The Fifth Wall

I have long been a fan of decorative ceilings as have most decorators I know.  I am so thrilled that the public is really grabbing hold of this look.  You can make a powerful statement or subtle one by using an often overlooked plane.

Albert Hadley used an iridescent paint technique to create a dramatic and almost hologram or tea paper effect thereby bringing light into an otherwise dark room.

Albert Hadley

Rooms enveloped in all the same color can be striking ~  in that the lines are blurred.  Where do the walls end and the ceiling begin?  It makes a room look larger or extends the height of a ceiling, not to mention how dramatic it is.

Douglas Levine


The trim delineates the space beautifully but still envelopes you in coziness

Garrow Kedigian

You can really see with this mural how the boundaries of the room have disappeared


They certainly don't have to be the same color.  There's a huge wow factor in a more unexpected approach.  Note that the color on the ceiling relates to the room as a whole.  The color is repeated somewhere.

Sherrill Canet

Sara Story

Jamie Herzlinger

Wallpaper has made a big comeback, and applying it to the ceiling makes perfect sense.  I love this look! Designers are challenging old rules.  Look how dynamite this looks in a kitchen.

Eve Robinson

Gideon Mendelson

The circular patterned paper overhead, speaks to the waves beyond

Lora Barbara Lemon & Chris Myers via Elle Decor

Texture can be compelling too.  Grasscloth, mica, and plaster all make this often overlooked fifth wall vibrant and thought of, not overlooked like it sometimes can.  There is the case for leaving the ceiling white in a lot of instances, but that's for another post.

Shelly Riehl

Buon Fresco


Don't overlook your ceiling ~ embellish it!


  1. I agree Carrie.
    take advantage of the ceiling gosh darn it :)

    I love the examples you chose to illustrate your point.

  2. black or white themed rooms always amuses me :D