Ceilings are getting some serious design love these days! Abandoning boring-old-white, homeowners are going big and bold with this so-called “fifth wall.” ( Pinterest even named “statement ceilings” one of their home trends to watch for this year, since saves are up over 310%.) Just look up and you might see crazy-cool wallpaper, a surprising pop of color or even beams installed in an interesting pattern. We asked the pros for their dos and don’ts on this trend, so check out their tips before you climb up that ladder.
DO: Jump on the wallpaper bandwagon
Yup, the wallpaper trend and the statement ceiling trend are totally colliding. “Wallpapered ceilings are getting more popular, because wallpaper is having a revival in general,” says Erica Leigh Reiner, interior designer and owner of E. Leigh Designs in Los Angeles, CA. Even better news: This means wallpaper options are exploding with more high-style, artistic and even custom rolls available than ever before. You’ll definitely be able to find something that looks good up top.
DON’T: Wing it
Go ahead and DIY by all means, but do yourself a favor and plan a little first. (Believe us: wallpapering a ceiling is not a job you want to do twice if you can help it.) Reiner suggests prepping like a pro: “If you’re redoing the entire room, find and review samples of your paint and wallpaper along with the furniture, flooring and more,” she says. Keeping the rest of the room as is? Snap photos of the items already in the room so that you can pull them up while you look for samples of paint or wallpaper.
DO: Stick with your color scheme
Feeling blue? Then try it on the ceiling, too! Designer Lucinda Loya of Houston, TX, designed this bedroom with all shades of blue. The recessed ceiling — painted with a pearlized zolatone hue — balances the entire look out. “In general, you want to be sure not to choose another color outside of your scheme if you already have 2-3 colors in the space,” adds Reiner.
DON’T: Do it in a small space
Sorry, city dwellers: This might not be the move for you. In smaller rooms, a light-or-white colored ceiling helps trick the eye into thinking the space is larger than it really is, explains Reiner. And if you live in a small apartment, you probably don’t want to mess with that formula. You also want to consider your ceiling height, says Decorist ’s creative director Jessica McCarthy. “Most standard ceilings can handle a pattern or color,” she says, “but if you paint a low ceiling with a dark color that may make it appear even lower than it actually is.” But all is not lost: A light or neutral color can still make the statement you’re looking for if you spice it up with texture or pattern.
DO: Experiment in a less-used room
Love the idea, but still have cold feet? Go all in… but in a room where you don’t spend the majority of your time. (Good options: A whimsical playroom or the formal dining room.) “When you get a feel for how things go in one of those spaces, you can decide if you want to replicate the idea into the bedrooms or living spaces,” says Reiner.
DON’T: Shy away from pattern
“Ceilings are a great way to inject some energy, and use color and patterns in a less obvious way,” says Janet Gridley, an interior designer in Dallas, TX. If you decide to go with more than one pattern in the room, though, be sure to vary the scales so that they balance each other out.
DO: Play with your architectural details
If your room already has an incredible ceiling — like great coffered details or an amazing arch — don’t stop there! You can make it truly show-stopping with texture or color. “Adding wallpaper is a playful and current approach to a traditional coffered ceiling,” says Loya. After all, statement ceilings are definitely not about being subtle.