The CantonRep
Real Estate
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CEILING From Page D9

in any kind of room — livings rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, powder rooms — can be enhanced.


So what’s the best way to maximize a ceiling’s potential? Reich and other designers shared their favorites.


A lot of people forget about their vertical real estate, said Quintece Hill- Mattauszek, an Alexandria, Virginia, designer who is a self-proclaimed “pattern fanatic,” unafraid of using vibrant, bold patterns to liven up a ceiling.


“A lot of times when you’re in a bedroom, you’re on your back,” Hill- Mattauszek said. “So it’s really nice to see something really cool.”


Reich says interesting wallpaper is particularly smart for powder rooms because their small size means not much is needed to make a big impact.


“You can also do a contrast wallpaper on the ceiling to add texture or graphic interest,” she wrote in an email. “It’s always fun to do something unexpected in a powder room.”


For wallpaper on a bedroom ceiling, she said, she’s used grass cloth for a calming effect.


“I tend to like the ceilings in bedrooms to be beautiful and serene, since this is your place to relax and unwind,” she wrote. “I prefer texture to graphics in a bedroom.”


Coffered ceilings can provide a timeless look, and beams or planks can add character that will complement many styles. One of Reich’s favorite projects was a Lutherville home that she says exemplifies the way changing the ceiling can transform a space.


“We decided to eliminate the sky lights that were in the original ceiling because the room gets a ton of natural light, and they weren’t symmetrical to the room,” Reich wrote. “We took out the high peak and added a flat section to the ceiling, which made the room feel more intimate,” and added planks, crossbeams and arches.


Baltimore artist Kelly Walker faux-painted the entire ceiling in a weathered teak finish, which allowed some of the natural knots to show through.


Andrea Houck, an interior designer based in Arlington, Virginia, loves statement ceilings — especially in dining rooms, powder rooms and master bedrooms — and is working on a silver dining room ceiling in McLean.


She recently dedicated a blog post to the design element, calling the ceiling a “fifth wall.” She described ceilings she’d painted in verdant green and soft blue, and highlighted some of her favorite rooms by other designers, including a bathroom by designer Amanda Nisbet with white walls and a lavender ceiling.


Without the unexpected ceiling color, she said, Nisbet’s white bathroom “would be a little bit predictable and mundane.” And the finishes — high-gloss on the walls and matte on the ceiling - provide contrast.


Alternately, a high-gloss ceiling could formalize a space, Reich said. Any colors can be used to create lacquer, or high-gloss, finish, but dark colors, such as blue, work particularly well, she said.


“I think a ceiling is another piece that people just can’t forget about,” Houck said.


“It’s so important. You can just tweak the color ever so slightly and totally change the feeling in the room.”