Tag Archives: coffered ceilings

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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Style Stamps

Style Stamps

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Style Stamps

by Samantha Sannella

It’s all in the details

Finishing touches emphasize the style and design of a home. From practical to the whimsical, consider some of these options.

Doors and Hardware

Interior doors are a major component of interior design and convey the style of the home. Take time to explore the hundreds of options that are available. For the best in quality, choose solid core or solid wood doors. They may be more expensive, but well worth the investment. Glass inserts in doors promote an elegant look. Check out doorsforbuilders.com.

Choosing the right hardware to go with the doors is just as important. If the home is traditional, consider oil-rubbed bronze or copper. Brushed nickel works well in transitional or eclectic homes. For a contemporary look, stainless-steel lever handles make a modern statement. Don’t forget to match the hinges to the door handles.

Trim, Moulding and Baseboards

Trim, moulding and baseboards also accentuate the style of the home. A contemporary look can be achieved with the simplicity of straight moulding, which is also much easier to dust and keep clean. For rooms with high ceilings, consider deep baseboards and large crown mouldings to make the space more luxurious. Moulding can also be used for decorative detailing such as coffered ceilings.

Window Treatments

Drapes help to soften the interior of the home with warmth and texture. Finials on drapery rods add another decorative element. Drapes work well with traditional and transitional interiors, and the type of rods and finials you choose reinforce the style. Visit worldmarket.com for a set of whitewashed bird finials, plus other fun options.

Simple roller blinds emphasize a modern aesthetic appeal. You can’t go wrong with a light-filtering neutral fabric, but certain types of shades, like vertical blinds, tend to date a space. For some great ideas visit theshadestore.com.

Wall Coverings and Paint

Wall coverings are making a huge comeback — and they add style, beauty and dimension to a room. Choose from an endless array of colours, patterns and shimmers. Custom patterns can also be created.

A fresh coat of paint goes a long way to define a space. Paint manufacturers make life easier by creating pre-determined palettes of neutrals and colours. Check out the 2015 Colour Forecast in this issue of Ontario Design.


One of the most dramatic additions to the interior of a home is lighting. Chooses fixtures that complement the door hardware and the overall style of the home. Also pay attention to the bulb type and colour rendition, so that the home is consistent. ‘Cleanability’ is an important factor to consider when choosing lighting.

Switch Plate Covers

For added pizzazz, install new switch plate covers. This is a super easy, and economical way, to add style to a home. For trendy decor, consider switch plates with hidden screws. Or for the ultimate in a contemporary statement, check out Le Grand line (legrand.ca), available at Lowes.


is an internationally renowned expert in the field of design and architecture.


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