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Wondering what is missing from your home dcor? Better look straight up: Modern ceilings are anything but boring. The newest designs are all about personality, even a little shine. And there are a ton of options.
But which style should you pick? Should you DIY or hire a pro? Well, this all depends on what your ceiling looks like now -- and your patience level. If you have the dreaded popcorn ceilings or stamped designs in the plaster, experts say removal can be messy and slow-going. The only surefire way of removal is to scrape, and scrape and scrape. If that all sounds like much too much, you might be better off hiring someone to do your dirty work. And yes, it can be dirty.
When you're choosing a design, "a ceiling update must be integrated with an overall vision for the room," says Amy Courage, co-founder of DesignBar, an interior design firm in Chicago. This means a gold metallic ceiling may not fit well in a beige study. And you need to consider dimensions and space before undertaking anything. Some designs -- such as dark-colored paint -- will make small rooms appear even smaller, while brightly patterned wallpaper may get lost in a large space.
Read on for some inspiration on how to do this oft-ignored surface:
Wallpaper from top to bottom
Wallpaper isn't just for your walls anymore. Wallpaper -- either with a pattern, metallic sheen, or just your favorite shade -- can add texture and depth to a ceiling. Worried about actually making this happen? Look for easy-to-apply adhesive wallpaper to speed things up.
Keep it shiny
Love the look of candlelight? You can create that vibe and appearance on your ceiling with metallic paint (or wallpaper).
"I love the look of candles reflected in a mirror. Amp this concept up with a metallic on the ceiling. This is especially gorgeous in a dining room, lending a reflective glow to lighting or candles down below," says Courage.
Make it pop
Accent walls were all the rage a few years ago, but now those accents have moved upward. Adding a small burst of color can make the whole room pop, but remember two key points: Go bright and go easy.
"Homeowners are choosing very bright accent colors for these areas. Just a small space will do the job. Think about one accent wall and small ceiling run or section," says Geoff Sharp, owner of Sharper Impressions Painting Co.
Try tin tiles
Tin ceiling tiles add texture and look amazing in historic homes, kitchens, and covered patio areas, but the real thing can be expensive. Here's modern ingenuity to the rescue! Hardware stores sell plastic versions of the tiles that work as good as the real thing. "Lowe's tin ceiling tiles, when seen from the floor, are a dead ringer for the originals, much less expensive, and easier to install," says Courage.
Give the impression of height
Wish you had higher ceilings? A simple paint job can make it feel like you do.
"Not every home has the super-high ceilings we all dream of. To create an illusion of height, try a super-white ceiling paired with darker walls," says Courage.
Reclaim the ceiling
We're seeing reclaimed wood everywhere in design, but our favorite spot might be the ceiling. It fits several different dcor themes -- rustic, industrial, farmhouse, you name it -- and it can be done cheaply to boot.
"You can use wood that would not be suitable for flooring and don't even have to stain it for a raw, but classic look," says Courage.
Go for modern industrial
Updating large ceiling spaces -- like the basement -- can be a challenge, especially if you're looking at the added costs of adding drywall to cover up exposed pipes. If you're a little daring, you might consider solid black.
"Save a ton of money, and instead of installing a drop ceiling, have the joists and ceiling painted flat black with a spray," says Sharp. The results end up looking like an incredibly modern, incredibly cool pub space.
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Watch: Do You Need to Remodel Before You Sell?