Look Up, Look Down, Look All Around...

I've been seeing a lot of painted ceilings lately:

painted ceilings painted ceilings painted ceilings painted ceilings painted ceilings

Ooohhhh ahhhh, pretty!

But I tell you dudes what: I would think long and hard before I did something like this. We just painted a ton of ceilings in our house, because the stupid previous owners decided that the fugly khaki green beige on the walls would look just as smashing on the ceilings. And I guess it does -- if by "smashing" you mean "like the inside of a butt."

After seeing the difference a coat of light, neutral paint makes, I don't think I'll be painting any ceilings dark or dramatic colors unless they are A) at least 10 feet tall, B) in rooms with lots of light, or C) in dark rooms where you want the ceiling to merge with the wall -- thus reducing contrast and enlarging the space.

I have none of those things going on at my house, therefore me and my bucket of Simply White shall continue to do battle with the exorcist vomit spewed all over our ceilings.

But maybe I'm wrong. Have you ever gone wild on the ceiling? Was it a good thing?

Later, taters. The lovely inlaws have Ike so I plan to tackle tons o' work today.

[images via my pinterest, sorry I'm so lazy]

Oh, What A Feeling!

How about wallpaper on the ceiling? All of this back and forth about wall art made me realize that I've been putting off finishing one of the most important walls in my house -- the entry way ceiling. My foyer is kind of bland, and for the tacky hearted (like moi), that just ain't gonna cut it. So I've been cruising some of my favorite wallpaper sites, and I've put together a few selections that might do the trick. But first, a little inspiration:

lisa bengtsson

Lisa Bengtsson is a super cute graphic designer who also creates wallpaper patterns (among them is this paper, one of most featured of the year). The floral paper in the picture is custom, but I think you could have it made in different dimensions, or maybe even stencil some designs in a similar configuration.

For a more allover look, I like this Cole and Son wallpaper:

cole and son

Cole and Son's Malabar wallpaper holds court on the ceiling of a cheeky Bel Air home. Photo courtesy of the inimitable Walnut Wallpaper.

And I like that wallpaper can be used to define unique spaces:

point click home

This nifty nook seen at pointclickhome is saved from blandom by a creative application of wallpaper in the stairwell.

The key to making it work seems to be keeping the pattern graphic but simple, in limited colors, and choosing something that will work overhead, i.e., no toiles that imitate natural scenes (unless you often lay on the floor to view the ceiling... and hey, I'm not gonna judge).

Without further ado, my personal favorites for your viewing pleasure:

flavor paper

flavor paper

All of the above are selections from Flavor Paper. I definitely have a soft spot for psychedelic prints, and I'm currently leaning toward black and white to keep it simple, although GOLD is always an inspired choice. The neon yellow lace is just for fun, even though I think it would rock Karly's house.

Next a sampling from Erica Wakerly's wallcoverings line, first seen over at Erin Loechner's loverly blog Design For Mankind:

erica wakerly

I kind of want to do my ceiling black because my walls are so pale that a little extra drama seems warranted, but I don't want the hall to look like an Oreo cookie... I think the gold and black Angles could be fantastic, although I wish I had an all white house so I could do that hot orange number. Delish.

And finally, OG playaz Cole and Son have about 6 gajillion wallpaper patters, so finding a few stunners was easy:

cole and son

(pictures via Select Wallpaper)

The Malachite pattern on the top left by Italian designer Fornasetti is pretty amazing, but I'm not sure the scale will work... I wish there was an awesome wallpaper store here in Austin where I could look at and touch the actual papers. Hint, hint, fashionable Austin businessites!

Ok, here's my silly little hallway. Sorry in advance for the bad picture... new digital camera is on its way!


Yes, my baby was built in the 60's and it shows. Don't worry... those creepy miniblinds are OUT as soon as I choose a door color (shhhhh! don't tell my Hunny Bunny. He's one of those wrong people that believe you should never paint woodwork. As if! And yes, I want to paint the other woodwork, too.) So what do you think? Can you see some uber dramatic wallpaper on the ceiling?

Or should I go all Wary Meyers on it:

war ymeyers

I could use the pendant light as the focal point instead of a peeophole (which I do not have). I might even get crazy and continue down some of the walls...

So, what do you guys think? Am I already in over my head with a crazy red dining room, a super 60's diamond cut out door, a weirdo brick floor, and a funky post and lintel archway, or should I just keep on going?

Shine On

I find it strange that most people don't give a lot of thought to ceilings. I mean, that's kind of like ignoring the sky, right? Lately, however, I've noticed more ceilings becoming part of an interior's overall design, perhaps because we've exhausted the ornamental possibilities for every other surface. I like the idea of using ceilings as fifth walls. After all, Michelangelo didn't paint the floors of the Sistine Chapel... possibly because he thought it was a little blasphemous for poo encrusted shoes to sully God's face, but that's really for another discussion. As far as the 21st century goes, I think uber glamor goddess Kelly Wearstler may have kicked off this latest development of transfigured ceilings. Behold:


A little bordello and a lot Sinatra-era Las Vegas, but the mirrored ceilings expand the height of the room to a much more impressive scale, and the patterned rug fits with a bit of breathing room into a space that may have felt squeezed and claustrophobic without its reflective counterpart.

If the mirrors are a little too honeymoon suite for you, Domino featured a DIY segment on silver leafing your ceilings a while ago:

silver leaf ceiling

It's still pretty bold relative to ordinary flat white ceiling paint, and at least you wouldn't be worried that guests were looking down your blouse while checking out the chandelier. I think it's softly sweet (though not with that blue paint, and I would prefer the baroque solid gold of Karly's old discotheque bathroom); the real issue is the cost -- Domino listed the price for this project at slightly over $3500. Dollars. For a teeny tiny space. And gold costs a lot more. But if you gotta have it, you can check out gilded planet for more info on how to (tediously) do it yourself.

While catching up on my Decorno posts, I saw that New York Magazine featured this frankly awesome Christopher Coleman designed apartment replete with ultra shiny everything, especially the ceilings.


Sterile, yes, but how often do you see surfaces so smooth outside of a museum? There is serious obsession at work here; for everything to be so glossy and white, the finish has to be absolutely flawless. I don't think I could ever live here, but I admire the (piercing) clarity of vision.

Flickr user Survivestyle5, who I found on Jennifer Perkins' Naughty Secretary Club blog, showcases this quiet beauty designed by one of my heroes Miles Redd:


Ah, exhale. Now I could live here. I love the combination of darkish ceiling with ultra glossy paint -- shiny is almost always sexy, but the blue keeps it serene and the dark floors keep it cozily grounded.

My faves are the rooms designed by Vicente Wolf. He's like a maturer, er, cleaner version of me:

vicente wolf

I'm sure a lot of people will find these rooms boring -- there's no Hick's Hexagon fabric, no pink and red color palettes, no zebra or coral, and no turquoise foo dogs in plain view. And, yes, for the record I do have pretty much all of the above mentioned things in my own home, but sometimes it's nice to focus on texture and scale and light. The glossy white ceilings are such a huge part of everything that is right and refreshing in these rooms -- they're like a vacation from sensory overload.

In fact, I'm feeling so cleansed that I may have to run out and buy some paint to outfit my hallway in crazy black stripes. Definitely glossy.