Some call the ceiling the fifth wall, so don't forget about it when choosing the paint colour scheme for your new home. While the possibilities are almost endless, two options are to match the ceiling to the wall colour or to simply go with white.
Matching The Ceiling Colour To The Walls
The advantage of matching the wall colour is that it creates a smooth continuous flow up the walls and along the ceiling. This approach simplifies a room by minimising contrast and disguising the horizontal line where the two meet. Particularly if the chosen colours are light or mid-toned, it can create a clean, modern and spacious look. This is especially ideal for typically smaller rooms such as bathrooms. If you prefer a darker shade for the walls and ceiling, you can still take this approach, but it will create a cosier and more intimate feel. For a large bedroom, this might be exactly what you want.
Remember also that the ceiling lies on a different plane to the walls — horizontal rather than vertical. If you hold your palm facing toward you and slowly rotate it flat, you will see how its colour darkens. The same applies to the ceiling. If you paint it the same tone as the walls, the ceiling will typically look darker. But painting it a shade or two lighter will usually more precisely match the wall colour.
Another option is to paint the ceilings white. When taking this approach, try to coordinate it with other whites in the room. This might be room trimmings, walls or white furniture that you are planning to decorate the room with. The reason for this is that they all differ — white can be stark or rich and have cool grey or warm yellow undertones. Some look bright and crisp, others creamy and others greyish. Ideally, you should try to match the undertones.
It can be difficult to classify one white shade in isolation, however. The trick here is to place the various shades side by side because, in comparison, the differences become apparent. While layering a room with white is effective, the variations just need to be selected carefully. One easy way is to use precisely the same colour with different sheens — a flat white for the ceiling and walls and a semi-gloss for the trimmings, for example.
Consistency Of Colour Throughout The Home
You don't necessarily need to paint every ceiling in the home the same colour. Though for open living areas, it is best to paint the ceiling the same colour to create a unified flow. However, it is fine to paint other rooms, particularly those with closed doors such as bedrooms and bathrooms, different colours. In a child's room, it can be fun to paint a skyscape of clouds or to use decorative paints. A feature ceiling can provide a good compromise if a child wants a unique wall colour. A dark roof in a bathroom can create an exciting high-contrast feature. Because you have total carte blanche with a new home, your home builder can create the exact creative ceiling you are after.