Ceilings: The Fifth Wall

Inspiration, Interiors — 11.06.21

While we typically focus on walls and flooring we can sometimes overlook the ceiling in our homes. But a well-designed ceiling can truly finish off your space, radically transforming the look and feel of the room. Traditionally, classic decorative cornices and ceiling roses were used, but when it comes to new builds and contemporary design something more innovative is required.  Below are some unique ideas to consider that will complete your room.

Tin Ceiling

Tin plates with decorative designs pressed into them were very stylish in the Victorian era, and are just as impactful today, adding a vintage twist to your scheme.  Finished in any colour, the look is beautiful and very striking, working both as an accent on its own or with a pendant to gleam light off the metal tin.


More commonly seen in the commercial sector, wallpapering the ceiling is becoming hugely popular in residential schemes too.  Adding a flare to your space, it can also make the room appear more intimate and cosier. Stripes are really fun or larger scale designs for maximum impact or the use of a small patterned wallpaper on the eaves of an attic room is very also very effective.


The tongue and groove look is very American New-English and when used on the ceiling it can make the space feel a lot warmer because of the organic wood material.  When painted, the potential of an alpine chalet-look is completely eradicated.  Panelling comes in varying styles that will dramatically change the feeling of the room depending on what you choose.


A beamed ceiling will instantly add that traditional element to your home.  Whether it is a low-ceilinged or high-ceilinged room, beams look stunning and make the space feel homely adding that extra interest to the room as well as character.  Keep the beams their natural colour to stand out or paint them the same colour as the ceiling to blend in for a more contemporary feel, both are very striking.

Metal Beams

For what was once seen as a construction element to hide, this has now become an element to display.  If you are a fan of the industrial look, keeping your structural beams exposed can add interest to your ceiling in a dramatic and striking way.

Coffered Ceilings

Creating depth and decorative detail, a coffered ceiling is a series of recessed panels usually in grid format that will highlight your ceiling and make it a great feature.  Due to the indentations, the illusion of a higher ceiling is created.   The result is stunning and although seen as more traditional, due to its historical renaissance reference, more contemporary styles are now coming out with only one large indentation instead of multiple.

Suspended Ceilings

Suspended ceilings are a great way to add accent and atmospheric lighting to a room if you want to stay away from spotlights in your ceilings.  Suspending the ceiling and running lighting around the edges of the room, hidden from sight, adds an aura to the space, and although the light will not be as bright as it is not as direct, the ambience of the room will feel cosy and warm. Here the line also continues down the brick wall. Great for contemporary spaces.

Plaster Mouldings

A traditional way to decorate the ceiling, the Victorians mastered the art of covering their ceilings with intricate plaster mouldings.  Like an iced wedding cake, the result was and still is stunning and an element in historical homes that is cherished.  Plaster mouldings are also spectacularly used in contemporary homes but in more modern ways.


Like wallcoverings, fabric can also be used on the ceiling to add warmth to the room.  Grass cloth, or thick fabrics can be used to make the room cosy and homely. Used as a nurturing feature, your eye will be drawn upwards as well as helping minimise noise from other rooms.

So smash through those glass ceilings, direct your eyes to the heavens and style out your fifth wall!