Don’t Forget the 5th Wall – Ceilings Need Love, Too!
When painting a room, it’s easy to get caught up in the basics: wall color and trim. People often get so overwhelmed with the “four walls” of their space that they overlook one of the most important areas of the room — the ceiling. Often referred to as the 5th wall, it’s a large, visible space that, if given some love, can totally transform a room.
Every wall is an opportunity. Imagine if Michelangelo skipped the ceiling!
The ultimate ceiling: The Sistine Chapel
Often less expensive than wall paint, ceiling paint is manufactured to dry faster and splash less, cover imperfections and is usually pretty easy to work with. Ceiling paints are created to be extra flat; this scatters the light and blurs imperfections on large surfaces. That’s why you don’t use ceiling paint on walls — the trade-off for that extra flat finish means it’s less washable. Thankfully, unless your Spiderman, you won’t have pesky fingerprints to clean.
When preparing for your ceiling paint, pay special attention to the light and how it reflects upwards on the space. The green from your landscaping can influence how the color reads, just as a cooler blue tone can be case if you live near a body of water.
The white ceiling provides a finished feel and welcomes the natural light. Here, they upped the game with a gloss finish.
6 Steps to a Spectacular Ceiling:
- White: Usually the most obvious ceiling choice is white. It’s a safe choice that’s effective at making ceilings brighter, especially when the walls are lighter, giving it a traditional, clean feel. Typically, you match the ceiling to the same white shade as the trim. This is a great option for a bright, open areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
- Monochramatic: Another option is to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls, providing a monochromatic feel. Soothing to the eye, it adds an element of depth and drama, often making the ceilings appear higher. This affect will “erase” the boundary between the walls and ceiling.
- Use a percentage: Get creative and go a shade darker or lighter to add depth, dimension and interest. Darker ceilings will allow a room to feel a little lower and more intimate (best for higher ceilings), while a shade lighter than the wall color provides a lifting effect.
- Add a pop of color: Go crazy on the ceiling! Paint it a totally different color or create a design to make a statement. It’s your home after all, so it should reflect you and your creativity! Bright colors can add a sense of fun and whimsy to kids spaces without overwhelming the whole room.
Kids rooms are the perfect place to let your creative juices flow!
- Shine on: Adding a gloss to the ceiling makes a major design statement by creative a reflective, minor-like surface. It can brighten the entire room, make the color seem more intense and make the ceilings seem higher. So chic.
Kitchen ceiling painted in Cousteau gloss, C2-713
C2 Paint LUXE offers the beauty of full spectrum color with a gloss sheen, and can be tinted to any color imaginable.
- Don’t forget porch ceilings: One of the most revered paint colors for porches is pale blue to add a classic design detail that gives the space personality. Though made famous in the south, this color is popular nationwide for a variety of reasons: some say it brings the outside in; others say it keeps away evil spirits and wasp nests…but most everyone agrees it’s a soothing color for relaxing outdoors.
Looking for a pop of color to spruce up your space this summer? Here are the quick color fixes to get you geared up for the warm weather.
1. Paint the inside of your front door: It’s like wearing your favorite rock star t-shirt underneath a business suit. Only those close to you can appreciate your unique style. With colors like Al Green (an energetic, yellow-green), Diva (a deep, sophisticated red) and Pond Shimmer (an eye-catching green blue from the Barry Dixon Collection)… your front door will become your newest work of art, and can change with the seasons – or your mood!
Paint the inside of the front door to add color and the element of surprise!
2. Paint Kitchen Cabinets: They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, so use colors, and products, that last! C2’s revolutionary Cabinet and Trim Paint features patented Polywhey® technology — a safe, easy-to-use finish using recycled dairy whey protein. The result is a smooth, porcelain-hard finish that is one of the most eco-friendly and durable products in the marketplace (p.s. it’s also great for floors!)
Designers Catherine and Justine Macfee transformed this kitchen to achieve a farm-to-table feel with a modern twist. They took advantage of every surface, using Parchment (C2-915) for the walls and Filament (C2-798) for the cabinetry. To top it off, they artfully mixed a pattern on the floor, with Urbane (C2-808) and stripes of Filament for a personal touch.
Painting cabinets tell a color story in your kitchen
3. Paint an Accent Wall: An easy and effective way to add color to a room is to paint an accent wall using a super premium paint like C2 Luxe in a sophisticated, eye-catching color. Draw attention to beautiful bookshelves, while adding contrast and energy to the space. Try a deep, powerful blue like Espionage (C2-742).
Deep, rich colors can create an interesting focal point
Leave a comment below and tell us how you spruce up your space for summer!
There is something undeniably glamorous about a minimalist stance — the balancing act of reduction; the idea of “less is more”. But to eclipse color and blanket everything with black holds a magic of its own. Currently, I am experiencing a great sense of relief and freedom with this intentional choice and, for the first time, refusing to get caught up in the drama and complexity that comes with layering color and forming harmonious, complimentary color palettes. As much as I love, adore and appreciate color — and its walk before me every minute of my day — there is something currently refreshing and appealing in the choice to remove it all and surround myself with black, and the many discovering shades thereof. I see that I have always underestimated the value of black as an exclusive choice, perhaps fearing that this strikingly dramatic solo player might possibly overplay its hand.
Experimenting with varying shades of black.
For me, black has always played the supporting role in a production. Though a valued and highly regarded team player in my cast of colour, it was never center stage. However, while walking this path of new discovery (also partly inspired by the purchase of my new home that begs for the unusual), I realise that black needs no partners; it has a mysterious and secretive world all of its own. It contains and absorbs all colour.
This black gloss powder room delivers the drama.
Many of you stand alone in the darkness, with the self-bravery and courage to venture out into this world. For me, I am faced with my memory and fear of dark lake waters and being told to ‘jump in’. They say the dark waters represent the unconscious mind and your fullest potential, which especially at a young age are unknown and intimidating.
I’m inspired by the “dark side” of my friend, London-based stylist, retailer and designer Abigail Ahern
a who embraces the dark colors and adventurous interiors.
Ahern’s signature colour palette is an array of intoxicating, dark, inky “bottom of the lake” hues.
As I open myself up to black in its quiet, reflective solitude, I am learning to focus on its nurturing qualities – the richness of good soil, the lone flight of a raven across a grey misted winter sky, the surface of a long road that supports me each day in travel.
In my design, black supports and almost demands a lack of clutter and the introduction of furnishings and art that allows these pieces to shine bright like stars in the darkness.
And, I confess to going to personal extremes in my new-found respect of black by eliminating the flavoured creamers in my coffee that lined the refrigerator door. I am now a coffee-drinking purist with no ten word order for my morning java.
Taking my new affinity toward black personally by removing the creamer from my coffee!
Today, there are so many variations of the standard black-black that instead of feeling mired in the darkness, they highlight the subtle undertones: bruised blue-black, deep amazon green-blacks, black with a warm red or umber influence that looks like dark roasted coffee beans — all rich and intoxicating.
C2’s line of “near blacks” represents a full range of the dark side with colors like Aperture, Stout and Baritone. The saturation of C2’s finely ground pigments provides a “black” with undertones of dark greens and blues that have much higher resolution and an intense depth.
The eternal classic pairing of black and white (featured: C2’s Aperture + Architectural White)
Embracing black is a process that I welcome and embrace, even knowing the challenges it poses. On a recent design collaboration for a public Buffalo Showhouse event, I used my new ally partnered simply with white. The classic combination was chic, classic and sophisticated. I partnered with Traci Ackerman of Red Disc Design and created a schematic around her Burchfield Penney wallpaper launch with the ‘Flowers at Night’ wallpaper.
With the historic 1921 design by Burchfield Penney we selected a contemporary C2 color palette of esoteric midnight black – Aperture, with a calibrated measure of Seraph – a soft blue grey tucked into window niches and the hallway.
The black and white schematic navigated me into a more minimalist aesthetic, which, given that I have moved home four times in the past 19 months, definitely has its pluses. Everything becomes so punctuated against a dark background — and needs careful curation. It is a more definite and orchestrated production in furnishing the space with a need to view and understand all the nuances and subtleties of light, texture and the combinations of finishes. The identity of the space becomes a place for self reflection and peace for me.
How long this will last? I have no idea. The beauty of our homes is that they allow us to create a refuge that represents that particular chapter of our lives, and can change just as easily with the ebb and flow of time.For now, I’m enjoying and embracing “the dark side” for now, and all the teachings that came with this new direction.
It’s always fun to pop into the paint store and check out the latest color trends, imaging the magical transformation a new paint color creates. There is no other tool in the designer’s kit that brings a bigger bang for the design buck than fresh paint.
There’s nothing worse than a near-miss when it comes to color. Sure, the all-out color disaster would qualify, but how often does that happen with paint? Not nearly as often as those near-misses. We see them often.
To keep you from heading towards disaster, keep the following tips in minds as you dream of stunning new color…
When choosing paint color, always try before you buy
Top 10 Tricks the Pros Use When Choosing Color:
- Do not choose your color in the paint store without taking it home for a test run.
- Pick up a wet paint sample and a mini roller (foam brushes don’t lay enough paint for an accurate color reading).
- Paint a minimum sample size on your wall that’s at least 24” x 24”. Bigger is always better.
- Test your color in three areas: in the corner, the wall opposite the largest window and the window wall itself (this way you can see the color on the lightest wall, darkest wall, while the corner will show you the most intensified color).
- The best time of day to choose colors is between 10am to 2pm – when the sun is highest in the sky.
- Take step #5 to heart, but make sure to analyze your color with your morning coffee and with your evening cocktails. Your color will look different during each time of day.
- Color is all about relationships. When it comes to choosing paint, make sure you have assembled all the important elements that will be in the room; sofa, carpet and tile, cabinetry, etc. The color of your paint is a lot easier to adjust than anything else in a design scheme (and even easier if you haven’t painted yet!)
- When comparing more than one color, make sure you can view your samples individually, otherwise the different colors will influence each other.
- Consider using a color professional. This is what they do, and you can save a lot of time and effort by heading in the right direction from the beginning.
- Give yourself enough time to find your perfect color. Taking your time minimizes the stress of making the ‘right’ decision, and you can make sure you’ve got it nailed down before the painter gets rolling!
Consider hiring a professional color expert. Here, interior designer Paula McHugh is working with Daly’s Dan Cookston.