Great Ideas to Make Your Tray Ceiling a Focal Point

Tray Ceilings are meant to break up ordinary and routine flat ceilings, figure out the Best ways to have yours make a serious Architectural Impact.

By Rachel Rubin


Tray ceilings can immediately upgrade any home, especially in terms of luxury and architectural beauty. The main purpose of a tray ceiling is to break up the regular old flat ceiling and add a variation in the height, creating contrast and increasing the aesthetic appeal. The degree to which they are inverted and differ from the ordinary ceiling can subtle or dramatic, depending on the architect and homeowners personal style.


The type of tray ceiling you opt to go with all depends on what kind of mood and atmosphere you’re trying to bring to any given room. There are many different ways to go about creating the impact you desire, but before you go any further with your home renovation project, I’d check out the best 15 ways to make your tray ceiling a focal point.


Tray Ceiling Color Different From Rest of Room

A great way to create some contrast with your tray ceiling is by painting is a different color from the rest of the room. It doesn’t have to be too bold, in fact, subtle changes work just as well in turning these architectural marvels into focal points.




Paint the Walls the Same Color as Tray Walls

This is a quick and easy way to create some pop in any room, as the slight contrasts add to the greater whole. This works great with neutral colors and for those who don’t want too much bold color in places where they are trying to sleep, or be at peace.




Decorate Tray Ceiling with Paneling

A great way to get some old-school, traditional vibes going in your home is by installing a tray ceiling with paneling. You can at once get that cabin in the woods vibe, while also maintaining a modern feel due to the architectural beauty of Tray ceilings.


The paneling will give the room a warm, inviting feeling. It instantly makes your tray ceiling a focal point in your home.




Tray Ceiling and regular walls same, Tray walls different color

If you make your tray ceiling the same color of the regular walls (leaving out the tray walls), you can get a nice contrast between colors. The Tray walls will add depth to the tray ceiling, making it seem as if the ceiling is much deeper than it actually is. It will help accentuate the tray, helping the room seem more layered.




Tray slightly deeper than version of wall color

This idea to make your tray ceiling a focal point works brilliantly when a room allows in plenty of natural light. When the tray is painted a slightly deeper version it can help draw your eye towards the center of the room. It’s a great option for homeowners who really prefer a crisp, clean look, as opposed to anything too flashy.




Tray Color same as walls

Painting the tray (not the tray walls) the same color as the walls will help the room feel balanced and layered. It will help showcase the tray slightly, without taking too much away from the rest of the room. This type of tray design works great in bedrooms.




Accentuate the shape of tray ceiling

Making the tray different from your standard setup can really help accentuate the tray ceiling. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but one of the easiest is to make the tray a different shape, such as a circle. Changing what the eye is used to seeing in average tray ceilings can really add an extra bit of pop.




Decorate your tray with moldings

Decorating your tray ceilings with a molding can really add some style and intrigue, depending on the style of moldings you choose. Moldings can come in a large variety of patterns and shapes, so this is a great detail to choose if you’d like to add a bit of personal style. They can be implemented on the corners to outline the tray, or, you can work them into the ceiling as a whole.




Decorate tray with tiles

A great way to really be bold with your tray ceilings is to decorate them with tin tiles. The design patterns that can be produced with tin tiles can make your home look prestigious and pronounced, like your friends and family are walking into a museum. It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as all that, but tiles are a great way to make a statement in any room.




Exposed beams

Similar to decorating with wood paneling, exposing the beams on your tray ceiling is a great way to add warmth and character. This style of rustic, country décor can really make any room seem more relaxed and welcoming.




Decorate with stencil

Depending on the color you decided to paint your tray ceilings, adding a touch of stencil can really help make it a focal point in any room. This tends to work better with darker, more dramatic colors. While it can be done, stenciling more neutral colors tends to overwhelm them.




Decorate tray with light for a dramatic effect

So, you’ve worked hard on your beautiful tray ceilings, but they still aren’t popping just the way you want them to. This can be alleviated by adding some dramatic lighting to the tray ceiling. When done correctly, this can add depth and make them the focal point in any room. This can similarly be done with a dramatic or bold color, but not too many homeowners want to paint their ceiling bright orange or pink.




Decorate the tray with wallpaper

Papering your tray ceiling with wallpaper is certainly bold, but if you like to make a statement with your home décor this is one of the better ways. In order for this to make a serious impact, try matching the wallpaper with some of the accents in the room, as this will really tie the room together and create a cohesive focal point.




Match tray with accents

Speaking of pulling a room together, one of the best ways is to match the color of your tray ceiling with the accents in any given room. This can easily be done no matter the color of your tray ceilings, as you can simply decorate your room around it. And, this doesn’t have to be dramatic, this can be understated, such as some white throw pillows or a bed comforter.




Industrial tray

This is a great touch if you’re going for that Brooklyn loft type of vibe, as the tray is almost decorated like a warehouse. This can be done with a variety of materialsm, but it’s best if they look old and discarded, like corrugated metal. Anything with a little rust should work, and if you add some industrial light fixtures and a concrete floor, this will really create a high impact room, and a focal point for any guest.




Remember, the impact of tray ceilings can widely differ, from the ordinary and subtle to bold and dramatic, depending on the architect and homeowners taste. But, there is definitely a huge variety of ways to make your tray ceiling a focal point.


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