Looking up: eight great designs for ceilings

Make the most of the space above your head by playing with colour and light

London-based Red Deer Architecture’s refurbishment of  property on Harley Street uses a pared-back monochrome palette of just black, white and grey to create a sharp sense of flow within the property.  Photograph: Billy Bolton

London-based Red Deer Architecture’s refurbishment of property on Harley Street uses a pared-back monochrome palette of just black, white and grey to create a sharp sense of flow within the property. Photograph: Billy Bolton

 

HIGHLIGHT ORIGINAL DETAILS

High ceiling heights allow you to play with colour while using the texture of the period features, such as dado rails or decorative plasterwork (see main photo), to form punctuation points and highlight a certain part of the space.

London-based Red Deer Architecture’s refurbishment of this Grade II listed property on Harley Street uses a pared-back monochrome palette of just black, white and grey to create a sharp sense of flow within the property.

The neo-classical plasterwork has been painted a gunmetal grey to draw attention to the living room area. This also helps to draw attention to the reclaimed Douglas Fir floors, fire surrounds and mid-century furniture to create a successful marriage of styles. reddeer.co.uk

Soho House White City in the former BBC Television Centre in London makes much use of the concrete and ribbed timber of the building’s era.
Soho House White City in the former BBC Television Centre in London makes much use of the concrete and ribbed timber of the building’s era.

TAKING A RIBBING

Soho House White City in the former BBC Television Centre in London makes much use of the concrete and ribbed timber of the building’s era.

Shown here is a lacquered concrete ceiling that has a pattern embossed into the material to create a sense of texture. It’s a clever way to bring in a feature colour onto the dimension above, often dubbed the fifth wall by decorators.

Lead designer Linda Boronkay added ribbed timber dado rail height panelling to bring further textured to the space that includes fabrics by Tibor.   

whitecityhouse.com; lindaboronkay.com

Hirsch Bedner Associates installed draped blinds to create a convex version of barrel vaults in the Orient Hotel Jerusalem.
Hirsch Bedner Associates installed draped blinds to create a convex version of barrel vaults in the Orient Hotel Jerusalem.

THROWING CURVES

Barrel-vaulted ceilings have been trending with the traditional Tuscan and Spanish designs, made of terracotta, fusing two trends, the ceiling form and the material into one supremely attractive style.

It’s not a feature that you see much here in Ireland but an interpretation see here at the Orient Jerusalem, part of the Istotel group, takes the idea in an entirely new direction, a smart one that can be executed on glass box extensions where you may have too much sun in summer. The atrium of the hotel has a flat glass roof and to add shade as well as dial down the effects of sound hitting the bare stone walls of the hotel’s 19th century Templar buildings, so design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates installed draped blinds to create a convex version of barrel vaults. hba.com

Interior designer Tala Fustok installed a Bedouin-style canopy of folded fabric above the super luxurious bed of the Mandrake Suite at the Mandrake Hotel in London’s Fitzrovia.
Interior designer Tala Fustok installed a Bedouin-style canopy of folded fabric above the super luxurious bed of the Mandrake Suite at the Mandrake Hotel in London’s Fitzrovia.

SWATHE IT IN FABRIC

 

Draped ceilings are not new. Classic American designers like Dorothy Draper and Carlton Varney have been using them for decades to add drama to Park Avenue penthouses and then they fell of the face of the earth until interior designer Tala Fustok installed one above the super luxurious bed of the Mandrake Suite at the Mandrake Hotel in London’s Fitzrovia.

This version is swathed in a Bedouin-style canopy of folded fabric, a gorgeous, glamour-puss way of creating a soft sensuous space. And unlike some of the hotels OTT touches, to wit a hanging garden, a labradorite bar and a tattoo-lined lift it’s an interpretation that you can take home with you. The seductive hallways painted in dark, sultry tones is another.talafustok.co.uk; manaloandwhite.co.uk

Can Bordoy Grand House and Garden a historic property in the centre of Palma de Mallorca. Photograph: José Hevia
Can Bordoy Grand House and Garden a historic property in the centre of Palma de Mallorca. Photograph: José Hevia

TOUCH IT WITH GOLD

Can Bordoy Grand House and Garden is a historic property in the centre of Palma de Mallorca that has been turned into a 24-room boutique hotel. 

Local firm Oliver Hernaiz Architecture Lab, OHLAB, was inspired by the traditional Japanese technique of Kintsugi – the art of repairing broken antique porcelain with a precious material, such as gold dust, to highlight rather than conceal the repairs and in doing so creates something that may be more precious flawed than in pristine condition.

This has been the thinking behind the very subtle refurbishment of this 500 year old property. While gilded the simple coving has been under-dressed so that it feels authentic. canbordoy.com; hohlab.net

San Francisco-based Malcolm Davis Architecture has used long lights almost at the edge of this room at its project at Camp Baird to subtly wash the room below in soft, indirect light.
San Francisco-based Malcolm Davis Architecture has used long lights almost at the edge of this room at its project at Noe Valley Residence to subtly wash the room below in soft, indirect light.

LET IN THE LIGHT

Roof lights are one way to add points of interest to a ceiling. But they need careful consideration not just to ensure they’re angled in a way that will illuminate worktops or cooking hubs but also that they look good.

San Francisco-based Malcolm Davis Architecture has used long lights almost at the edge of this room at its project at the Noe Valley Residence to subtly wash the room below in soft, indirect light.

The use of warm timber battens underneath help to create a sense of shadowplay and give the look additional texture. It’s a visual trick that Dublin-based architect Mícheál de Siún of De Siun Architectshas also used but on a recently featured house in Skerries he wnet one further, cladding the each side of the battens of a seaside kitchen in mirror to refract the beams and create a gorgeous criss-cross effect of shadowplay on the wall below. mdarch.net; desiun.ie 

Louise Ashdown, head of design at West One bathrooms selected soft chalky textures starting with white sanitary ware, and marrying them with the earthy tones of the console storage in matt ‘Corteccia’ lacquer.
Louise Ashdown, head of design at West One bathrooms selected soft chalky textures starting with white sanitary ware, and marrying them with the earthy tones of the console storage in matt ‘Corteccia’ lacquer.

CHALK IT UP

The clients for this project wanted the feel of a Belgian farmhouse with modern functionality, so Louise Ashdown, head of design at West One bathrooms selected soft chalky textures starting with white sanitary ware, and marrying them with the earthy tones of the console storage in matt ‘Corteccia’ lacquer.

There is a warm and homely feel to the textured look of large format concrete effect tiles in ‘Sage’. Spraying the walls and timber beams in the one harmonious ‘Bone’ colour paint helps to bring brings all the elements together and exposes the skeleton of the structure in a classically simple fashion. westonebathrooms.com

Fleetwood’s Pantone range with Cloud Blue up top and a warm and mellow neutral, Birch on the main walls. It’s a crisp and fresh way to change the mood of a room.
Fleetwood’s Pantone range with Cloud Blue up top and a warm and mellow neutral, Birch on the main walls. It’s a crisp and fresh way to change the mood of a room.

COLOUR CODING ON HIGH

Paint is a really simple but effective way to bring colour to your ceiling especially if you have different planes to highlight. Pictured is Fleetwood’s Pantone range with Cloud Blue up top and a warm and mellow neutral, Birch on the main walls. It’s a crisp and fresh way to change the mood of a room. In high ceilinged homes another option is to create texture by using crossbeams to break up the ceiling space and painting the beams in a light colour, such as Fleetwood’s Vogue Coco 1955, and creating contrast by picking out rest of the ceiling in a dark moody shade like Rue Chaptal 1830. By also painting the internal doors in the same shade you get a strong and cohesive look. fleetwood.ie

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