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5 Ceiling Design Ideas for 2022

Tin tiles on the ceiling.

Ever heard of the fifth wall? There is so much attention lately on ceiling design that designers have started calling it the fifth wall. Paying attention to the great expanse above you not only puts you right on trend for 2022, but it opens up a world of possibilities.

The ceiling is no longer a flat, neutral space that can be ignored. It’s an opportunity to add more design and ambiance to your spaces. Here are five ceiling design ideas that are right on trend for 2022 and beyond.

 

White stretch ceiling in a white open living space.

 

1. Smooth & Reflective

If you’re not ready to go all out on the ceiling, a stretch ceiling is the perfect first step toward ceiling style. A stretch ceiling uses one solid piece of a material (PVC/plastic, textiles, etc.) to cover your entire ceiling seamlessly.

A stretch ceiling can be done in any color or finish, but high-gloss or reflective is on trend. The sheen draws a bit of attention to the ceiling and enhances lighting with its reflective qualities. If you’re feeling a bit more confident about the ceiling design, try a mirrored finish. You’ll be surprised by the effect it creates without being overly flamboyant.

 

Unique coffered ceiling with wood plank.

2. Textures & Patterns

Opposite to the smooth stretch ceiling, some texture or pattern is a much more overt way to dress that fifth wall. Tin ceiling is a classic example that’s been beloved for over a century. Elegant patterns in bas relief add interest and depth to the room.

Another of-the-moment ceiling designs is wood paneling/planks. This adds some effortless warmth in a material that doesn’t take over the space but adds to the aesthetic. A simple way to employ that fifth wall is with wallpaper. It comes in abundant patterns and colors so you can find the paper that suits your design and personality easily.

 

Ceiling with up-lighting on the beams.

3. Light It Up

When you go to the trouble of creating something worth looking at on the ceiling, be sure there’s enough light to enjoy it. If you have architectural elements on your ceiling like a tray, you can have some fun with a little creative lighting. Add strip LED lights to the vertical part of the tray for a glow around the perimeter of the tray. Hang a series of pendant lights from the tray or place recessed lights in each coffer to further attract attention to your ceiling.

Skylights are a must-have in design today. A skylight functions as a form of lighting but also stands alone as a ceiling feature. It’s a great way to invite the great outdoors indoors and bring some nature into your design.

 

Tray ceiling painted gray with chandelier.

4. Architectural Ceiling Elements

A ceiling with architectural elements really makes the fifth wall special. Tray ceilings, coffered ceilings, and crown molding are the most popular, and well-established, ways to create interest on the ceiling. It’s on trend in 2022 to give architectural elements a little twist: use triangles for a coffered ceiling instead of squares, paint the top of the tray ceiling a different color or cover it with a different material, do some creative lighting.

There’s no limit to what you can do on the fifth wall with custom drywall work. Try a circular or star-shaped tray ceiling, create arches or mock flying buttresses, or do something completely unique of your own design.

 

Charcoal gray ceiling with light gray walls in a living space.

5. Color

A more conservative approach to the ceiling—that has just as much of an impact—can be achieved with color. Paint the ceiling a different color from the walls and you’re in business. Neutral colors will make the ceiling different without diverting too much attention from other elements in the space. Bold colors will demand attention and set the tone for the design.

Color can be combined with any of the above elements we’ve discussed. Add color to a tray or coffered ceiling for a unique effect. Select a colored tin ceiling tile or colorful patterned wallpaper. Use programmable LED colored lighting to change up the ceiling design. Use color to bring out the architectural elements you add to the ceiling.


The space above your head is just waiting for your attention. That fifth wall can be so much more. It’s a blank canvas that enhances, or even sets the stage, for your overall style.

Take a look at how ceiling design transformed this basement.

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