Design Dilemma: Wallpapering the Ceiling | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Wallpapering the Ceiling

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Are you looking for a way to inject color and pattern into your home in a totally unexpected way? Try wallpapering the ceiling!

Take a look at the Miami bedroom above. Featuring wallpaper from the “Elitis Collection Candy, VP 75405” from Jeffrey Michaels, the room walks a very fine line: it is mostly all white, but colorful at the same time. It feels minimal but also maximalist in its playful use of color. Putting the wallpaper overhead creates a mood without overwhelming the room. And the same thing is accomplished in the bathroom below which also uses wallpaper on the ceiling:

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The fantastic thing about wallpaper on the ceiling is that it is actually a subtle way to add depth, pattern and texture to a room. For instance:

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The wallpaper in the bedroom above adds a sense of depth to the already glam, Hollywood Regency look, but it’s actually a pretty subtle effect. Same goes for a child’s bedroom below, where the wallpaper choice is crisper:

contemporary kids how to tips advice

Wallpaper on the ceiling can work especially well in rooms which are otherwise neutral. You get color and pattern in one fell swoop, but it never feels like too much.

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Some really brave souls use a wallpapered ceiling with a contrasting wallpaper on the other four walls. Like this:

eclectic powder room how to tips advice

Here’s another view:

eclectic powder room how to tips advice

And here’s a nursery with wallpapered ceilings, except the paper extends down the wall by about a foot and a half. The result? The ceilings actually feel higher.

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And below, a happy apple green trellis pattern on the ceiling of this study provides the room with an indoor/outdoor garden feel:

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So what’s the key to making wallpapered ceilings work?

  • Try it out in a bedroom or powder room. Bedrooms are a great place to try out this experiment because 1) you spend only a limited amount of time in the bedroom and 2) you are more likely than anywhere else to be staring at the ceiling. A beautiful piece of wallpaper can be admired in a way it might not in other rooms. The powder room is also a great place to experiment with wallpaper, since the small surface means that a pattern is unlikely to overwhelm.
  • The scale of the pattern on the ceiling should complement whatever else is going on in the room. If the rest of the room has a smaller scale pattern on window treatments or upholstery, for example, you might go with a larger scale pattern on the ceilings, as seen in the study above. If you’ve got larger patterns in rugs or upholstery, opt for a smaller scale pattern. In many interiors where we’ve seen this look work well, the wallpaper replaces art on the walls, but if you want to have both, opt for a quieter, subtle paper on the ceilings. Like this:
eclectic living room how to tips advice
  • Finally, consider having a professional hang it. Wallpapering normal walls is already tricky, but when you add in the pull of gravity, and having to hang around light fixtures, etc. …well, you can end up having a mess on your hands. So opt for a paper that is neither too heavy nor too light, and call in a wallpaper professional who can do your job in a snap. Enjoy!

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