Creative Ceiling Ideas to Stylize This Oft-Neglected Space

Why not make your ceiling interesting? We’ve got some great tips on how to make your ceiling look great!

By Ande Waggener


When it comes to ceiling options, the most adventurous most of us get is painting the ceiling a different color, adding crown molding, or installing ceiling beams. These are all great ceiling ideas, but if you’re finding them a little blasé and you want to create a statement ceiling, you might be asking, “What are some creative ceiling options?”


Ask, and ye shall receive. Here are seven ways you can add a little pizzazz to your ceiling.


Wallpaper Ceilings

It’s common, of course, to see wallpaper on the walls (hence, the name wallpaper). However, we don’t often think to put it on the ceiling.




One of the most inexpensive ceiling options that can have a lot of impact is wallpaper. Because wallpaper comes in so many patterns, motifs, and textures, it gives you many ways to express your individuality. Very little can impact a room more than wallpaper on a ceiling. Wallpaper can develop any mood, from romantic to dramatic, and it can fit any style from traditional to modern. With wallpaper, you can turn your ceiling into a sky or a forest canopy. Heck, you can even invite wild animals into your space with a wallpapered ceiling.


The key to using wallpaper is how you balance it with the room. If the wallpaper is going to add a strong pattern or texture to the room, be sure the other design elements in the space are calm enough to give the wallpaper a stage.


Wood Ceiling Planks

Although wood ceiling planks might not seem any more exciting than the ceiling covering options of paint, molding, or beams, the versatility of wood installed on a ceiling can give you a lot of inventive space to play with. Depending on the wood type and color, plank widths, and the patterns you create with the wood, you can achieve some unique effects.




Wood grain patterns are so interesting and individual that you can find wood planks to fit any style, from rustic to contemporary. To get a cottage or farmhouse feel, for example, paint your planks white or use beadboard; they’ll immediately make your space feel homey. Weathered planks that mimic reclaimed wood can give a room a country, cabin, or coastal vibe. You can create a mood with a wood ceiling too. Add casual comfort, for example with the honey tones of pine. Create drama with the richness of mahogany. Warm wood tones on the ceiling can make a large room feel cozier.


Brick Ceilings

Unless you happen to live in an old brick building, you might not think of having a brick ceiling. When bricks come to mind, we tend to think in terms of traditional décor. But bricks can play in the modern world too. Brick ceilings immediately add texture and color to a space, but they aren’t so overpowering that they can’t be paired with up-to-date décor. You can install bricks on a flat ceiling, or you can use them to create a barrel ceiling design. Either way, they will create potency and power in the room. A brick ceiling is a great way to balance the industrial look of some sleek interior designs.




Suspended Grid Ceiling Panels

Ceiling panels have gotten a bad rap over the years because we usually think of those ugly acoustic ceiling panels so often found in businesses when we conjure an image of a ceiling panel. But the truth is that ceiling panels can be quite striking. They also come in a huge range of styles.




Suspended grid panels are installed below the existing ceiling, on a grid framework. Although this can bring your ceiling down a bit, it’s not as much as you think. Most of these suspended ceilings hang just three inches below the existing ceiling height. Although you can install solid panels using this system, a very eye-catching modern version of this ceiling uses open cell ceiling panels to create a fun, futuristic, or industrial effect.


Ceiling Light Panels

Like basic ceiling panels, ceiling light panels don’t get a lot of love. Fluorescent light panels are often the first things that are ripped out in the remodel of a 1970s or ‘80s space. However, modern light panels, which use LEDs, have a more current look.




Ceiling light panels can open up a room and draw the eye upward, away from overcrowded spaces. If you have a small, dark room that you need to brighten, you might want to check out decorative light panels. You’ll probably be surprised at how stylish they can look.


Combo Ceilings

Although tray ceilings have been around for centuries, and drop ceilings are common, combining the two ceiling types isn’t seen every day. Usually included in a home’s original architecture, tray ceilings aren’t often installed after the fact unless you’re doing a full remodel. However, one way to add a tray ceiling to an existing room without massive reconstruction is by installing a drop ceiling that has a tray ceiling feature. If you need to install a drop ceiling but you feel like the ceiling will look too oppressive, consider this tray-within-a-drop look. The lift of the tray design will create the illusion of height in the room.




3D Ceiling Designs

If you don’t want to put too much texture or color on your ceiling, you can use a ceiling to insert some flair into the room by giving your ceiling extra dimensions. Instead of a flat plane, you can include some geometric depth. Although you can accomplish this look with a traditional ceiling medallion, you can do it in a more modern way by simply framing in a geometric form on your ceiling, finishing it, and painting it the same color as the rest of the ceiling. You can use any shape you like. You especially can have some wild and crazy fun if you layer the dimensions on the ceiling, add some color, and let them flow. Two-color 3D ceiling installations will make a powerful statement!




Now that you know how to do it, there’s really no reason not to make your ceiling stylish!


Images used with permission, courtesy of

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