Taking Time to Look Up

Taking Time to Look Up

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Taking Time to Look Up

by Cindy Grenke

Often overlooked and neglected, the ceiling can make an impactful design statement. Whatever the space, a creative ceiling design makes for a unique and impressive room. One key technique is to make it look higher and to make the room look larger, while adding character. Determining the possibilities typically mean some detective work in renovations and some discussions with the architect and client in new construction.

Wood and Metal Panelled Ceilings

There are many products on the market that add visual interest to ceilings. Some fit onto invisible ceiling grids and others are hung by wires. Reclaimed wood ceilings can also make spaces interesting and the use of reclaimed tin ceiling tiles can add great character and warmth to a space.

Laqfoil stretched ceiling, Adelaide Hotel
Laqfoil stretched ceiling, Adelaide Hotel

Stretched Ceilings

Stretched ceilings are relatively new to the North American market. They are made of an elastic material that is stretched to a frame that is attached to the perimeter of the room. Applied heat is used to make the ceiling perfectly flat. Advantages are that the ceiling has an anti-microbial properties and it is waterproof in case of a roof leak. Stretched ceilings can be printed with any colour or mural and can be installed in a matter of hours, which save precious construction time. Careful coordination with the lighting and electrical infrastructure is necessary for this ceiling methodology.

Laqfoil stretched/printed "art" ceiling, home office
Laqfoil stretched/printed “art” ceiling, home office

Glass Ceilings

Glass ceilings make a powerful statement. Not always typical in Canada, glass-ceiling systems are the perfect solution for nature lovers or for houses that need more natural light. These can be extremely costly and require special structure, therefore budget discussion up front during the architectural phase of the design is necessary.

Mirrored Ceilings

Mirrored ceilings were all the rage in the 1980s and are back in style. Great for small spaces, mirrored ceilings add visual interest. Using them as the accent in a tray ceiling for a dining room can add an element of luxury. Mirrored ceilings are typically glued to a drywall ceiling with a construction adhesive. Care must be taken by the contractor to ensure that the drywall is well constructed and level.

Urban Retreat Homes
Urban Retreat Homes

Painted/Pattered and Wallpapered Ceilings

Painted patterns and murals on ceilings have been done for thousands of years. Geometric patterns can make a painted ceiling look modern while wallpaper can be a cost-effective way to add visual interest on a ceiling, especially in dining rooms, wine cellars and other unique spaces.

Coffered and Tray Ceilings

Coffered and tray ceilings are a great way to make a space unique and luxurious. Whether wood, drywall, or the traditional plaster, they add dimension and character and make a statement like no other. It is important to design the lighting in conjunction with the ceiling and work out the dimensions with the correct site measurements. During a renovation, it is important to understand joist locations, HVAC ducting and the structure of the existing ceiling in order to propose a new design.

CINDY GRENKE is a marketing and design expert representing Canadian suppliers.

Her expertise includes helping designers understand product advantages, market receptivity, brand development and future trend hunting for the North American market.



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