Sunday, October 9, 2011

The neglected child

Countertops, flooring, accessories, bedding, pillows, backsplash … we all think that we must  pay immediate attention to all these items when designing, renovating or decorating, but there is one particular element that we tend to always forget or take for granted. Just look up…  the ceiling.
 Often ignored, a ceiling is just as important as the floor you walk on or the wall you put art and pretty frames on. It’s, in my books, the 5th wall in a room. So just as important as the other 4.
A ceiling deserves thought and attention because a successful ceiling gives a sense of harmony to a room or creates an unexpected focal point. It can create a mood or simply make your gaze travel upwards instead of around a room.
BIGGEST FAUX PAS: stucco/popcorn ceiling.
-          Cheap and economical yet aesthetically horrendous. I have one and it’s the biggest eye sore I have to live with and if I could, I would turn back time and make sure I wouldn’t get a condo with that. If you live in a condo ASK AND DEMAND if they’re doing this finish to smooth it out! A smooth finish looks more elegant and overall more appealing, which in its turn, allows you to eventually paint the ceiling too.
You may want to think of elements that you can incorporate during the construction phase to add character to a room:
  •  Exposed beams
  •  Exposed materials (concrete etc)
  •  Dropped/Suspended ceilings arrgh (if you must!)  but I know… they are inexpensive and an easy solution for heat and  ventilation issues avoiding the creation of HVAC bulkheads
  •  Tray ceilings
  • Coffered ceilings
  • Decorative suspended elements (panels and the likes)
TO PAINT OR NOT TO PAINT, that`s the question.
-          The answer is: if you have a regular, smooth ceiling: YES. The question to be asked here is:  how high is the ceiling and how much attention do I want to draw to it. DO NOT paint it in a dark colour if you’re ceiling is low-ish, that will make the room cave in. 
-          Think of 2 effects: CONTRAST or COMPLEMENT. Do you want to create juxtaposition or to tie things together?  So include our friend ceiling when plotting a killer colour scheme for the room.
Finally, the effect!
Think how a ceiling can add to the room’s look. Be creative, be bold!
Off the beaten track ideas for ceiling:

-          Wallpapering

-          Tiling (ranging from ceramic,  glass and plaster- which can be painted) – this one adds texture and dimension to a plain ceiling

-          Wood

                                                                                                                                                                                      -       Incorporating lighting (often LED`s) to a tray ceiling structure

And finally, referring to the last item above, think of LIGHTING! As they go hand in hand.  Below are some stunning lighting and ceiling combinations to die for:
 Shots of New York’s Cienna Ultra Lounge which used LED lighting in ceiling pockets filled with acrylic strands, gorgeous.
Video imaging maps colourfully and dynamically the  ceiling of the restaurant/bar in the one of a kind Sofitel Hotel in Vienna. Wish it was my crew hotel there…

-Style + Function + Love + You-
Theo Flamenbaum

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