.

Make sure you mention that to your GC because high gloss magnifies every little imperfection.
I like your house a lot. What about using a satin finish in the dining? It will look classier IMO.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 11:35AM
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We went the second to last lighter color on the card for the ceilings from the wall color. For exanple we have SW 6122 Camel Back on the walls and SW 6119 Antique White on the trim with SW6120 Believable Buff on ceilings. We carried the ceiling and trim colors throughout the house including the Master (SW Sleppy Blue) and my DD's room (Sticks and Stones). All colors throughtout the house blend well.

A view from my bedroom with a different wall color but the two colors on trim and ceilings.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Renovator 8 - This is a SL Idea House by Historical Concepts. They put glossy paint on the cielings and it looks wonderful (I have been inside). Here are pics

Even rooms with bright color.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 6:54PM
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jrldh - Do you have pics I could see?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 6:55PM
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My house looks industrial. The ceilings are 11 ft tall and show exposed K steel joists, I-beams & metal decking painted black.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 1:00PM
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wow! very cool.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Lots of great replies and pictures, they all look beautiful. We did in fact decide to go with white. We may experiment with some color down the road.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 7:24PM
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White. Ceilings are not where one wants to draw attention. The more open plan and flowing the space is in a house, the more important it is to direct the eye and attention to the space and the light--not the ceiling!

Keep it white, light and unobtrusive.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 10:39PM
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"White. Ceilings are not where one wants to draw attention"

Which is exactly why my ceilings are NOT white.

White makes the ceilings look unfinished, and the attention goes right to that large undone space.

Good thing we are able to do what we like in our own homes!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 8:08AM
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Our last two houses had vaulted wood ceilings with a medium warm stain. It's amazing how much light a darker (even wood colored) ceiling can absorb, making the room look dark, especially at night. Our new home will have white or off-white ceilings throughout because I'm tired of having to have so many lights on at night!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:02PM
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One note about glossy finishes--- You MUST have perfectly flat ceilings. AND, you must never touch up your paint.

If you touch up gloss paint, the new area reflects more than the old area. So, you have to repaint it all, or none. Just so you know.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:11PM
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