Unusual Ideas for Designing Your Ceiling

When most people think of ceilings, they envision something flat and white. Some people may even consider popcorn ceilings. Few consider incorporating an unusual ceiling design into their living room or bedroom.

The different types of ceilings and designs are pretty much the only thing people consider when decorating their homes, but they can add a unique character to a room that no amount of furniture or art can. The ideal ceiling design differs for each home and room, as well as the available space. There are an infinite number of colors and patterns to select from.

These unusual ceiling inspirations and ideas, ranging from a high gloss ceiling to an upcycled ceiling, give a room that exceptional and exclusive feel you’re looking for.

High Gloss

One of the most recent ceiling trends is an ultra-glossy, reflective finish that shines. A glossy surface deceives the eye, making the room appear larger, especially when furniture is present and lighter colors are used. However, the surface must be smooth if you’re using paint, so no bumps show.

A stretch ceiling may be the best option if a smooth surface is impossible. Stretch ceilings conceal the existing ceiling and come in various colors and finishes, like high gloss.

The shiny and smooth fifth wall can also give a room a glamorous feel. You can also apply high-gloss paint to materials such as wood for a stylish mix of glam and planking.

Check out the other types of ceiling finishes and textures for more inspiration!


a dark room with plants hanging over a table setup

Several live plants for décor in a room can instantly make it feel fresh and bright. Now multiply that by 10, 100, 1000! Suspended plants from the ceiling are one way to incorporate more botanicals.

Making and hanging entire frames with overfilled fronds can take the greenery to a new level. Use hanging boxes to create a pattern, cover the entire ceiling, or suspend plants from open beams.


While no one wants the tired wallpaper borders and floral pattern mix of the past to return, new designs on the market work for both commercial and residential spaces; where real wood might not be an option, consider a faux wood look created with printed wallpaper.

Wallpaper patterns can be simple and geometric, bold and angular, or tone-on-tone and monochromatic floral patterns with an elegant, understated punch. Wallpaper for ceilings ranges from sophisticated traditional patterns to funky and fun fruit in neon colors, so don’t be shy about covering up the fifth wall.

Three-Dimensional Installations

Take the standard light fixture and apply it to the ceiling. With reimagined elements, one light becomes a dozen, creating something akin to an art piece suspended straight from the ceiling.

Fantastic, intricate lighting fixtures add texture and varying tiers for the eye to consider as it takes in the space. Add a black rudimentary diamond pattern straight to that boring white ceiling for instant interest. Alternatively, extrude a classic arabesque pattern into a three-dimensional surface with a monochromatic finish.

A coffered ceiling in a dark, mono finish will also draw attention, filling anyone looking up with curiosity.

Photographs and Artwork

a painting of angels on the ceiling

Trying to cover up popcorn ceilings and removing boring white paint is simpler than ever. You can install large prints, illustrations, and graphics to stretch ceilings and span the entire space with gorgeous wallpapers and massive designs.

Depending on the art or photograph, the ceiling can become the focal point of a room, or the design can extend from floor to ceiling for a truly immersive experience. Consider whether abstract patterns or shapes in art prints can work for a modern aesthetic or if a vintage map graphic trimmed with stained wood is more appropriate.

A Layered Look

A completely layered approach to décor goes beyond three-dimensional objects. Install a set of patterned wood panels, then add beams and the third layer of artistic lighting fixtures in bold colors complementing the ceiling.

Take long planks of wood and make steps with enough space between them to allow for the play of shadow and light on each piece. Art, stenciling, and even ceiling astounds for better acoustics can be used to add to the layered look.

Architectural / Sculptural

Form the ceiling into something new for a more integrated look than just layered levels or three-dimensional elements attached to or suspended from the ceiling. This could include undulating baffling contained within organic cut-outs in the ceiling space, ocean-like waves, or large non-removable sculptural designs.

Architectural and sculptural ceiling designs, like layered designs, allow for the play of light and shadow. Depending on the color and execution, these can also render a large room less or more intimidating.

Non-Traditional Color

White may be the most secure neutral, but that doesn’t mean it has to be used in every room. Bright, bold choices can quickly become the focal point to draw the eye up in a small space. Bring the non-traditional shades halfway down the walls to visually expand the room’s size.

A dark ceiling can bring elements together in ways that bold walls otherwise would steal the spotlight from instead of working in tandem. A darker or lighter color from the room’s décor can instantly brighten the space, while a color matching the floor can add life.

Fabric and Fibers

fabric and a chandelier hanging on the ceiling

Ropes, rugs, and rags can instantly change the mood, and billowy satins soften the otherwise harsh lines of walls. Fabric drapes adorning a ceiling are common in wedding venues, but you can also use these materials in retail settings and homes.

For a unique ceiling design, add roughly torn ribbons and felted wool balls hanging from metal rings or long swaths of linen amidst soft lighting and origami birds. Integrating greenery and layers is another excellent way to create a one-of-a-kind space with ceilings.


How does it sound to help the environment while creating a one-of-a-kind ceiling design? Yes, it does sound fantastic. Adding dimension, texture, and warmth to a room by hanging wooden pallets or crates from the ceiling.

Donating broken or used umbrellas to float upside down from the ceiling? That’s an excellent way to add intrigue to a space while keeping another item out of the landfill.

You can upcycle even paper bags, old newspapers, and books to produce an undeniably special set of lighting fixtures for your ceiling, all while helping the environment and saving you money. That might be the best combination yet.