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Ceiling Details: Straight Up

Nobody would disagree about the importance of ceilings as an architectural feature of any home. They provide shelter, help define the boundaries of a room, and, since the late 80’s, have been the dance space of choice for Lionel Richie. I don’t need to sell you on the idea that a ceiling is a necessity.

What I do want to talk about is ceiling details. Sure, we all appreciate the utilitarian aspects of ceilings, but when is the last time you took a moment to think about or appreciate a truly great looking ceiling? If you consider this from a historical perspective, you’ll recognize that ceiling details comprise some of the world’s greatest architectural and artistic achievements. I’m not saying that everyone can or should have a Sistine Chapel-style fresco on their living room ceiling (though it would definitely be a conversation starter), but some truly beautiful elements of design exist because people gave special attention to ceiling details.

You may be wondering how you can capture some of that artistic and aesthetic complexity for your own home without the help of a Renaissance painter or architect (they’re so hard to find these days!). Thankfully, I recently came across some incredible examples of ceiling details that bring a ton of character to the rooms that they’re in and also the home as a whole. Let’s check them out!

Vaulted Ceiling

Here is a great example of a vaulted ceiling. Also known as cathedral ceiling, this ceiling detail works almost like an optical illusion, drawing the eye upward and making the space feel larger. Notice the recessed can lights in this one, a great choice for bringing more light to the space.

Recessed Ceiling

A recessed ceiling (also known as a tray ceiling) is another great ceiling detail that can be attractive as well as functional. Sometimes this feature will house wiring or plumbing elements, and recessed can lights in the lower portion can be used to great effect. I love the detail that the second tier of crown molding adds to the master bedroom in this home.


Coffered Ceiling

Now we come to my favorite ceiling detail that we’re looking at today. Coffered ceilings are closely related to the recessed ceiling, with the obvious difference being the crossing details that create “multiple” recessed spaces. I’m a sucker for symmetry and repeated patterns, so I love how the ceiling detail almost mirrors the wainscoting on the wall in this room.


Incredibly, all of these fantastic ceiling details are found throughout rooms in the same home! It’s another one of our terrific listings here in Upstate, SC. You can find more details here, or by clicking on any of the photos above.

Also, if you’re looking for ideas for your home, we’ve got some you might like. You can find those here.


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