Jan 21, 2019

The statement ceiling has been around since time immemorial. Well, perhaps that’s a bit of an over statement, but certainly since greats like Michelangelo found a way to prevent the paint they were applying from dripping off the eaves and onto the floor!


“Hooray for the resurgence of statement ceilings,” says interior expert Deborah Garth. “We have definitely neglected the ceiling as a design element in the past and I for one am delighted that it is back ‘en vogue’ and ready to make its presence felt.”

Deborah says she is always at pains to point out to residential and commercial clients how important ceilings are. “Given the right treatment, the ceiling can completely alter a space. And while bulkheads are a sure way to get this right, they can be pricey, so I tend to add substantial, well-designed cornices and carefully thought out lighting for functionality and aesthetics,” says Deborah, who prefers to paint ceilings in neutral shades such as restrained shades of concrete.


According to Pinterest statistics, interest in statement ceilings has risen by some 300% over the past months, which just goes to show how powerful a trend this is in 2018 and, hopefully, beyond. And while Deborah admits she is personally uncertain about using wallpaper on the ceiling, modern ceilings are sporting unconventional paint shades, wallpaper and even impressionist style paint treatments.



“The ceiling,” says Deborah, “is definitely the ‘fifth wall’ and should be given as much consideration as the other four walls. Statement ceilings are made with shapes and shadows created by lighting.”

“I tend to paint the ceiling the same colour as the walls and skirting boards to create a unified and seamless shell. It visually opens up the space of a room and your eye effortlessly takes in the whole room.”

However, she cautions, there are instances when the ceiling should not be given a dramatic treatment. For example, in the case of low ceilings it would be “disastrous to highlight them separately from the walls.”


While paint and wallpaper are obvious choices for use on ceilings, Deborah says home decorators should not overlook the potential impact that can be created by use of other treatments including raw precast concrete slabs. Stretch ceilings – which consist of a thin plastic film stretched taught over a firm frame – are another form one could use to create different shapes and enhance the interior of a room, and suspended sound proof panels offer the opportunity to play fabulously with shapes and different lighting options such as small LED lights fitted into the panels.


Of the season’s most popular shades, says Deborah, Plascon’s Desert Spring, which is fresh and light during the day, and takes on a soothing and romantic ambience when paired with the right lighting at night, can be used to great effect on a ceiling.  And, if you are looking to create a specifically moody theme dark hues such as navy, charcoal and black can be used overhead. But, cautions Deborah, paint the walls of the room in the same colour family or run the risk of the ceiling appearing to float too low above your head.