Ceiling Paint Trends

bpalmerc21March 23, 2008

We are in the process of builing have decided to paint our interior walls RH Cappuccino (thanks to lindybarts - I love your house). I am know trying to decide if I want to keep my ceiling white or paint them RH Latte - which is a few shades lighter than my wall color. We have 10', 12' and 18' ceilings and alot of crown. Trim, wainscoating, and crown all in white umber. I think the latte would make a nice "pop" but I don't want to darken the space or make it looked dated (what are the trends?). I would love your opinions!


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If you have high ceilings (and you certainly sound like you do), you can definitely do a non white color without fear. Go for it!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 9:44PM
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Well, we've got anything from 9' to a little over 11' ceilings and I've used a 'white' ceiling in one room, and also painted the ceiling and walls the exact same color in others. I can risk things looking 'dated,' however, since this house is ~110 years old ; ) I think it's one of those things where the structure of the rooms, the window placement and other details make it hard to generalize from one house to another.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 12:24AM
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We are finally getting our new build finished painting. We have all 10 ft ceilings and have painted some of them. The ones with crown (in our opinion) just look so much better when contrasted with the crown. It makes the crown pop out and show rather than blend in together. SO, YES I would definitely paint them with some "color." You may need to adjust the color even more than you would thing. Do dome sampling and have fun!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 4:22AM
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We have really LOW ceilings (just under 8') and we painted our ceiling blue! I love it. Don't know if you can really see it in this pic. (This is still a room in progress)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:32AM
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I'm beginning to really hate white ceilings--ever since painting the guest bath and BR ceilings. I often find them oppressive--I feel like there is a closed lid over my head. The rule about white ceilings is out, and you do not have to have a "high" ceiling in order to paint a ceiling a color. In fact, a painted ceiling will often make the ceiling disappear and unify a room, making it more rich and interesting.

Coleen, that is an excellent example. I love your combination of colors and final look.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:08AM
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It's news to me that a white ceiling is oppressive ;-) We recently remodeled our kitchen and re-painted the ceiling from pale grey-ish, dirty-looking shade to a color called "Bright White". The ceiling is SO much brighter and it feels higher, even though our home has standard 8 foot ceilings.

My experience aside, I like the look of non-white ceilings and I think the right color can do amazing things. Perhaps our house had the wrong ceiling color but I like the "Bright White" enough that we're going to put it into other rooms to replace the depressing grey. Perhaps its a contrast thing; in rooms w/dark or really intense paint color, white ceilings really stand out and look kind of strange.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:18AM
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Of course it would be news to you melle, since I was writing about my personal opinion and experience! lol

I like how one author put it, ceilings are as much a part of room as the walls and when painted white can look like an afterthought.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:52AM
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Well you know what I'll say...LOL! It was really hard for me to make my decision as well. I've never painted the ceiling anything other than Navajo White or Ceiling white. I was very nervous about it and tossed and turned many nights. (Actually, tossed and turned about every decision but that's another post) Seriously, I don't know why I've never done color on a ceiling before. I just love how it looks. It's warm without feeling like I put a lid on top of me. Your crown is going to be showcased so much better with a contrasting color. And because it's horizontal, the light reflects differently than if you had it on a vertical wall. Trust me when I say the Latte won't darken your space at all. It just warms it up and makes it feel finished. In my opinion only of course! I know this subject is touchy!!

As for the trend, I can tell you that nearly every new house I went through last year had some sort of color on the ceiling. Did I talk you into it? ROFL

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 10:06AM
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We used white for our 1st floor ceilings only because we have an open floor plan and we will most likely be using different color walls for the DR and LR then we have for the FR and kitchen. It will make color selection easier.

Our PR walls and ceiling is painted RH Atmosphere Blue which is a 10 ft ceiling. The Guest Room walls are painted BM White Dove but the ceiling (9 ft ceiling) and interior doors are painted RH Graphite. Both rooms look great.

I love the look of colored ceilings and will have them throughout the rest of the house.

I think the Latte ceiling will look great. Just do it.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 10:31AM
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Several of our ceilings have popcorn or some other texture on them. Talk about NOT trendy! I think that part of the trend towards color on the ceiling is to showcase the beautiful smooth surface as well as the crown molding. So if you have those lovely and desirable features, I think a ceiling with color is definitely the way to go.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 11:22AM
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Smooth ceilings are pretty rare out where I live. Almost all have knock down or something similar. Ours are called Brocade. I think it makes the color up there look even better! ;c) I'm sounding like a commercial for painted ceilings, aren't I?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 12:22PM
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mqmoi, it's ironic because I use the exact same wording except it's OPPOSITE about colored ceilings - for me a colored ceiling makes the room feel like a box with a lid on, and a clean, neat white ceiling "lifts the lid"! About the only time a colored ceiling really works for me is if the architecture really calls for it, like a high-ceilinged Victorian or a bungalow where you're often working toward that cozy, denlike feeling (although one common "bungalow-y thing" I've always adored is dark beams on a plaster-white ceiling, yum yum), otherwise it just seems trendy and sometimes a little bit contrived.

What people tend to forget, though, is that there are many alternatives to plain old "ceiling white", which can be a bit harsh and cold. For instance, in my previous house the master suite's walls were an olivey-gold (C2 Cheetah; the color of those big green California olives) and I chose a white for the ceiling that resembled old plaster (C2 Cricket White), with sort of a grayish-beigish tinge - it looked better than it sounds, I promise you. :-) Also, one compromise some people do is to mix just a tad of the wall paint into the white for the ceiling, something like a cup per gallon, just to give a little hint of the color to the ceiling.

I don't know what "white umber" is - I couldn't find it on Colorcharts - but if you look at the picture for RH Linen there is still contrast with the white millwork.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 4:00PM
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Oh, johnmari, then you might like the remo we're completing in a room. I begged DH to save the walnut ceiling beams, which he did. Though the ceiling is not plaster, he painted the new drywall ceiling creamy white yesterday. And his paint job is impeccable (especially given that painting b/w the beams was like painting multiple ceilings). My heart sunk when I saw it, so this topic is fresh on the brain today. Actually, I can imagine how your wall and ceiling color worked as you describe.

Though painted ceilings may be a trend today, only time will tell whether the trend becomes the norm.

That said, I read a homeowner/decorator quote the other day about how she doesn't consider paint a means of decorating and I saw her point. Course, she had gorgeous rooms and furnishings.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 5:06PM
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Oh the decisons - I can't take it - I am maxed out!

Lindybarts, I think you have convinced me - i love your house. I think I am going to go for it but not until after we move in. I talked to my builder today about it and he siad it would be rather expensive to have his painter do it because it would require to coats. I have a very cheap painter that has painted serveral rooms in my current home. I am going to wait till we move and have him do it.

Jerseygirl 1, so you have lics of the RH graphite - i am looking at painting my laundry/moms area that color - I have black slate with a funky grey back and white work surface - I hope to get the red LG w/d. I am usually not a "grey" person but i like that color.

I have atmosphere blue in my kids bath and love it!

Somebody asked about white umber, it is a porter color - it is their most popular white. I currently have it and like it. For whatever reason colorcharts doesn't have porter colors.

Sorry to ramble...

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:33PM
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I think it's just important to not disregard the ceiling and treat it as much a part of the room as anything else. Crown moulding alone can be enough to finish it, even if the paint on the ceiling portion used is white. A lot of people just don't pay attention to how the ceiling fits into the overall space, as if it isn't there.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:47PM
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It was one of those things, I saw the RH Graphite and had to have it.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:28PM
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Ceiling paint? Here ya go...

Here is a link that might be useful: Painted ceilings

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 1:57AM
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coleen3201118 Can you tell me brand and colors of your wall and ceiling paint? I love it!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 5:53PM
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You can find all the c2 colors here. I was able to get a test can of the color my favorite ceiling was


This is the trends in ceiling colors


    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 2:49PM
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Good discussion--hopefully we can revive this.

IÂm looking for some advice on what to do with my morning room, which we use as an eating area off of the kitchen and family room.

This room has a cathedral ceiling (about 12 feet high) whereas all other ceilings on the first floor are 8' high and flat. The room gets a lot of light during the day as it looks out into the back yard. The primary light source is a new ceiling fan with a 180-watt light kit which is needed to help circulate the air and keep it cool in the summer; the fan is bronze with big wooden palm leaves for blades. (Digression: The house came with a fan in that room but I took it down to install a large chandelier, for better lighting and a more formal look; however, we quickly learned that the fan is needed to circulate the air as that room gets hot quick during the summer).

The result of replacing a 9-light chandelier with the fan was that the room lost its drama or wow factorÂit looks blah and on the verge of boring. The table and chairs in there are dark wood, the floors are dark wood, the walls are a very light taupe-beige, the window coverings a khaki-like color and the trim is white. The rug is predominantly dark brown with some beige, olive green, and sky blue in it.

A waft of inspiration hit me the other day and I thought maybe if I painted the outside wall or the ceiling it may bring back some of the drama or make it look less Âho-humÂ. Im leaning more toward the ceiling as I think painting that outside wall a dark color may not help with lighting after the sun goes downÂ

Now the question is what color?

I remember articles back it the early 90s about painting ceilings different colors to raise or lower them and change the feeling of the room but do I go with a light or dark hue? For example, I used to say that I loved the deep blue-grey color of a midnight sky and would love that on a dining room ceiling but that would make a cave! If I go with a light blue color, for example, is that something that will be out of style/vogue in the next year or so?

I also have left over paint in an olive beige color (close to color in the rug) that I could paint the outside wall itÂs a medium tone.


Thanks for your advice

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 4:53PM
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