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It's time to bring back the patterned ceiling

Updated: Jan 8

Throughout history, ceilings have been adorned whether as part of the structural process such as the beautiful vaulted style at Ely Cathedral, Notre Dame and the Bodleian Library, or purely for decoration, from medieval panelled and painted at Hampton Court to the fabulous frescoes of the Sistine Chapel and the constellations of Grand Central Station. Adding interest and height, beautiful ceilings force us to lift our eyes upwards.

This then led to a much more stripped-down, minimalist, post-war style where people wanted cleaner lines with maybe the odd bit of textured wallpaper or artex and stippling in the 70s but mostly painted white.

Although still generally plain, we are once again painting our ceilings. Following the advice of designers such as Abigail Ahern, we are painting them to match our walls, coving and skirtings. This can lift and elongate our rooms by removing the contrast and if painted in a dark colour it can make the room more cosy with a cocoon effect which might be perfect for a bedroom for example.

Dark colours seem to have this stigma attached that they make rooms feel smaller. This has actually been disproved and has the opposite effect. Studies have shown that when light objects are put next to dark objects, we see the light objects as being closer, which applies in many contexts, such as wearing black clothing to give the illusion of a slimmer figure.

If it still seems like a big decision, well it's only paint, you can always paint over it but chances are you will wish you had done it years ago.