This is a stylish alternative to the generic wallpaper or painted ceilings that are common in homes today. The idea with these kinds of ceilings is to use them sparingly – perhaps in the dining or living room, or on a drop ceiling in the bedroom. This approach allows this to work as an accent feature, as opposed to it covering the entire ceiling – which can tend to get boring after a while.
The photos above show what’s called kibari-tenjou here in Japan, which, literally speaking, means a wood-panel ceiling. But in many cases, it’s simply a wood veneer over an MDF substrate, or even just a printed plastic covering. In this case, I’m using the printed plastic veneered panels. This option provides the most uniform result in terms of color and pattern.
Note here that unlike floors, ceilings aren’t walked on, and can maintain their original, new appearance for a good many years. Because of this, the option of a plastic veneer – given its beauty and uniformity – is certainly a worthy consideration. Alternatively, wood and wooden veneered products are less uniform aesthetically, and less stable, making these options more suited to a rustic/rough motif.
Accenting Your Ceiling with Style
Accenting with your ceilings can add a whole new dimension to your home interior. Because your ceiling isn’t in your immediate field of vision, this feature introduces a more subtle kind of visual enjoyment. That said, the ceiling area directly above your bed or living room sofa may get some focused attention from time to time, so be sure to keep that in mind.
From a very general and geometric standpoint, there are basically just two ways of creating a ceiling accent. — In relation to a fixed standard, either drop or raise a portion of your ceiling. The idea here is to make the lower ceiling the veneer finish, with the higher part a white (or other contrasting color of your choosing) wallpaper finish. You can try it the other way around, but I personally find this combination looks best.
The two most common scenarios are:
1. Square-within-a-square. Either drop or raise the inner square.
2. Slice off a section of a room and either drop or raise that. In relation to the shape of the room, this slice can be straight, diagonal, or all curvy, whatever suits your fancy.
The sky is the limit when it comes to the shape, size, and geometry of this feature, so you can probably have a bit of fun with this one. However, unless it’s a very large room, you probably don’t want to drop or raise the ceiling too much – maybe between 40 and 100 millimeters, as you don’t want to lose too much room height, not to mention the aesthetics of the border transition.
Possible exceptions to this would be:
1. There’s a specific section of the room – like a kitchen or corner within a larger dining room for example – where the ceiling directly above it can be brought lower without looking unnatural.
2. You want a drop ceiling that itself houses accent lighting in its outer perimeter. In this case you’d need to allow sufficient space to house the fixtures.
3. You plan to have a permanent table and chair setup directly underneath the drop ceiling, and wish to bring it down nice and close to create that cozy feel – maybe have a few down lights up in there.
But in the end, there really is no hard and fast rule as far as dos and don’ts go. And even if there was, there are always exceptions to the rule. As with many unique design features, there are those that love it and those that hate it. Don’t be afraid to experiment and do what you think looks good.