Life Home & Garden

Wednesday 29 January 2020

The Sky's the limit

Seeking the hottest new interiors trend? Don't forget to look up, writes Nathalie Marquez Courtney

A dark ceiling, painted here in Fleetwood’s Rue Chapel 1830, can create a dramatic impact and frame a space beautifully. From €21.99 for a litre,
A dark ceiling, painted here in Fleetwood’s Rue Chapel 1830, can create a dramatic impact and frame a space beautifully. From €21.99 for a litre,
Bamboo and silk light, €600 This stunning statement piece is still light and airy,
Ceiling tiles, €173 A cool, contemporary twist on the classic ceiling rose,
Jewel tone paints, from €24 This colour combo would work great across walls and ceilings,
Ceiling light, €69 A pretty, interesting pendant that pops against light or dark hues,
Monkey ceiling light, €342 A quirky addition to any ceiling,
Gold cable light, €4.60 Switching out your lighting cables is a quick way to freshen up your ceiling area,
Multi-coloured pendant cluster, €195 Add a pop of colour with cute pendants,

It was only a matter of time, really. Season after season, we fell more in love with statement lighting and grew more adventurous with our ceiling light choices - a modern chandelier, a vintage lampshade, a cool cluster of industrial lights. So it was inevitable all that looking up would lead to us rethinking the ceiling itself.

This year 'statement ceilings' are having a moment, with a whopping 300pc increase in searches on Pinterest for the term. From paints and lights to interesting beams and even tiles, we're becoming much more playful.

"Historically, we've always done something with ceilings - just look at all the beautiful detailed plasterwork in period properties," says interior designer Roisin Lafferty. "It's only been in more modern times that we started ignoring them."

Earlier this year, Roisin began experimenting with the idea of giving her own ceilings more personality when redecorating her offices, and decided to continue the wall colour right across the ceiling.

"I really encourage people to paint the doors, the skirting, paint it all in," she says. "Because it is actually quite encompassing - continuing the wall colour onto the ceiling creates a really nice, cocooning sensation. It feels almost like it wraps itself around you."

In the past, the default solution when painting a small space would be to put white on the ceiling to make the room look bigger. But, as Colourtrend's Edel Nicholson explains, the opposite can also be true.

"If you have low or sloping ceilings, painting all the surfaces the same colour will give the illusion of height, as you don't immediately notice where the ceiling begins," she explains.

Mixing different shades of the same colour can achieve a similar effect. "By choosing one colour and using tones, tints and shades of that same colour you can make a room look larger."

And if you're making the investment in statement lighting, it can make sense to go for a more daring ceiling hue.

"It can seem daunting, but if you paint the ceiling dark it will showcase your fixtures a lot more," says Roisin. "If you've got a cool oversized piece, a darker ceiling will make sure it pops and really stands out." If you're considering a darker hue, rich navy and teal shades work well. It doesn't have to stop with paint, either. You can experiment with wallpaper, decals and even tiles.

"Wallpaper is a great way of adding pattern, and tiles can add something very unique to a space," says Roisin. "I've been taking inspiration from Peruvian-inspired interiors too, looking at murals and frescoes. There are so many options for drawing the eye up."


  • Roisin Lafferty will be a speaker at house 2018 - Ireland's only trend-led and style-focused interiors event - taking place in Dublin's RDS on May 25-27, showcasing world-class design and the cream of Irish interiors talent. Buy your tickets now at Under 12s go free.

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