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5 absolutely amazing ceiling ideas

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

When we're decorating a room, we often forget the ceiling. I mean apart from painting it white (or maybe if we're radical, another colour!), we bung up a pendant light, a cornice and maybe even curtains and that's about it, right? But no, no, no....there are sooo many more amazing options, which I thought I would share with you for when you're next looking for some ceiling inspo.

Wallpaper the ceiling

Yep. It's a thing and I think you'll be seeing it more and more. While it's a little more tricky to install as it needs two people, it can work out cheaper than covering all the walls (because there's less square meterage).

If you use a complimentary colour for the walls, you could achieve quite a dramatic outcome like the pic below. It allows you to bring pattern and personality in and in a surprising way (because most people expect wallpaper on the walls, right?).

There are a few different places you can get wallpaper. There are retail outlets and there are some places online. Of course you can work with a designer to choose the right one and they will often have an even wider network of suppliers. Do beware if you order direct though - there are lots of different pitfalls that the inexperienced can make expensive mistakes with.

Credit: The Layered Interior

Upholstery stud detailing

Yep - this would be a bit back breaking, but so worth the effort! Marking out the lines would take the most time (and if you can hire a laser measurer, it would help), but actually tapping the studs into the plaster would be quite easy. I love the hand-crafted look it gives and depending on the finish of the stud, the metal would reflect beautifully in the lights at night. Subtle but rather stunning.

You can get a small range of studs from places such as Bunnings, but it is limited. There are amazing fabric houses that have a much wider selection in different shapes and colours, but you will need to order them through either a designer (ahem, such as moi) or an upholsterer (if they're willing to sell to you).

Credit: Apartment Therapy

Mural on the ceiling

If you're wanting something truly tailored, consider having a mural done. From covering the whole ceiling in imagery, you can pare it back to a couple of birds flying overhead or a new definition of a ceiling rose. You can try it yourself if it's just a simple geometric design or folk-art-style OR hire an artist to create a piece that speaks of you and your family - your symbols that represent aspects of your life together.

I've done a number of murals over the years and have my own go-to amazing muralist. You need to find someone who can not only draw what you want in the style and colours you want but they also need to really know the technical side of the materials they use. It's a rare bird if you can find one that ticks every box!

You also need to be aware it is a process, it takes time to develop the concept and prepare mockups etc etc. And this costs. So, if you're going down this path, really do your homework so that you're quite clear in what you want to achieve. Think through the palette - not just for the mural but for the room holistically. And ask yourself - will I still love this in 2, 5 or even ten or twenty years time. They are an investment, but wow, when you get it right, it will blow the socks off anyone entering the room!

Collect images of other murals you love. Go to a paint store and collect colour swatches that you would like incorporated. Then start researching mural artists. Or if you'd like the whole room to work (including the mural), reach out to fantastic interior decorators (again, such as!).

Coffered ceiling

Using coffered ceilings (ceiling paneling) can achieve some amazing results. They're quite architectural and suit older homes or dramatic spaces. They're really rather grand! They can be used to great affect if you're wanting to pull back on a lot of colour and/or pattern. Even if they're painted all white, the light and shadow affect they create offers enough grand interest to carry the day.

It's quite a big job. It needs to be built out using frames and board then plastered, then painted. So it's trades and time and of course, that means bucks. This is usually the sort of job you do as part of a major renovation when you've completely gutted the house! And its super messy and dusty, so keep that in mind if you're planning on adding this if it isn't part of a bigger project.

The are advantages to adding coffered ceilings - they can hide a myriad of wires and services (as well as looking fabuloso). You can also incorporate fancy-pants lighting such as LED strips shining up on to the recessed squares. Pinterest is your friend if you're looking for coffered ceiling inspo!

Credit: Tobi Farley

Go for gold!

A gold ceiling says a LOT! You're rich; powerful; you have big b*lls to go down this path; have great taste and so much more! What's not to love?

Whether it's a specialist paint or gold leaf, there are a couple of options readily available to achieve a breath-taking result. Choose either a dark and dramatic hue for the walls OR go light and airy and allow the gold to do the talking. Add a few other gold elements to work back with the ceiling.....but not too much (or it will look kitsch - unless, of course, that's the aim).

Pretty much all the paint companies have great metallic options, and it's definitely worth your while spending some time chatting with an expert BEFORE you lock in your tradie. The clearer the direction you can give the painter, the better - for both parties. And I would highly recommend using an experienced trade for this particular project. You do not want to find the cheapest painter on Hipages as this could easily end in tears! Most interior decorators and designers will have a little black book of trades suitable to a range of jobs and this is is just one of the many advantages of using a professional to transform your home!

Once the ceiling is done, add an a bold rug, gorgeous window treatments and bam! You've got a knock-out room that everyone will love!

Credit: Kelly Behun

So, there you are. Five great ideas to consider for your ceiling and make your home a real show stopper! If you're after a Sydney interior decorator to help you choose the right option as well as everything else for a space to make it sing, look no further! My team here at Sartorial Interiors would sincerely love to help. If you'd like to learn more about our services click here.


Sartorial Interiors is based in Sydney's Inner West but have clients from the North Shore to the Shire and from the Eastern Suburbs to the Western Suburbs.

Our services include:

  • Kitchen design

  • bathroom design

  • residential renovations

  • interior decorating and styling.

To discuss your next renovation project, pop over here (we'd love to help!)

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