Ceiling Color Inspiration: Look Up!

Ceiling painted black

Decorating the Fifth Wall

How many walls do you plan on painting in your room? Three? Four? Look up. That ceiling is truly your fifth wall and often an overlooked territory. And, while there are industrial size canisters of “ceiling white” paint available, we love using color on the ceiling to add nuance to a room.

Liz Dahlin from the Woodbury Hirshfield’s has some beautiful examples of how even subtle shifts from plain white can harmonize and elevate the wall colors you’ve selected and enhance the entire space

“Depending on the overall palette, I like to use Hirshfield’s 0006 Little Dove or 0012 Bunny Cake with warmer, deeper walls. For lighter or cooler colors, I like Hirshfield’s 0011 Sugar Dust. For a crisp contrast to grays and blues, I love Benjamin Moore White Dove.”

Veranda Magazine stained ceilling
Veranda magazine March/April 2014

“My most recent decorating project involved a new screen porch. My original plan was to whitewash the shiplap walls, ceiling and beams. For me, the best-looking whitewash begins with a dark stain or color underneath. Then I saw this photo. I mixed up an almost black transparent stain using Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat and covered everything. I went ahead and put the chandelier up and that night when I flipped the switch I knew I wouldn’t be whitewashing. The dark ceiling dissolved away and the chandelier seemed like it was floating in air. The effect was truly magical.”

House Beautiful Black Panther Benjamin Moore
Ceiling and trim color Benjamin Moore Black Panther | House Beautiful March 2015

“I’m a huge fan of a dark ceiling in defined spaces, especially those that are used primarily at night like dining rooms or dens.”     

Architectural Digest January 2015 page 124
Architectural Digest January 2015

“This library gains so much of its warmth and presence because the designer chose a deep bronze tea paper for the ceiling instead of white. Again, at night it must be spectacular.

Benjamin Moore Arctic Gray 1577 | Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC-172
Ceiling color Arctic Gray | wall color Revere Pewter | Martha O’Hara Interiors

“Here’s a beautiful example of how you can use one color in different shades to bring harmony to a room. I would say, though, that it is the most successful using more neutral color families like the currently favored grays.”

“Camels and champagnes are on the horizon. I especially like using a whiter crown molding to delineate the two colors. The effect is much more soft and soothing than a straight white ceiling. A perfect choice for a bedroom. “

Carrie Cornell from the Lakeville Hirshfield’s favors “off-whites for ceiling colors such as Hirshfield’s Ultra Premium Ceiling Paint or Benjamin Moore White Dove” but adds, “why not consider a little drama in a dark color if the walls are done in a lighter color. For example, coffered ceilings with Hirshfield’s color 0528 Greybeard to offset a room.”

If you’re not sure which color combinations work (there are literally thousands from which to choose) don’t worry. We’ve got a team ready to help, plus you can also test drive colors before you commit with color samples.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

4 Responses
  1. We live in a manufactured home where the ceiling lights are almost to the top of the lease in every room our dining room has a new chandelier that my husband installed. I would love to have a medallion put above the mounting plate. Can this be done and not make the chandelier look like it is hanging crooked? My main color in three room is Annie Sloan’s Louis Blue chalk paint. The table top is old white chalk paint with about six coats of polyurethane on it. There is a corner cupboard painted those same colors. Body: Louis Blue, Trim: Old white. And I would be agreeable to any suggestions on wall or ceiling color. Carpet is being replaced by Pergo or the like? All walls and ceiling are currently white.. Can you help?

Leave a Reply