All About Painted Decorative Ceilings
Most of us are accustomed to the flat, unadorned ceilings of modernist architecture. One of the most noticeable differences between classical and modernist rooms is the attention to the ceiling. The greatest variety of painted decorative ceilings is found in classical designs. The addition of ornament creates a feeling of volume in the space. The addition of a painted decorative ceiling offers color, light and ornamentation which distinguish a classical ceiling from the mostly ignored white, flat ceilings of modern decor. An elegantly ornamented and painted decorative ceiling introduces a note of grandeur even in a room of modest size. Every good ceiling treatment produces beauty and elegance above our heads, resulting in an experience of well-being and in the best interiors a feeling of exhilaration. It will become a focal point of the room.
When you think about it, the ceiling is the preeminent surface in any room. The ceiling is the only unencumbered surface of a room and can usually be easily seen in it’s entirety. It shows the shape and design of the room in a way no other element can. A ceiling design should always be satisfying and symmetrical in composition. Such a large uninterrupted surface offers great opportunities for ornament and decoration. The ceiling reveals the central drama of the space. Simply, a ceiling composition should be a beautiful design in accordance with the character that one wishes to establish for the room.
Ceilings fall into four main categories: flat, beamed, coffered and vaulted. Of these four types, the flat ceiling has the virtue of being independent of the wall treatment. Since the flat ceiling in a sense is structurally inert. Appearing simply as a plane surface, it does not impose any particular line or force any particular direction. For this reason it is usually reserved for rooms of modest dimension in order to avoid a monotonous expanse overhead. Flat ceilings are perfect for ornamentation and as a canvas for the decorative painter, such as adding sky murals overhead.
When you add ceiling ornamentation consider the opportunities the ornamentation provides for the use of color on the ceiling itself. When you use running ornament connected with corners it creates a border or frame for the center of the ceiling. You may choose to add an accent color to the border which will call more attention to the outside dimension of the room and will frame the center giving more importance to the central medallion. The color palette can bring a feeling of more intimacy to the room or provide a sense of more space by calling attention to the boundaries of the room.
The use of classical ornamentation does not mean that your space must be designed with classical furnishings. A great look is to create a beautifully ornamented space and furnish it with the clean lines of contemporary upholstery. Many contemporary furniture manufacturers advertise their furniture in the graceful period rooms of great homes and public spaces. A classically designed space is never out of style and works with all furniture styles.
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