Visually raise or lower a ceiling, or just add an eyeful of interest, with paint from splashy to soothing.
It’s standard operating procedure to paint your walls a color while keeping the ceiling white. We’ve been told this makes the room feel larger and brighter. While there’s no doubt a white ceiling will brighten a room, certain ceiling colors can actually make a room appear more expansive. The key to using a bold or dark color on the ceiling without the space becoming cave-like is to make sure you have adequate lighting or limit the adjacent wall colors to white or another light hue.
Warm colors tend to advance, and cool colors recede, so if you are looking to visually raise your ceiling height, stick to cooler hues. On the other hand, if you have high ceilings and wish to make them feel lower — for a more intimate vibe — use a warm hue, such as red, orange or yellow.
Check out these 10 rooms that feature a bright or bold ceiling color, along with suggestions for how to use an unusual color on a ceiling of your own.
When selecting a ceiling color, take a cue from your favorite textiles and decorative accessories. By repeating a color throughout a space, you’ll create visual rhythm and your eye will move through the room, taking it all in.
A blue to try: Waterfall 2050-50, Benjamin Moore
Another blue bedroom ceiling, this one a deeper teal. It looks supercrisp framed by the white ceiling trim. The light warm gray wall and floor offer a soft and subtle foundation for this modern palette.
A teal to try: Middy Blue A1258, Glidden
Pretend you’re bathing in the great outdoors by painting your bathroom ceiling a pretty sky blue. This particular shade of blue works well as a neutral, which means you can mix it with just about any other color you like.
A sky blue to try: Denim Day 029-4, Mythic Paint
I love the green glow this room gets from the fresh hue on the ceiling. We tend to associate green with nature, youthful vibrancy and good health. This green in particular feels clean and pristine — perfect for a guest bedroom.
A green to try: Springtime SW6708, Sherwin-Williams
You can go bold without necessarily going bright. A deep purple like this one is a terrific choice for a bedroom ceiling, since it’s thought to be a restful, stress-reducing color. I don’t think this palette would be as effective in this room if the walls were painted dark purple and the ceiling were left white.
A purple to try: Tropical Dusk 2117-40, Benjamin Moore
If you have walls of windows, the ceiling may be the only place where you can add color via paint. This happy yellow hue brings our attention up to the interesting ceiling form and that fantastic pendant.
A yellow to try: Chickadee 3002-1B, Valspar
Use color to accentuate interesting architecture or other details in your home. Conversely, make anything you don’t want to bring attention to the same color as whatever surrounds it, and it will blend right in.
A Yellow-green to try: Cancun Gold AC204-5, Kelly-Moore
This example shows how an abundance of light really gives you the freedom to go as bold with color and pattern as you want. Both the bright orange ceiling and contrasting checked-pattern floor scream for attention. But the walls of glass and gorgeous views of the greenery beyond keep the room from being too much to take in.
An orange to try: Invigorate SW6886, Sherwin-Williams
Here’s an example of how you can visually lower a tall ceiling using color. With the hot-pink ceiling color extended down the wall a foot or so, this room has a fun, youthful vibe and still feels like a cozy sanctuary.
A hot pink to try: Orchid Rose S-G-110, Behr
This watery blue is another soothing color that’s perfect for a bedroom ceiling. Pair it with white and gray or tan for a calm, cool vibe.
An aqua to try: Aqua Blue 353-5, Pittsburgh Paints
Tell us: Are you ready to go from a white ceiling to a wow ceiling? Which hue do you like best?