What Color Should I Paint My Ceiling?

November 29, 2012 § 266 Comments

The ceiling is the fifth wall and many decorators and designers feel that keeping the ceiling white is like “throwing a sheet over the room” (Christopher Lowell said that years ago). But there are a few conditions to consider before painting the ceiling anything other than white:

 1) Is your ceiling heavily textured? In many old houses, the ceiling is patterned (and God forbid, “popcorned”) and therefore very difficult to paint well. Also, painting it anything other than white will call attention to it and maybe that’s not what you want. One solution is to have your ceilings replastered to match your walls and painted, but if that’s out of the question, I would stick with white.

 2) Is your ceiling a smooth plaster? If so, you should definitely paint it. How lucky you are! See below for what color.

2A) Is your ceiling really high? If so, you can paint it virtually any color that goes with the rest of the room. If you’d like to bring the ceiling down visually, consider a color darker than your wall color or a warm color (both will advance and appear to bring the ceiling down to a level that’s more in scale with your room). Also consider adding crown moulding if it’s not already there. The moulding will also bring the ceiling down by calling your eye’s attention to it. And it really finishes the room.

goldenentry.jpg

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 2B) Is your ceiling low or average height? Consider painting it a tint of the wall color. If your walls are a medium blue, then your ceiling would be the very lightest blue on the color swatch or even lighter (white with a dash of blue). This will help to round out the room and make the ceiling part of the overall decor — not just that white sheet over the top.

3) Does your room have enough light? Bright white ceilings do help bounce light back into the room so if your room is already dark, pay special attention to the ceiling color. White can be used effectively, but light tints on the ceiling will also reflect light. Just avoid a ceiling color that is going to absorb all the light and leave the room dark.

4) Are you painting a guest bath? I like to paint the wall color right up over the ceiling in a guest bathroom. Doing that makes the room feel larger by blending the walls and ceiling together and avoiding sharp lines and corners.  Or do something kind of exotic on the ceiling, like the Moroccan tent (see photo above).

5) Are you painting a bedroom? In what other room do we lie around and stare at the ceiling? Why not paint it something interesting. In a bedroom, the sky’s the limit (literally) — from puffy blue clouds on a backdrop of sky blue to a quilt of squares in different colors (Candice Olson did a fabulous multi-colored geometric ceiling in a master bedroom). And in kids’ rooms, the ceiling is just one more space to use your creativity.

Hope this helps the “Do I paint the ceiling?” dilemma.

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§ 266 Responses to What Color Should I Paint My Ceiling?

  • Dana says:

    What color, other than white, can be used to paint a ceiling
    in a room that has “Winter Sky” (white with subtle blue/silver tint) walls? We love the wall color and don’t
    want to change it. It goes very well with our carpet and
    other decor. Should we just paint the ceiling the same
    color? One other thing – the walls are patterened-textured
    and the ceiling isn’t.

    Thanks

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Dana,

    It kind of depends on your room. If the ceiling is really high, you could paint it a darker shade on the paint swatch to bring the height down a bit. Or if you want to pick up another color in the room, you could paint the ceiling another hue but the same light value (in other words, the ceiling would be as light as the walls but just another color).

    But if you end up with white but don’t want ultra white, you could try atrium white. It’s got just a touch of pink in it, and it looks super on the ceiling. You also didn’t mention if you have any crown moulding. If you paint the ceiling a different color, the moulding will really set it off and make people notice the color up there.

    Good for you for painting the ceiling, the 5th wall in the room.

    Hope I helped a little.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Dana says:

    Thanks.

    I like the idea of a hint of pink. Unfortunately our ceilings are
    not high. But I think pink or purple might pick up something
    from the carpet.

    Thanks, again.

  • robin says:

    I’m painting my daughter ceiling ‘cranberry punch’ at her request and I’m concerned about how many coats I will need. I read somewhere that just because it’s a dark color does not mean the underlying color will fad through.

    I remember reading that you should have the Paint retailer mix in some of your color with a Primer. Is this true?

    Thanks

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Robin,

    If you plan to prime the ceiling first, have the paint retailer mix in some cranberry punch with the primer. This will really help with paint coverage. If you don’t need to prime the ceiling, just go ahead and paint. Your neck will be sore after you’re done painting two coats but hopefully that will be enough.

    Good luck.
    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • ROSIE says:

    Hi Dana,

    In own a beautiful historic three story victorian home, I gutted most of the interior and had it redone in the same period, with beautiful crown and dental moulding, shadow boxes and chair railings, I have done all the rooms in diff colors, with diff ceiling colors in most of the rooms, the foyer is the last area being worked on, the chosen color is a rich medium red leading up to the 2nd floor, the stair spindels are white and the railing is black gloss lacquer, I have a medallion painted pewter silver and black and a black crystal chandelier for the foyer, (the chandelier is subject to change ) the color I have in mind for the ceiling in the foyer is a warm mdeium metalic silver, what do you think of this combo, or do you have any suggestions?

    All The Best,
    Rosemarie

  • Eli says:

    I’ve painted my bedroom wall a blue color, Martha’s Vinayard blue, now the ceiling is becoming a challange. My ceiling is high and slanted and so I’m indesive about using the same blue color or a light cream color

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Rosemarie,

    Sounds like you’re doing a terrific job with paint colors. I love the idea of a metalic silver ceiling in the foyer. My suggestion is to paint the silver on a cardboard sample first to make sure that the red walls don’t turn the silver a pinkish color. That wouldn’t be so great. If the silver seems to stay true to its color, then go right ahead with it. What a dramatic foyer!

    Good luck.

    -Barbara.
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Eli,

    Thanks for your question.

    The answer to your ceiling dilemma is: it all depends. You’ve already painted the walls blue. Is there a lot of light coming in the windows or is the room a bit darker now?

    If you have a lot of light through big bedroom windows, then you can consider painting the ceiling something other than white. But if the room feels dark and you want to add some more light, I would go for a white ceiling. It really does look smashing next to the blue and gives your room kind of a beachy feel.

    The cream ceiling idea would be okay, but blue and yellow make green, so there’s a possibility that the yellowish cream on the ceiling could have kind of a greenish tint to it. Not what you’re looking for. I would stick with either white (bright) or a blue tint (add white to your wall color).

    Good luck!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Billy says:

    Hi, I am in the process of painting the living room ceiling which are 10ft and flow or ajoins into the breakfast area of the kitchen. I plan on painting this textured ceiling a bright flat white and have crown moulding added as well which will be gloss white. I plan on painting the walls a cloudless blue since this living room is facing the south and feel it will bring an inviting mood to the room.

    I will have Brazilian Cherry Hardwood flooring as well in this living room area.

    Now my question is this, since this living area ajoins into the breakfast area where I will have Terra Cotta tile flooring which color would blend well in the kitchen with this plan or does it need changed to another color?

    Thanks for you time and for any ideas or suggestion,
    Billy

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Billy,

    It sounds like the ceiling carries over from living room to kitchen. But the walls can be different from one area to the next. Without seeing your house, it’s hard to suggest a color, but as long as there is some architectural element separating the two areas (it’s not just one big wall), you can paint the kitchen something different.

    Hope that helps. You can always send a photo.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Billy says:

    Thanks Barbara, once one enters into the kitchen area the ceiling goes into what I belleve is called a tray ceiling or it slopes in one area which defines the area I suppose and gives what I believe you are speaking architectural element.

    I was wondering what colors would go well with Terra Cotta is what I would paint the kitchen area and make it pop so to speak to match well with the Terra Cotta tile I’m going to have installed?

    Billy

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Billy,

    You could go with a rich cream (that looks great with the terra cotta) or a peach or even a turquoise, which is opposite the orangey terra cotta on the color wheel so both the floor and walls pop. Not everyone wants to have turquoise on their kitchen walls so you could use the rich cream and use the blue as accents in the kitchen. It’s very much a traditional southwest look, but it’s classic.

    Hope that gives you an idea.

    Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Billy says:

    Sounds great Barbara.

    I have a vision of what it will look like. Very helpful indeed and look forward to it getting finished.

    Thanks,
    Billy

  • Jim says:

    Barbara,

    My wife and I are about to paint our living room, which has a very high angled ceiling. The room is a lofted space that has a small landing at the top of the staircase. The room is open to the kitchen as well that has recently been painted a warm pumpkin color. Our question is about the ceiling, should we paint it the color we choose to paint the walls since it is such a big open space? It oftens seems that the furniture seems small even though it fills the space. is this because the walls are so large? Does it usually look better to paint the walls one color and the ceiling another, or all the same? any suggestions are greatly appreciated

    Jim

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jim,

    You can go several ways depending on the amount of light you have in the room and your desired effect. The pumpkin is a rich wall color but I’m not sure what color you have in mind for the LR.

    A light colored ceiling (whether it’s white, cream, or a lighter version of your wall color) will open up the space. A dark color (you’ve seen dark wood ceilings?) will bring the ceiling down creating more of a cozy space. It all depends on what you want.

    To fill the wall space and make it seem a bit more in scale with your furniture, you can consider large art pieces, wall hangings, rugs, etc. that will take up some of that vacuous area between the furniture and the ceiling. Also consider a chandelier (or other large light fixture) hanging from the ceiling. That will brint the ceiling down a bit as well.

    Sounds like a beautiful house. Hope I helped a little.
    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Billy says:

    Hi Barbara it’s me again.

    I decided to not paint the living room walls a cloudless blue and went instead with Olympic paints Bermuda Sand with white trim and followed with Tabu into the dining room also with white trim and it looks excellent!

    These colors are neutrals as you properly know.

    Now knowing I have view of the kitchen do I need to stay in the neutral zone when painting the kitchen and do I have to paint it semi gloss?

    Thanks again for you help.

    Billy

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Billy,

    Wow, great! Sounds really nice. No, you don’t have to stay neutral in the kitchen. But you need to tie the two rooms together somehow. The best way is to take a color that’s in your living room and bring it into the kitchen via the wall color. You might decide to use a color from a pillow or artwork — just something already there.

    And no, you don’t have to use semigloss on the walls in the kitchen. Eggshell washes up quite nicely without so much shine. I use semigloss for the trim.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • sonali says:

    hi
    i am painting my living room
    what colour should i use
    i have done pop on the ceiling with a oval design on the ceilingwhich divides the ceiling in two parts the down side oval shape and the ceiling wall down the shape that comes down
    as its divived intwo parts which pop designs circles in between with plaster of paris designs circle sin between that are 3
    and he walls that are 4
    one is covered by mica tiles of grey color
    another one is covered by pebbles on tiles kind of tiles of light orange color
    so i want an advice what colors shoud i use on other two walls and on the ceiling
    kindly advice

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sonali,

    I’m not sure I have a really clear picture of your room, but from what I can gather, you might try a really light warm gray on your other two walls. That way the pebbles and the tiles will stand out.

    As for the ceiling, you’ll need to use two different colors to bring out the design. I would use white on the plaster of paris. And either a light orange or a very light blue for the remaining ceiling. Depending on your light, either one could look sharp.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jean Poletti says:

    We just put up new crown molding, and I’m so excited to show it off. This is in our huge family room/kitchen flow room. I have chosen a light neutral for the walls – Benjamin Moore’s Coastal Fog, and I’m afraid it just won’t highlight the white trim if the ceiling is also white. The Family room also has a huge white built-in entertainment center, and the kitchen has white cabinets. Higher than 8′ ceilings (but not much – maybe 9?).

    My problem is in a year or two we’re going to be redoing the kitchen, and I have no idea what color countertops, etc. I’ll be choosing. I’m putting the Coastal Fog in there also (right now) because it’s the path of least resistance, and it’s so neutral it “goes” with the current countertops. I just took down old wallpaper so I have to paint “something” in there.

    Will I regret having the Coastal Fog ceiling? Should I just stick with white – will white show off my crown molding? I can’t do a darker/different wall color because believe me, I’ve tried, and I just have so many things I can’t change and the Coastal Fog really looks good with EVERYTHING.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jean,

    If you want to show off the new crown molding, then go ahead and paint the ceiling. Coastal fog is light enough that it will be fine for the ceiling and will help to accentuate that molding. White really will not do it. You have to tint the ceiling in order to really see the molding.

    Sounds great

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • shannon says:

    I can’t decide whether to paint the tray part of my ceiling black. The bottom moulding is white and the walls are a folkstone (dark brown/grayish) color. Our DR table is cherry but our accent pieces are black. The center chandelier is brushed nickle. We have 2 windows in the room with white plantation shutters. Lots of white. Also if we paint the tray part, could we leave the bottom part of the ceiling white? Not sure of the rules there. Thanks!

    Also, the adjoining rooms are cabin red, and a tobacco color…all open to the DR. Our kitchen countertops (also visible from DR) are the black granite. Thanks!

  • bmeglis says:

    Wow, Shannon, that would be dramatic. The chandelier would appear as if it’s hanging in mid-air (at night). And the effect would also be that you have a giant observation porthole in your ceiling and it’s open to the night sky. That’s one way to wow your guests!

    Honestly, I have never seen a black tray, but in your room, it might very well work. I have seen dark blue and certainly use of metallic paint in the tray.

    As for the rest of the ceiling, it’s always good to add at least a tint to the ceiling paint to show off the white moulding. Even if it’s just a touch of light gray.

    If you’re really in doubt (and can reach the ceiling by ladder), just stick up some black construction paper around the base of the chandelier, stand back, make a little peep hole with your fingers, and squint a little. You’ll be able to see what your black ceiling will look like.

    Good luck.
    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Darla Jean says:

    I have a large 12×24 bedroom painted in dark forest green with matching carpeting, lots of dark 6″ woodwork and dark British colonial rosewood furniture. Accents are white [Ceiling and bed covers] and blue and white antique decorative items.
    Currently dark walnut wood blinds, but changing to white floor length sheers. Love the dark, cool mood. Want to improve on the elegance. What would you suggest??

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Darla Jean,

    Make sure your lighting is adequate in the room and that anything overhead is on a dimmer. Then you need to add some texture and sheen. You might want to get an ultra-soft mohair throw for your bed or side chair. And some pillows with fringe or nice trims for the bed.

    Then add some sheen with metals — maybe sconces for either side of the bed, or reading lamps. You can go with brushed nickel if you like cool or antique brass if you want to warm up the room a bit.

    If your carpet matches the wall color, consider a large area rug for the bed area. Yes, you can put an area rug right on top of the carpet. It will break up the dark green a little and add some more color and pattern.

    How’s that? Sound like a beautiful bedroom.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sharon says:

    Hello Barbara,
    Our family room adjoins the kitchen and for the most part the two appear like one big room with a bar counter separating the two. I have cherry cabinets in the kitchen and on the other end I have a fireplace that has a maple/oak mantel (one big blunder we made) so I am constantly at angst deciding what kind of furniture to place in the family room. Now we are installing hardwood floors and will go with Butterscotch oak. It probably wont go with my fireplace, but I assume that I will be able to stain that a little darker shade. I would like some suggestion from you as to what colors on the walls would go with this such a setup, given that the room has plenty of sunshine (huge windows), 9 ft ceiling. Should I paint the ceiling also, should the kitchen and family room be different colors given that there is no clear demarkation between the two. I prefer a look of big and open. Any suggestions?? Thanks for your help.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sharon,

    Try green. It’s such a life-giving color and it goes with all wood tones. Salisbury green (Benj Moore HC-139) is a soft green with blue undertones and Guilford green (HC-116) is a little yellower. Both are beautiful on the walls. Feel free to go richer if you like depending on the size of your room. With all that light, you can afford to do that.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Misty Cormier says:

    Hi! My question is about ceiling color vs. trim color…I plan to paint my walls a medium to light taupe with lighter trim. The ceilings are only 8 feet so I don’t want the room to seem smaller. I do have crown moulding so which should be lighter the ceiling or the moulding? Any advice would be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Misty

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Misty,

    You can either put a tint (white with a little hint of color) on the ceiling which will make the ceiling blend more with the walls and make the lighter moulding (white?) stand out. Or if you don’t want white moulding, you can do a bright white ceiling which will maximize the amount of light in the room and do the moulding in a lighter shade of taupe. The key thing is to have some contrast between the ceiling and the moulding so the moulding isn’t just lost up there.

    What you won’t want to do is paint a darker shade on the ceiling. But you know that.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Misty Cormier says:

    I don’t want a true white moulding. Do you think that if I used an off white flat for the ceiling and then the same off white for the moulding but in semi-gloss that would show the moulding enough?

    Thanks again

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Misty,

    There are tons of “whites.” And certainly having the different paint finishes will help distinguish the moulding from the ceiling. But in addition, if you would just add a hint of color to the ceiling, even within the “white” family, you will be really happy with the end result.

    See what you think. Either way, you will have a very pretty room.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Lisa says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I have a rather large master bath. I am in the process of painting the walls light blue/ touch of gray. It has beige ceramic tile with streaks of chocolate brown, java brown cabinetry and white marble vanities/surround. It’s trimmed in white and it has crown moulding (white) and nine foot ceilings. I will be painting the master bedroom and ceiling a light chocolate brown and could not decide whether to continue the blue on the bathroom’s ceiling or a lighter version of the bedroom color, more like a classic beige, which matches the ceramic tile. What’s your suggestion?

    Thanks,
    Lisa

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I think I would continue the blue up onto the ceiling. That way your ceramic tile and other beige and brown items will stand out more. And blue is particularly nice on ceilings — However, if you’re concerned that your bathroom feels too big or the ceiling is too high, then use the beige on the ceiling. That will bring the ceiling down a bit and make the room cozier. But you will lose that “outdoors” feeling of the continuous blue.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • kris says:

    my daughter wants to paint her bedroom dark red and black with gold accents. there is no crown moulding, the floor is light oak and the trim is light oak. her dresser is black. what color do I paint the ceiling (standard height)? The room is not big but those are the colors she wants. Any help would be great

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Kris,

    I would paint the ceiling a golden color to tie in with the floor and the trim. It will bring down the ceiling a little (as opposed to painting it white), but she’s going to live in a very cozy room with the red and black anyway. Make sure she has lots of shiny metals (gold accents) to reflect what little light will be in the room and make sure she has adequate lighting, especially if she wants to read in there.

    Sounds very dramatic. I say Go for it!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Angie says:

    We are in the process of finishing our basement into a room with a home theatre and bar area. My husband wants to install the plastic designed ceiling tiles in black. We are in a discussion about trim, etc. I think you would need to have black crown moulding to match, but I don’t really know the rules. Also, if your crown moulding is black, would the rest of your trim, i.e. door trim, baseboards, etc be black also. I have seen pictures on the website of the black ceiling and it looks great, but when I start the actual planning details, I don’t know how to work with a black ceiling. The cabinets in the bar area and around the tv screen will be cherry. We haven’t decided on wall colors, etc. Any advice?

    Angie

  • Hi Barbara,
    My small, formal living room is painted black with a hints of bronze metallic fauxed on it. The crown moulding is cream. What color should I paint the 9ft ceiling? This room does not get much light. The foyer, adjacent to the living room, is a light brown. I was thinking of the bronze metallic on the ceiling, but I wasn’t sure how to do that. Can one paint an entire ceiling in pure metallic? Would that be too wild and youthful?
    Thanks!
    Karla

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Angie,

    I would suggest a dark gray trim with medium gray walls, kind of a gray flannel look. That combination should be just right for maintaining a dark room for screen viewing. And the cherry cabinets against the gray flannel walls will be quite striking.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Karla,

    I love the idea of metallic on the ceiling but since your room is dark already, you might want to consider a gold or even champagne metallic on the ceiling. You paint a gold or tan base coat first and then the metallic layer over it. Very dramatic! Great for the dining room!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Stacy says:

    We just painted our interior a color named Sesame Tahini. It is a light beige color. We had to be careful because we don’t have much light in our home. It left the house feeling warm and cozy, without making it look smaller. We just moved in, so we haven’t taken the popcorn ceiling down yet. However, since we don’t have time this time of year to take it down, we painted the ceiling the same light beige color. Since the color is light, it actually made the ceiling look better and less noticeable than the white ceiling.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Stacy,

    Thanks for sharing your color success story with us. I’m glad bringing the color up over the ceiling worked out so well for you. I love that!

    Good luck with the rest of your house.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Bobby Nelsen says:

    We have decided on a color for our newly remodled master bath. The wall color is called true penny, and as the color suggests is an orangy copper color (very tuscan). The problem is selecting a ceiling color. We have a tray ceiling which will have crown molding with alot of ambient light coming into the room. We have tried a lighter color on the same color palette but it seems to be very peachy, and my wife doesn’t want peach. We will have travertine tile throughout the bathroom and our wall mounted vanity is a dark espresso color. Any suggestions for painting the tray??

    Bobby

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Bobby,

    Two suggestions: you can certainly go with a light beige from your travertine that will pull the look together. Not peach, but beige. The effect will be soft and blending and will show off the moulding. OR you can go with an icy blue that will make you feel like you’re outside whenever you’re in the room. Honestly, light sky blue makes a great ceiling color as it pulls the ceiling up and away and gives a very spacious feeling to the room.

    Either will work.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara.
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Riceinmay says:

    Ok, my turn my turn! I need help :-D. I’m redoing my bedroom. We have light wood furniture, and dark wood floors. I’ve painted the walls with wide (16 inch) horizontal stripes with metalic paint. The paint is duchess blue, and iron gate silver- they are both ralph lauren metallic paints. I’m accenting the room with a spice color. What color to do the ceiling? I was thinking maybe an icy icy light blue- but would that look right?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Riceinmay,

    An icy light blue sounds perfect to coordinate with your striped walls. Sounds spectacular.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jill says:

    Our house is a 1927 bungalow in Portland, Oregon. We have just had old 1970’s acoustic tiles removed from our ceiling and are having a smooth coat finish applied in our living and dining room ceilings and would like some color advice. We tend to be bold in wall color, but this is the first time we have considered color on the ceiling. The walls in the living room are a medium grey/slate color and the dining room is mustard/gold. We have oak light hardwoods and dark wood furniture with all white painted wood trim. The ceilings are about 8 feet? with nice crown and picture molding which we would like to make stand out with some sort of color on the ceilings. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Jill

  • Pamm says:

    Help, I have a Older home with Cherry Wood Colored Trim & Window Casings Throughout the Entire home. We are In The Process of Re-painting Every Room, & We are Stuck. We don’t know what Color Moulding To Put Up. We like White Moulding but we don’t know if it will match the Cherry Trim at the bottom (The cherry trim is also around the doors & on the doors & around the Windows) So as you can see we have alot of it in our home. The Cherry Wood looks 80’s & we do want to update it but what color? Should we paint the trim & casings White or Chocolate Brown (very popular right now) What sells a home more? I just want it all to coordinate. We are using Neutral Colors Throughout the home on the walls. Thank You

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jill,

    Well, you can go in a couple different directions. You can either use a tint of the wall color on the ceiling in each room which will highlight your moulding without calling too much attention to the ceilings. Or you could “cross-polinate” your living and dining room colors by putting a tint of the dining room wall color on the living room ceiling and vice versa. This would tie the rooms together color-wise and allow you to bring more grey (pewter perhaps or nickel/silver) into the dining room and more gold into the living room (pillows, artwork, lamps, etc.).

    See what you think about that…

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Pamm,

    Since you’re not replacing the cherry wood doors and all your trim is the dark wood, I suggest either painting the door trim and windows a couple shades darker on your neutral wall color paint strip (which will blend the trim into the wall color) OR keeping the dark wood trim and simply camouflaging it a bit with some updated window treatments (panels with a decorative rod). If you go with white doors, you can paint all the trim white, but that’s a ton of work. And for an older home, the dark wood trim can be quite charming. Just bring a lot of color into your rooms, and you’ll be fine.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • mdt says:

    I recently bought a piece of property with an old farmhouse that has been converted into a loft. I will live in the house for a few years before building a new one. One bedroom will be used as an office/den. The room is knotty pine with an 8 ft. ceiling that is lightly textured. The small room has 3 large windows and is very bright. What do you suggest for the ceiling color?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi mdt,

    You might consider a very light sky blue. Paired with the knotty pine, you’ll think you’re living in a treehouse. It will also raise the ceiling a bit — cool colors recede.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Lynn says:

    I have a galley type kitchen with the dining area at the end. I have light wood cabinets & white appliances and the dining has maple hardwood floors (kitchen part has ceramic tile which will eventually be changed).
    There is lots of light in the kitchen (2 big windows plus garden doors), and my new dining set is a dark reddish-brown wood with black leather seats. I also have a painting that goes well with the table it has taupes, gold & blues/teal in it.
    I was thinking about going with a gold? Or maybe a warm tan? What do you suggest? And the big question is – should I paint the ceiling the same colour?

    Thanks!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Lynn,

    Either the gold or the tan will work fine in there. It will look spectacular with the dark dining set and black leather seats. You can try painting the ceiling a 1/2 value of the wall color. That way, it unifies the space but is not too dark up there. Should be fine.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Denise says:

    We just bought a new home. The living room has 7- 39″ wide windows, a french door, and a front door in the living area. The kitchen is open to the living area, as is the office (no walls between) and a long hallway. My furniture is a mix of brown and mustard. I also have a burgundy recliner. I would like to match up with the kitchen colors I have. Red, black, mustard, and moss. I love dark colors and want it to have a cozy feeling. I am planning on putting 2 inch wooden blinds with valances on the window. Any suggestions for paint color with so many window?

    Thanks
    Denise

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Denise,

    You might want to take that mustard color and pull the areas together with that. Take a look at the Ben Moore historical golds (like dorset gold and bryant gold) and see if something like that would work in your space. Concord ivory might work as well. You have an autumn palette of colors so the gold base should work great.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Trish says:

    We are currently selecting paint colours for our new home. Sesame Tahini was one that was suggested. Could you please help me with the manufacturer of this colour as we are yet to be able to find it anywhere.

    Thank you

  • Heidi says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I have painted a living / dining room ( also the entry way and going down the hallway)in a Ralph Laurens Goldfinch with a dark (blued) rasberry red color on an accent wall. the ceilings are 8ft cathedral.Its very sunny color. But our ceiling is a almost an oyster beige- still very light and very neutral. Its Not a dark room but not alot of direct sun either. We want to capture a fresh floral feeling in there. We are considering fresh green carpet and cannot decide on the trim color. Should it be crisp white or a tint of the walls or match the ceiling except in semi gloss?
    And do you think the green carpet will be okay, or is that just too much color? Thank you
    Heidi

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Heidi,

    I love your wall color choices! You are not afraid of color! Okay, I suggest a crisp white semi-gloss for your trim only because it will really bring out the color without blending too much. You might also consider a bright white for the ceiling color as it will reflect light the best and optimize both the light in the room and the wall colors.

    As for the carpet color, wow, that might be just a little too much permanent color. I suggest doing a neutral carpet and adding the green with your florals and other accessories in the room. Also best for resale when you get around to it. Green carpeting might not appeal to as many people. Also, if you decide to change the wall color down the road you would be stuck with the green carpeting.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Trish,

    I haven’t found that color, Sesame Tahini, in any of my paint fan decks and googling it didn’t come up with the color either. At first I thought I recognized it as a Pratt & Lambert, but no luck. Maybe another paint color enthusiast will read your request and let us both know where to find the color.

    Sorry I couldn’t help you with that.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Heidi says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it! When we painted the ceiling (just did it) i was originally going to do a tint of the walls, but got some up there and it went green. Ya know, Yellow and blue (the grey blue of shadows) make green. Duh! Just wasn’t right on the ceiling so we went with the one that is up there. We had already bought the paint and didnt want to waste 5 gallons of paint, so we are going with the flow. At that time, we also didnt know we would be painting all the trim, currently a 70″s brown. I agree, my instinct is to go with the crisp white trim. But i dont want to repaint the ceiling! Too many difficult places to get to. Would you still suggest the white?
    Also, there is currently a 70″s gold carpet that I honestly am having trouble looking past, as it influences the walls so much.
    I dont know if you are familiar with Kathy Irelands Carpet brand, but the green is Galagapos. somewhat shaded, but not too greyed, but definitlely a sagey green. I would call it a brighter sagey green or a fresh sage.
    The look, in a little bit more detail, is what I would call a cottage look( without being country)with a bit of elegance. We have also chosen a ebony background floral fabric for the window toppers or valances. The floral is large scale and not too busy. the flowers in in have the golden yellows of the walls as well as the sagey green, corals, and rasberry. It pops against the walls so amazingly! so, she loves the green carpet, but I am obviously a little scared of the green with such a strong yellow. But it truly is hard see another color in there. It would be hard to backpedal with her into another carpet choice, but would rather do that than, an expensive mistake.
    For your info, we also refinished the kitchen cabinets in an antiqued red with a paler yellow walls and she loves it! Not bright, but warm, rich and inviting!
    Any further thoughts on this would be appreciated!
    I just found your site and love it!
    Thanks,
    Heidi

  • adel says:

    hello barbara
    i have a flat of 80 meters,middle high cieling,
    kitchen and bath are done,and the flour white with light brown colour, i was thinking of colouring the cieling white and the walls rich cream but still confused about to colour the whole flat one colour or each room different colours i have 2bed rooms and children room plus the rreception, hope you can help me to pichk the right and the nice colours
    thanks for ur help

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Heidi,

    Okay, what did you end up doing with the 5 gal of tinted paint? Or did that go up on the ceiling? Either way, it’s okay to leave whatever’s up there. I think there will be enough to look at — the only big thing to be affected by the ceiling is the light in the room and/or the spaciousness of the room. The white ceiling brings in more light, but the tinted ceiling brings the walls up onto the ceiling and makes the room feel a little bigger. It’s a trade-off. I’m sure you already know all that —

    As for trim… even though the ceiling is (still?) oyster beige, I think the white (or slightly off-white) trim will crispen up the colors in the room and make them look fresh. You can certainly go with a white dove instead of a super white, but I wouldn’t go with the oyster beige. I think that would dull the color too much.

    As for the carpet, the sage is quite neutral and you’ve covered all your bases with the black window treatments with all the colorful florals. But before launching ahead with the carpet order, I suggest gathering a bunch of green towels or a few green sheets and covering over the old gold carpet with as much green as possible. Even though the green may be more intense in terms of color, you will see if there’s any effect at all on the yellow walls (do you get any green reflected up on the yellow or is it still clear and sunny). And how about the green? With the black fabric swatch tacked to the window frame, how does the room look? Lots of testing will make you feel more comfortable with the decision. Makes it easier to visualize. And for us decorators and designers, the ability to visualize is everything.

    You’ve got a bold design. Sounds magazine-worthy. Good luck with it! Send photos when you’re done!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi adel,

    I like rich cream for the walls in your main living and reception area and white for the ceiling. But I would choose different colors for each of the bedrooms. Give the children a choice of three colors (that you like) so they can feel like they’ve decorated their own rooms. Then pick an accent color from your artwork or furniture and paint the other bedrooms. As long as you stay at the same hue value (the same level down each of the paint chips), you can mix all kinds of colors and have your flat look very nice.

    Best of luck. Let me know if I can help further.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Shanna says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’m contemplating painting our ceilings in our living room. We have tons of light coming in as we face the South. The ceiling is angled. It gets really high on the one side where it meets the upstairs balcony. Our walls are natural gray by RL. We have white trim. We have a full wall entertainment center in red birch. I want to make the room seem cozier and smaller. What color would you recommend? Or what fun things can I do to the walls. We have a ton of dead space where the ceiling gets really tall. I appreciate any help you are able to offer.

    Thank you so much for your time!
    Shanna

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Shanna,

    You might want to consider painting the ceiling a chocolate brown, maybe not dark chocolate but milk. Painting it a rich color will bring the ceiling down so the room doesn’t feel so vacuous, and as long as you get good light in the room, you should be fine. If that’s too bold, you can always paint the ceiling another color in the room just not so dark. Light blue and golden yellow always work for ceilings but if you want cozy, go with the rich warm color.

    As for the walls, think BIG. Any artwork or tapestries should be big enough to be seen not just from the balcony but also the floor level. You can also get wall sculpture now, which seems to be quite popular. The biggest challenge is to consider the scale of the room before you hang anything up. If the art or other item is too small, it will get gobbled up by the room. Think BIG.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Shelley says:

    Hi Barbara! I am thinking of painting my VERY small hall bath. Any ideas of a good color? I was thinking a light gray. I also wanted to paint the ceiling (a different color other than white) to have a different look. There is a window in the room, so there is tons of natural light. Any suggestions as to what ceiling color? There is small crown molding. Paint it white? The cabinet and vanity are white. The floor is light brown with gray hues and gray grout. The fixtures and door pulls are brushed nickel. The shower curtain, rug and towels are plum with silver embroidery. Thanks!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Shelley,

    I like the light gray idea for the walls. How about putting the plum color up on the ceiling? If your ceiling is high enough, you can go dark with the shade. If the ceiling is low, just do a lighter version. Purple is quite the hot color these days.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Shelley says:

    Thanks for the advice. I had thought about plum on the ceiling, but needed a second opinion. I will let you know how it turns out!

  • Beth says:

    Hello Barbara,
    We are repainting our small guest bath. It is now blackened pine (dark green) with a white ceiling. There are no windows and very little light. We are painting a medium-light tan (hemp) and are wondering if we could paint the ceiling the same color? Would the monochromatic effect fool the eye into thinking the room is bigger?
    Thanks in advance!
    Beth

  • Vicki says:

    Hi Barbara, We’re re-doing our family/entertainment room, and are undecided about the ceiling color. The walls will be similar to Behr Mermaid Net (a little darker than a sage green), and molding will be cream. We’re are going to have a light neutral carpet and chocolate brown couches. The ceilings are only 8ft, and there is not a lot of natural light. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Vicki

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Vicki,

    With a short wall height, I would stick with either a light cream (like your molding color) or a tint of your wall color (usually a 10% formulation). The tinted ceiling makes the room look bigger as the wall color continues up onto the ceiling. But because it’s just a tint of the wall color, it’s not too dark. Using a tint is particularly nice if you plan to put in (or already have) crown molding. The tint really makes the molding look spectacular.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara.
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Beth,

    Yes, indeed. Go right up over the ceiling with your new paint color, and the room will feel larger.

    Great changes for your bath!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Carrie says:

    Hi Barbara! My boyfriend and I recently moved into our new home. All of the walls and baseboards and doors were painted a cream color. We want to paint our bathroom a medium brown color. The bathroom is very open to our bedroom which we are painting a different color. Should I paint the ceiling the brown color or just leave it because the baseboards will still be that color? Also, with a glossy paint on the walls right now, do we have to put any kind of deglosser before we begin our project.
    Thanks for all your help

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Carrie,

    You can certainly paint your ceiling brown if it’s high enough to support the dark color. But don’t worry about the color of the baseboards.

    You’ll need to sand the walls to de-gloss the paint. Otherwise the new paint won’t stick. You might even want to put a primer on for good measure.

    Good luck.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Angela says:

    I have a large living room that I just painted green (I would say it has blue undertones – it’s a deep color). I have two windows, one on each side of my fireplace. These windows face east. That’s the only natural light.

    I have camel colored couches and dark wood accent furniture. My accent color is touches of red (not too much).

    I have crown molding and standard height ceilings.

    Question: what color should I paint the ceiling? It’s currently white. I’ve considered a much lighter version of my green, or how about a lighter color camel (as in the couches). This is the first time I’ve ever considered anything but a white ceiling.

    Thanks for your help!!! –Angela

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Angela,

    Since the green is such a deep color, there may be some reflection up onto the ceiling making it look a little green no matter what color you paint it.

    White is still the best for reflecting light down into the room if you are concerned at all about your ceiling height. But if you’d like to try a color (I’m all for that), then you can go with either a light tint of your camel couch color (this will warm up the ceiling and make that white crown molding really pop) or a tint of your wall color if you would prefer a more continuous all-over color throughout the room. The green on the ceiling will raise the ceiling more than the light camel will. Either one will work as long as it’s very light — just a tint. They’ll know how to do that at the paint store.

    Hope that helps you with the decision process.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jonnie says:

    Hi Barbara

    I have a small bedroom and w/2 closets on the same wall. I want to do my bedding mocha brown and light blue. It is calming colors. I need some paint ideas for the wall and ceiling to make it look the room feel larger. Any ideas?

    Also I am think of painting my master bath (also very small) maybe a sage green with white baseboards. Any suggestions on accessories? Should I go with green or white?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Jonnie (#82),

    I would paint your bedroom a light gray blue (like Ben Moore’s gentle gray (1626) or silver mist (1619) or a very light grayed-down version of the blue in your bedding. Then go right up onto the ceiling with it (unless you have a popcorn ceiling in which case I would leave it white — you would have to spray paint it and that would be a mess).

    Then for your master bath, I would bring in some mocha brown towels and accessories along with white to create that spa feel.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • jbdja says:

    Hi!

    I am decorating a retail space in a modern and fresh way. The space will be used for part boutique/part classroom for young children. I have an extensive color palette i am using but only as accent colors… most of the walls will be white because of all the product that will be in the store. We are having an amazing artist make a bubble pattern on the walls to give is a modern, urban feel that wil work for the boutique as well as where the kids will be! This bubble pattern will only be in select spaces… some colors we are using are: navy, white, mossy/limy green, pink, redish-orange, golden yellow, and an aqua/seafoam color. I pick out amazing aqua-seafoam colored round tiles for the store… we are using it in various places… i am also having clear maple flooring put down… our lighting will be “bubble” like fixtures and pendant lights in the windows that are shapped like bubbles… so my question is… Do I paint the ceiling a strong color from the palette i chose? Or do I stay white? Or should I do the aqua-seafoam color? Also, should i paint one wall or all the walls a color other then white? I just figures a strong color may make the clothing look funny? the store has 12’6″ ceilings… with exposed pipes… that i believe i am painting the same color as the ceiling. Any thoughts or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  • jbdja says:

    one last thing… if you go to
    http://www.anthropologie.com and see their bedding section under for the home… page 4 has a bed spread called “bella hothouse” … those are the colors I am thinking of using for the painting/decorating details… here is a link:

    http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/

    productdetail.jsp?_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1&_dyn
    SessConf=805921206676509611&id=79200&parentid=
    SLEEP_BEDDING_QUILTS&pushId=SLEEP_BEDDING_QUILTS&
    popId=SLEEPING&sortProperties=&navCount=4&navAction=
    jump&fromCategoryPage=true&selectedProductSize=&selected
    ProductSize1=&color=yel

    IF you acn picture a swarm of bees flying like in a cartoon… I want that sort of shape on the wall in certain spots… but that shape would be made out of different size bubbles in the coors of that bed spead…

    if you hate the whole idea please tell me! Again, we are going for a fresh, modern clean look like you may see in a boutique/childrens center in NYC. Thanks so much for your time! I think I spoke enough!! :-)

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi jbdja (#84/85),

    What an exciting project! The ceiling color depends on how much light you need reflected down from the ceiling. If your artificial and natural light are sufficient, then I would paint the ceiling and pipes a color like the navy blue. Often painting the ceiling a dark color makes it recede and feel like you’re outside in a night sky.

    If that doesn’t appeal, then you could certainly go with the seafoam, which will also recede but will call a little more attention to itself. Another option if you want to bring the ceiling down a little is to use the golden yellow. That ceiling will appear lower and cozier. But definitely paint the pipes the same color as the ceiling, even if you end up with white. That way the pipes will disappear.

    Since you have tons of color in the store already with the merchandise and other accent colors, I think I would keep the walls white and paint the ceiling one of the colors in your palette (as discussed above). Another idea for adding color to the walls without affecting the merchandise is to either bring the ceiling color down on the walls about 10 inches or paint a wide stripe about a foot down from the ceiling.

    That way you get some color on the walls but it doesn’t interfere with your merchandise and other decor.

    Hope these ideas help.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Tina says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am not sure what color to paint our pan ceiling in the familyroom/kitchen. The room is 28′ x 16′ and the ceiling is 12′ tall. There are two 78″ x 60″ windows west facing. I painted the walls Benjamin Moore umbria red, and my furniture is old world style in golds, burgandy, and a small amount of navy, with dark walnut tables. The kitchen cabinets are a golden oak. The adjacent diningroom is painted Sherwin-Williams restrained gold. What color would you suggest to create a warm inviting wow?

    Thanks,
    Tina

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Tina (#87),

    Since you have such a high ceiling and tons of light (at least in the afternoon), why not paint the ceiling the restrained gold from the dining room. That will tie the two rooms together and bring the ceiling down a little bit.

    See what you think.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Carrie says:

    Hi! I love your insight!
    I have been strugling for years on what to do with my interior color. We finally made a leap and painted my teen daughters rooms watermelon pink and chocolate sprinkle brown! Wow! Now I’m ready to move on.
    We have a manufactured house and the kitchen and living room ceiling tie into each other. The carpet in the house is only a year old and it’s a high quality cut berber, that is brown, beige with a hint of forest green.

    I’d like to paint the living room/dining room a brown with green tone, and the kitchen a darker pumpking orange. The living room/dining room gets a lot of light. But the kitchen stays a little dark.

    The problem is what to do with the ceiling that ties it all together. We have an entry into the kitchen from the living room, that doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling, it has open shelves.

    Help!

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Carrie (#89),

    Wonderfully rich colors! To keep them fresh and maintain the light in the room, I suggest painting the ceiling a bright white. I know it sounds boring, and in some cases we like to paint the ceiling a coordinating color, but with your dark shades, you’re going to need some light on the walls. Bright white will keep those colors looking fresh and not dulled by a drab ceiling color.

    Exception: If your ceilings are 9 feet or above, then feel free to paint them a coordinating color. The height of the room will bring in enough light to support a color on the ceiling — no need for bright white to bounce the light back down. But if your ceilings are average height or you have an architectural issue up there, then stick with white.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Becky says:

    Hi, I am painting the living room in Glidden Bailey Beige paint and the living room leads to upstairs. I am not sure if I should paint the upstair stairway and hallway the same color as one of the upstair room which will be Ralph Lauren’s Dover Cliff, not sure if the Glidden Baily Beige and Ralph Lauren’s Dover Cliff will not transaction well. Do you have any opinion or suggestion? And what ceiling color would work well with it?

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Becky (#91),

    The Glidden site doesn’t have the Bailey Beige on their paint viewer so I’m not sure exactly what color that is (no fan deck). But if it’s a medium beige, you can go a shade or two lighter for the inner hallway and up the stairs. That way, there should be a transition between the Dover Cliff and the beige. I would stick with a white ceiling for maximum light and clarity of the beige.

    Hope that helps.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sharon says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I have an old Craftsman and want to maintain authenticity in the main living areas as far as practical. In the living/dining area the walls are Kelly-Moore cornhusk (lighter ochre) below the picture rail and Kelly-Moore Firefly flicker above and on the ceiling. I used a creamy white here because in spite of the windows very little light gets into these rooms. The wood work is original and a medium gunstock shade. The flooring in these rooms is strip birds eye maple. The floor will need refinishing but will always be lighter and more golden than the wood trim. We just discovered the ghost of geometric molding on the ceiling which we intend to replace. The question is what color should that ceiling molding be stained? Should I match the wood trim of the house or its floor? My instinct is to match the trim but I don’t want the rooms to feel top heavy, nor do I want to obscure the birds eye pattern in the flooring by a dark stain. What do you think??!! Thanks

  • Sharon says:

    Hi Barbara,

    You being backlogged gives me the opportunity to add additional information. Our ceilings are 9 feet high and the ghosts of geometric molding on the ceiling are not extensive or large, 1 1/4 inches wide and only around the perimeter of the ceiling ( 5 7/8 inches in) , making a knot in each of the 4 corners. Again, thank you.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Sharon,

    I would match the trim. With the molding going around the perimeter of the room, the dark color should not be overwhelming. Just having the molding on the ceiling is going to attract some attention and bring the ceiling down a bit no matter what color you use. At least your ceiling is nice and high. But I would keep the trim consistent. It’s fine to have a floor in a different shade. If the floor seems too light when you’re all done, you can add some darker area rugs to ground the room.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • althea says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I need help! I’m stuck. I have been in the process of ‘doing’ my bedroom & bath for 5 years. I have changed my mind so many times but now I have a picture in my brain that I (and hubby) am happy with but need some advice.
    We have antique furniture (stored at our neighbors for past 5 years – Thanks Fred!). It is Charles Eastlake, American Spoon Carved and English Linen Fold pieces in med dark oak. The bedding is mocha and french blue, accent pillows in metallics. Towels are shades of brown and french blue. Sheers are linen under bronze shimmery silk drapes (ceiling hgt). Hardware in bath is Delta Victorian in oil rubbed bronze. Mirrors are frost/etched. Light in bath is bronze and 2 matching wall sconces for either side of bed. Also, bronze w/ frosted glass shades boudoir lamps for dressers. (We do not read or watch tv in this room. We do, however, suffer from migraines and the west wall has a huge window, thus all the dark color.)

    I have chosen Valspar Dewdrop (25% color/75% white) from all the big blue spots on the walls. I want to paint the doors and baseboards Sher-Wils 6091 Reliable White (lt beige) w/ 6093 Familiar Beige accent. What do I paint the ceiling? I am leaning to the Dewdrop same as the walls. All paint in satin finish.

    For carpet I am looking for a dk brown w/w. My husband hand hooked a wool area rug to put in the open area (it has a pattern).

    I also would like an opinion for bath counter/cab. It is currently a light oak.

    Any ideas are welcome. Did I miss anything?

    Save me from myself, please! Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Althea,

      Wow, you’ve done a great job pulling all those colors together. Yes, I would put the Dewdrop right up over the ceiling — there’s nothing like “sky” in a bedroom for a feeling of serenity. Everything else looks great. I would stain or paint your bathroom cabinet to “match” the dark woods in the bedroom. The light oak is just too yellow to go with your scheme. I’m not sure if you’re planning to replace the countertop, but remnants of marble and granite are a good economical way to go if you have the budget for the upgrade. It sounds like you’ve got everything else under control. Enjoy your new suite.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Becca says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I am painting my daughter’s room an aqua/turquoise color called Blue bayou by Pittsburgh Paints. She wants her ceiling pink, spring bloom by Benjamin Moore. I don’t have any crown molding in her room. So, the colors would butt right up against each other. Do you think the blue and pink will look good together or do you think these colors are too bold for one another. Do you think a light lime green, like Key Lime by Benjamin Moore would look better on the ceiling? I want to give her pink, b/c she wants it so bad, but not if it will look tacky. Please help me!
    Thanks so much!
    Becca

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Becca,

      Sorry for the long delay. As for the pink on the ceiling, here’s what might happen with that. a) it might look purple due to the reflection of the blue up onto the ceiling (not sure if your daughter wants that); and b) you’re right, there will be focus on the edges of the ceiling where the blue meets the pink. I do love the idea of using an “analogous” color to blue (something on either side of blue on the color wheel) for the ceiling color. Key lime would blend with the blue at the edges and also make the ceiling rise a bit since it’s a cool color (pink will bring the ceiling down). Then she could really go to town with the pink accessories in the room. I think that would look terrific.

      If you’ve already painted the ceiling pink, then that will be fine too. It’s just paint, afterall. And a girl’s room is definitely her domain.

      Good luck.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Tammy says:

    I would like to paint my living room so that it looks a bit like an extension into the dining room. The DR is Laura Ashley maroon, with cream trim. How would it look if I painted just one wall the same maroon, and the other walls perhaps more of a creamy yellow? Nothing too bright, but warm. It is a southern facing room with a fireplace. I actually thought about the maroon on the wall with the fireplace to make it ‘pop’! What do you think? Any other suggestions? The LR has light oak trim, as does the fireplace.
    Thanks so much for any suggestions.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Tammy,

      Great idea. I would go ahead with the maroon on the fireplace wall. But instead of a creamy yellow, which might make the southern-exposed room a little too warm, I suggest just a more neutral cream, a Ben Moore Berber White 955 or Bone White. With more neutral walls, you can add warmth with your fabrics and accessories.

      Paint the accent wall first and see how that looks with in the room before settling on the neutral wall color for the other walls. (If you already have a neutral in an adjoining hallway, you could run that color into the living room for maximum flow.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • JOE KENNEDY says:

    HELLO BARBARA,
    I AM FINALLY GETTING AROUND TO REMOVING THE POPCORN FROM MY KITCHEN CEILING. BOY, WHAT I JOB THAT IS GOING TO BE. LOL
    I’M NOT REALLY SURE WHAT COLOR I SHOULD PAINT AFTER I HAVE PRIMED IT .
    MY WALLS ARE NOW PAINTED WITH A VENETIAN PLASTER “ANTICO”, IT HARD TO EXPLAIN THE COLOR ,BASICLY IT IS A LIGHT YELLOW WITH A TOUCH OF LIGHT BROWN OR GOLDISH HIGHLIGHT , MY CABINETS ARE A EGGSHELL COLOR. I HAVE CROWN MOLDING AT THIS TIME JUST ON THE CABINETS BUT I PLAN TO ADD MORE TO THE WALLS . MY CIELINGS ARE 8 FT.AND I HAVE PLENTY OF LIGHT COMING IN THRU THE WINDOWS.
    I HOPE YOU CAN HELP ME FIND A COLOR ,,,,,

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Joe,

      Sorry for the delay. If you haven’t already painted the ceiling by now, here are a couple of ideas. You didn’t mention what color your trim is in the room — I see that your cabinets are antique white. If you have white-white trim around baseboards and doors and if your crown moulding is going to be true white (and not antique white), then you might consider painting the ceiling either antique white (flat). That way the ceiling is tied in with the cabinets and the crown moulding pops. It’s a great look.

      If your trim color in the room is all antique white, to go with the cabinet color, and the crown moulding on top of cabinets and around the room is (or will be) antique white, then you can either paint the ceiling true white (flat) for a traditional look and maximum light reflection OR you can paint the ceiling a light gold (darker than the cabinets — a color right out of your granite) that will tie the ceiling in with the room and again make the crown moulding stand out more. Essentially you’re taking the wall color and putting it up on the ceiling to make the mouldings more prominent. Again, a great look.

      Hope that helps. Send a photo if I can be more specific.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • JOE KENNEDY says:

    OH FORGOT TO INFORM YOU OF THE COLOR OF OUR GRANITE COUNTER TOPS. THEY ARE A AFRICAN RANGE-JUPARANA TIER W/RED. THANKS

  • JOE KENNEDY says:

    BARBARA,,,
    SORRY, SORRY, SORRY,
    MY CABINETS ARE A SEMI-GLOSS ANTIQUE WHITE,,

  • JOE KENNEDY says:

    hi barbara,

    i sent you a e-mail with pictures . i hope you get it .
    thanks joe

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Joe,

      I received your photos and will look at them in the morning. Back to you soon.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sara says:

    Hi Barbara! I just have a question about painting my ceiling. I have a ranch-style home with the living room, kitchen and hallway to the bedrooms all joining. I am painting the kitchen a deep red, the living room a mustard yellow and the hallway burnt orange. The hallway comes straight into the living room. I want all rooms to blend. Should I paint the ceiling all the same color or should I do different colors for the living room/hallway and the kitchen? What color on the ceiling for the living room/hallway? I am lost! Thanks!

  • Vicki says:

    What is the formula for tinting the ceiling paint? I heard 5%,
    10%, 25% of the wall color. I want it to look like a reflection
    of the wall color. Do you recommed doing this? We will have
    crown moulding. Thank you.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Vicki,

      Just tell them at the paint store that you want a tint of your wall color for the ceiling and they should know the best formula. At least 10%. Maybe up to 50% depending on how dark your wall color is. If it’s light, then go with 50% for maximum impact. Yes, with crown moulding, painting the ceiling is a great idea!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Stacy says:

    I am remodeling my home and will have a great room with 22′ vaulted ceilings open to the dining area and kitchen.
    I have hired an interior designer who is suggesting I paint my great room ceiling in Benjamin Moore Branchport Brown and the body of the room Montgomery White. The hallways will also be painted in Montgomery White with Mascapone on the ceilings. I will have walnut hardwood flooring throughout the house and 6″ white baseboards. He is also suggesting one 8′ x 10′ wall in the dining area be painted some shade of red. My kitchen cabinets will be off white with a chocolate glaze and my kitchen island will be a dark brown or espresso type color with typhoon bordeaux granite counters. My questions are: what do you think about the brown ceiling in the great room contrasted with the light colored walls? What color red would you suggest for the dining area (or would red even look good?) and lastly, what color would you suggest for the kitchen as it is open to the great room? I’m just not sure I trust my designer. Thank you for your help!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Stacy,

      Yes, your designer is suggesting ideas that may seem uncomfortable to you, but I agree that a 22-ft ceiling needs to come down and the dark color up there should do just that. As for the dining room, red is traditional, but you have to love it. If you’d rather have a richer, more neutral color, just tell him. What he should do for you, though, before you paint, is draw you a sketch of what it will look like. That will help you visualize his ideas and actually make him feel more confident that you’re both on the same page. It will be an expensive paint job to get up to that ceiling so you’ll want to love the end result. Just ask for a sketch along with the color swatches.

      As for specific colors, they should come right out of your granite counters. The red should be on the maroon side (with the bordeaux) or a different neutral (dark taupe?) from the granite. Same with your kitchen. Pick a color right out of the countertop and you’ll be fine coordinating the three spaces.

      Other thought: If the brown he selected is too dark for you, he can bring it down to a medium brown and still have the same effect. But all colors should come out of the granite to work.

      Hope I’ve helped a little.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Angela says:

    Hi,
    I am planning on painting my home office with black and pink stripes that have a candlelight shimmer(all Ralph Lauren Paints). First, what color would you recommend for the ceiling, it is now Elephant Tusk from Benjamin Moore and what is your opinon if there is a chair rail, what color either black or pink should go from the floor to the chair rail. The stripes will be above the chair rail.
    Thanks

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Angela,

      You can try a color like Ben Moore’s vanilla milkshake (OC-59) which should intensify your pink stripes a bit as it appears to have a touch of green in it (pink’s opposite color on the color wheel). White opulence (OC-69) and whitewater bay (OC-70) both have a subtle pink tint and would appear as if the pink stripe is reflecting off the ceiling. Warmer than the other option. Just avoid gray on the ceiling.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • me says:

    i painted my ceiling black and i hated it!!!!! i had to re paint it back white and it was a horrid mess and took forever, if you want it a different color make it a light shade of something you like nothing dark it makes it feel way too small and made just wasnt cute

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi me,

      Yes, black is a very serious color when it comes to repainting over it. Not fun at all. Black on a ceiling works with REALLY high ceilings (you see it in large restaurants) and in home theaters where you really do want the room to be dark. Otherwise, reserve black for a cave-like feeling in the room. And if you’re unsure, paint a light color on the ceiling first and proceed cautiously from that point on.

      Primer will cover everything so hang in there…

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Mira says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I stumbled on your site too late! I’m having two bedrooms and my bathroom painted tomorrow and I’m struggling with what colors to paint the ceiling and the doors. The Master bedroom will be painted B14-2 Belgian Waffle (Olympic Paints), the second bedroom will be 420c-1 Water Sprout (Behr), and the bathroom will be D51-1 Elusive Blue (Olympic Paints). The trim in all rooms will be 45YY 83/094 Shell White (Glidden).

    Sooooo, I’ve been searching pictures trying to figure out what color to paint the ceilings and the doors. The ceilings are only about 7 to 8 feet high. In both bedrooms, the ceilings slope down on one side. Both rooms get a fair amount of light. I want them to both be ‘cozy/comfy’ but roomy and inviting but I am also a LIGHT fanatic and want the appearance of as much natural light as I can have.

    Oh, also, they share a small common hallway that’s not going to be painted. It has textured white wallpaper and I’m thinking of painting the trim in the hallway to match the rooms to help tie them in together.

    So, should the ceilings be painted bright white or should they be painted the same colors as the walls or trim. Should the doors be painted the same color as the trim?

    By the time you answer back, I will probably already have had the bedrooms painted but not the bathroom. Either way, I would love to hear your ideas. I’ve been reading your responses above and would like to know what you think! This is the first paint job in a series that I have planned. It’s an exciting time for me!

    Thanks,
    Mira

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Mira,

      As much as I LOVE to paint ceilings different colors other than white, there’s nothing like the fresh look of a bright white ceiling especially in rooms that have pastel walls. The bright white reflects the maximum amount of light coming in from the windows and really sets off the colors, even medium tones. The only time it’s really tough to have a bright white ceiling is when the walls are dark. Then you just call attention to the edge where wall meets ceiling and if the ceiling is already low, you have a problem.

      Go ahead with bright white. You’ll love the result. Exception: if you have a white crown moulding around all the edges, then you can paint the ceiling a tint of the wall color or something else. But if you need light in the room, bright white will give you the optimal result.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Shauna says:

    I just stumbled across your website and I found your responses very helpful so I thought I’d ask a question.

    We are in the process of painting our living room/kitchen which is pretty much an open space seperated by a half wall. The kitchen is all white, with bright white ceramic tile, oak cupboards and a burgandy flecked counter top. The living room has olive/khacki green furniture with light oak hardwood floors. I picked out a nice light(ish) green with a khacki green tones (3 up on the paint swatch) and I want to do walls and ceilings throught the space? Do you think that will be too much. I did a test patch in the living room and the color looks very light (but the walls are gold right now), a test patch in the kitchen (where everything is white) looks crazy dark. We love color and cozy just worried that it will be too much.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Shauna,

      You’re on the right track. Just make sure you love the color. Anything is going to look bold next to the white in the kitchen, but once the paint is all up on the walls, things should really come together. You might want to prime the living room if the green is light so you’ll get true color on the wall.

      Also unless you have a really high ceiling, keep the ceiling color to a tint so you don’t cut down on the light too much. If you have one wall in the living room that you could use as an accent wall, you could bring the burgundy in from the kitchen. Just an idea.

      Good luck.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kathy says:

    Hi Barbara

    I’m painting my Mom’s cape cod which has very dark wooden beams on the ceiling. What’s a good shade of white to use inbetween the beams? The room is very dim most of the day – alot of trees around the house.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kathy,

      If you’re looking for maximum light in the room (and it sounds like you are), then go with a bright white ceiling paint (not just white, but bright white or super white). That will give you maximum contrast with the dark beams and reflect as much light back into the room as possible.

      Good luck. And how nice of you to paint your mom’s home.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Brian says:

    I recently had the entire second floor of my home resurfaced. The walls and ceilings were all textured and the molding had been painted a hundred times. I had the wood taken back to bare and everything else patched and smoothed. The wood isnt clean enough to stain, so it will be repainted but it will at least look clean. My issue is that I want to paint each of the three bedrooms a different color. I dont want my house to look like a carnival, but I do want the rooms to have separate identities. Should I be concerned with each room having a different color ceiling? If a room in question is already going to be painted a very very light green, what would acceptable ceiling colors be to match it?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Brian,

      Unless you plan to sell the house anytime soon (in which case, I would paint all ceilings white), you can certainly paint each bedroom and ceiling a different color to reflect the taste of each inhabitant (kids, spouse, etc.). Not a problem at all. As for the light green room, you can paint the ceiling light green (to enlarge the room), very light blue (a nice combo), or white. I would not paint the ceiling a warm color as it will bring the ceiling down visually. But really, bedrooms are meant to be individualized, unless you’re sprucing up to sell. Different story there.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Amy says:

    Hi, Please settle a dispute between my father and my husband. We are in the midst of painting our house and my father has installed thick crown molding throughout the house:carolina room, open dining room and livingroom. He wants to paint the crownmolding and the ceiling the same color and the walls a darker shade of that same color. The color is a sortof reddish tuape brown, that looks different in all lights. My husband thinks the ceiling should be white and that painting the crown molding and ceiling the same color looks dumb! Please help!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Amy,

      Uh oh… I’m not sure I want to get in the middle of this entanglement, but here it goes. I would do neither. I suggest painting the newly installed luscious crown molding the same color as the rest of the trim in the room. Semi-gloss white, cream, whatever that is. Then paint the ceiling a light warm neutral like Ben Moore’s lambskin (OC-3) or Brandy cream (OC-4) or even a light warm gray like Edgecomb gray (HC-173). What that will do is tint the ceiling and draw your eye to the highlighted crown molding. Painting the ceiling white is a missed opportunity to highlight the crown, and painting the ceiling and crown molding the same color is another missed opportunity. Also with the reddish taupe that you’ve chosen for the walls, the ceiling might end up pink. Not sure if you’d like that. See what YOU think. I hope I’ve helped and not opened another can of worms, so to speak. Good luck!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Stacey says:

    I am painting my daughter’s room a medium to light purple on 3 walls and a lime green on the wall with the least amount of wall to paint (window wall) The trim is all white along with all of her bedroom furniture. What color should I paint the ceiling that does have a slight texture to it? (not a popcorn ceiling & 8ft. high)

    Thanks
    Stacey

  • Lina says:

    Hi,
    I have very high tray ceilings in my bedroom, with no moldings. We can’t afford to install molding, but would like to paint the walls a light color, possibly with a rose tint. Where the walls and ceiling meets it is a curved edge – very hard to paint a straight line. Would it be alright to paint the walls and ceiling the same color, with an eggshell finish?
    Thanks!

  • Ken says:

    The house I’m planning to buy has a 9ft ceiling in the family room. Although the room is facing North without any obstruction, it seems dark to me. I wonder if new coat of paint would help brighten the room and make the ceiling higher. I currently live in a 10ft ceiling home with tripple crown moulding. The family room at the new house has a simple crown moulding. Should I paint the moulding the same color as the wall or the ceiling? Thanks.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Ken,

      Not to worry. A 9ft ceiling is quite adequate — it’s just that you’re not used to it yet. I would still paint the moulding the same color as the trim in the rest of the room. But consider painting the walls a warm neutral, something like Powell Buff (Ben Moore HC-35) or Papaya (Ben Moore 957) and paint the ceiling a tint of either color (10% to 30% value). That way the ceiling will blend a little more with the rest of the room and make the whole room seem bigger. If you had a lot of light in the room, I would suggest going with a soft gray blue for walls and ceiling as cool colors recede making everything feel bigger, but since you face North, that would be too cold. I’d go with the light warm tones.

      See what you think.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kimberly says:

    I ahve an open concept livingroom, eating area and kitchen. My furniture, cupboards & floors are chocolate brown. My accent color is a pinkish-red/burgundy. We chose a deep taupe for the walls and for our ceilings went two shades lighter on the color swatch. We find the ceiling a little darker than we desired, but are going to live with it. But now I am not sure what color to paint the trim and the doors. Should I use the same color as on the celing or go a tone or two lighter?
    Also, any ideas on how we can fix the ceiling without re-doing everything?
    Thanks

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kimberly,

      Not to worry. Everything will blend soon. For the trim and doors, I suggest going to the lightest shade on your ceiling color swatch to blend the trim with the walls and ceiling. However, if you feel that you want to highlight the trim to provide contrast in the room, then paint them white (something like china white, not too yellowy a white).

      Then, you need a shiny metal in the room and lots of it. Chrome or nickel. And make sure your lighting is adequate since you have a lot of dark color soaking up the light. After you’re done painting, if it still feels dark, now is the time to add your white accessories, things you really want to feature. The contrast will highlight them and make the walls fade into the background. Final trick: A really modern rug on the living room floor that pulls in white brown and, yes, pink. You’ll fnd one. The palette is out there.

      Good luck.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Karen says:

    I’ve read many of your suggestions about painting the ceiling, and think I have a better understanding about what works, but I want to run it by you first. We are redoing most of the interior of our 100+ year old home. We have pulled out all the carpeting and vinyl on the first floor and will have the hardwood refinished. The color hasn’t been chosen yet, but it won’t be a light bleached color. We already have new LR furniture which is larger and darker than we previously have had (we love the new look). But the room which faces west is definitely darker, so we need to make sure the wall color doesn’t darken the room any more. Our new stair runner has a nice warm wheat color that I was thinking of for the walls and a cream for the ceiling (we have dark beams in the LR). Then in the adjoining DR (this is a separate room with pocket doors) I thought of using a darker value of the wheat I use in the LR to unify the 2 spaces but still define it as something different and separate and dramatic. Should I use the same cream from the LR ceiling in the DR? We have an antique brushed brass chandelier with frosted glass globes, it’s a focal point in the room, it is classic looking not fussy with prisms. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Karen,

      That will definitely work and will look classic in your antique home. Yes, paint the ceilings the same color unless there is some architectural feature dividing them. But in a house that old, the ceilings are quite low so keep the ceiling light in any case.

      At some point, you might consider a new chandelier to replace the classic version that’s there currently. It’s perfectly fine to have a more updated light fixture even in an antique home. And they’re relatively inexpensive to switch out. You’ll love the more contemporary feel to your dining room.

      Just a thought.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kristine says:

    Barbara,

    We are in the process of adding a 20×30 family room with 3 sets of french doors and can lights throughout the room. My contractor has suggested a white textured paint to keep the room from bouncing too much light. However, I don’t like the textured paint, and it doesn’t match the rest of the house. Will flat white ceiling paint create too much light bouncing around the room? The walls are a light taupe.

    Thank you,
    Kristine

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kristine,

      If you have crown moulding, have you considered putting the wall color on the ceiling? In a room that size, coloring the ceiling will not only soak up some of that light, but also make the room feel cozier. You can put a coordinating color on the ceiling if you’d prefer or a tint of the wall color. Either way. Flat white is okay but only if your ceilings are really low.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Dana says:

    My bathroom remodel has the walls paint montpelier moss (green). I am in the process of doing all the base boards and doors in in our 68 year old house a color called bleached blonde (yellowish whitish) Should we paint the ceilings the same color as well as the crown molding we are adding? Or should the ceiling paint be more of a white. The trim paint is a satin finish. thanks!

    Dana

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Dana,

      I would paint the crown moulding the same cream as the baseboards and doors and tint the ceiling with 1/10th to 1/4 of the wall color. You’ll have a really nice finished look!

      Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Mila Burban says:

    My bedroom ceiling is 9′ and is somewhat cathedral in structure. The room has plenty of light, hence is very bright in the morning. The room’s accent wall is painted in Windsor Haze by Behr. Naturally, all the colors in the room follow: plenty of shimmering gold and silver decorative art pieces, arm chairs in cream, bedspread in blue with taupe and throw pillows in spicy orange.

    Please advise if you would recommend to paint the room in light taupe and the ceiling a few shades darker.
    I currently zeroed down on Benjamin Moore paint HOT SPRING STONES (AC31) for the walls and SHENANDOAH TAUPE (AC36) for the ceiling.

    Thank you for your advice in advance.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Mila,

      The taupes you picked out are fine as long as you have the cream and orange accents in the room — the taupe and blue combo is very sophisticated — a tad masculine — and a little cold, but the warm colored accents will really pop.

      Another option might be to go with a warm gray for the walls (something like Ben Moore’s Collingwood 859), then use a lighter blue for the ceiling (Russian Blue — two shades down from Windsor Haze). Not sure from your description whether the taupe in the bedspread is on the brown side or the gray side but see what you think.

      Sounds like you have all the elements for a fantastic bedroom.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Amie says:

    I am looking for some professional advice. I am thinking of painting my living room ceiling dark brown. I’ve seen it in several local restaurants and really like the effect. I have a 1000 sq ft condo w standard (10 ft?) ceilings, built in the mid 80s. The walls are Powell Buff & Wilmington Tan (Ben Moore HC), which compliment the leather sofa and chair.

    I’m worried about it feeling like a cave. I’ve asked friends and most ppl have advised against it but they’ve never done it or seen it. I’m also worried about the 10 coats it could take to cover it if I don’t like it. I will take some earlier advice and paint a piece of posterboard or cardboard and see how it looks. Just wanted your opinion. Thanks ! Amie

  • shannon says:

    I am turning a VERY well-lit office into a school room for my children. They have chosed a wonderful green apple color for the walls. I decided to paint the ceiling the same color. Now, I am considering changing them into a crisp white. I have 10 foot ceilings and 2 large windows and french doors in the room. I am putting in royal purple carpet.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Shannon,

      I love the carpet color but you’re right, green apple on all four walls and ceiling might be a bit over the top. Even though your ceilings are high, a light ceiling will optimize light (best for studying). You could paint one accent wall the green apple color and use the same color for furniture and accents in the room. That would look terrific. But keeping the other three walls neutral will allow you to feature your children’s art projects on the walls. And there will be a lot of color in the room anyway with all the children’s markers and papers and stuff.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • dee says:

    hello,
    i am going to have a new bedroom in a couple of weeks and it is already painted with a light boring beige all the four walls and the ceiling. The floor is ( i dnt know how to explain it) sort of little broken pieces of rocks (different red and shades) all gathered in a mixture to make it smooth and plain (i’m sorry for the complicated explanation but i dnt have any technical words..).
    i have a very high ceiling, (about 3 metres) and a huge closet fixed all over one of the walls, made of cherry wood.
    on the facing wall and its perpendicular one i have 2 huge windows (1 on each) that bring light in (maybe too much light).
    on the remaining wall is the entering door right in the angle..

    I need help to make my new room less boring, i don’t know what’s in nowadays in colors and techniques, but all this with minimum change since i can’t afford much anymore..

    Thank you in advance

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi dee,

      I suggest you paint the wall behind your bed an accent color that you pick out of the different shades in the floor. How about one of the shades of brownish red? That will create some interest in your beige bedroom and pull the whole look together. Then you can find some bedding that you like — it doesn’t have to be expensive — with a little bit of that red in it. Add some black metal (lights, picture frames, accent pieces) and you have a great-looking bedroom!

      See what you think and good luck!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kate says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am opening a gift shop (approx 18 x 27) and thinking of pale aqua for the walls and a darker shade for the back wall. The crown moulding and trim will be white, I think.

    I have been advised by more than one person that the ceiling should be painted either navy blue or black because it will appear that the ceiling goes on forever and make the room seem larger.

    I just can’t imagine that color but I’m not thrilled with white either.. What do you think? The floor is a medium maple and most of the displays will be on antique walnut furniture.

    Please help! I didn’t think selecting colors would be so difficult.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kate,

      Congratulations on your new business! I like your color scheme so far. A dark ceiling can recede as long as it’s high enough. Otherwise it may close in on you. If your ceiling is over 10′ high and you have really good lighting (I assume you do), then you can go ahead with a navy blue ceiling. Otherwise, I would just pick a medium tone a few shades darker than your wall color to blend ceiling with walls and make the room feel bigger.

      Good luck with your gift shop!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Elizabeth says:

    Hello,

    I just ran across this website and loved reading through the questions and suggestions. (I could have used some of those when we painted our house after moving in 5 years ago…)

    But my dilemma today is our garage. We recently decided to convert 1/2 of the garage into a spare room (I have longed to do this for years!) Here is some info on the room:
    * Purpose of the room is home office, “library” space for our many books, spare sleeping space, and storage.
    * The finished room will be 350 square feet (about 15′ x 23′).
    * One section will be used for storage (shelves concealed behind “wall decor” curtains), but mainly the room will have large bookshelves around the walls and an office area in one corner. The center area will be mostly open except for a day bed and a couple of simple Swedish chairs facing a picture window.
    * All of the furniture is either light wood or painted creamy white, and the windows and trim are white vinyl.
    * The room will have medium light overall (it has a large south facing picture window on one end, glass sliders on the north end, and two smaller windows in the corner by the desk area).
    * There will be four ceiling fixtures (evenly placed), with 3 track lights in each fixture.
    * Ceiling is lower — about 7 1/2 feet.
    * We are leaving floor concrete, but will cover it with an indoor/outdoor carpet (this is a low budget project :-) The carpet is a medium-to-deeper green with a slight sage tint.

    The room is nearing completion and I would love your advice about walls and ceiling paint!

    * I know that much of the walls will have furniture in front of it so you will only see the top half or less of the walls. But I was thinking of a light sage color, that goes OK with the carpet. (we have a similar shade in our house bathrooms and I really like it) I thought the shade seemed to go well with the furniture – cream or light wood. What do you think?

    * If I used that shade, should I use it also on the ceiling? Would it make the room seem bigger or ceiling higher? Or, should I use a lighter shade (e.g., mix a little of the wall paint into the white ceiling paint, to create a lighter tint for the ceiling)?

    I would be very grateful for your thoughts on this.

    Thanks so much.

    Best regards,
    Elizabeth

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      All your ideas are just perfect. Yes, go with a monochromatic color scheme to make the ceiling taller and the room feel bigger. Tint the ceiling as you suggested so your eye doesn’t go immediately to the corner where wall meets white ceiling. Green recedes as a color so walls and ceiling should move away from you making the room feel bigger anyway. Just make sure the carpet is deeper than the wall color so it grounds the room.

      Sounds good!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

      • Elizabeth says:

        Thanks so very much for your generous time in letting me have your input on my garage / spare room paint color question.

        I just wanted to clarify what you were suggesting for the ceiling – paint it the same color as the walls (a light sage)?

        Or, should I paint the ceiling a little lighter tint than the walls (by mixing wall paint in to white ceiling paint)?

        Ceiling is just under 7 1/2 feet high. There is no trim between walls and ceiling.

        (Furniture is cream and light wood, with medium to deeper green/sagey carpet).

        Thanks again so much. (We will be ready to paint next Monday).

        – Elizabeth

      • bmeglis says:

        Hi Elizabeth,

        Since your ceiling is low, a light tint (sage added to the white ceiling paint) will help to obscure the area where wall meets ceilng and make the ceiling feel a little bit taller. Sounds good.

        -Barbara
        Your Home & Color Coach

  • Donna says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Help! I’m painting a high vaulted wood ceiling in the living room/dining room in a ranch home. The large room is painted with two walls a light camel, one wall a soft white and one wall a brownish, orangish rock with a large fireplace. The room adjoins the kitchen and shares the same ceiling but has a partition wall divider between the living area and the kitchen/breakfast area. The kitchen cabinets and walls are presently white. All areas have a saltillo terra cotta tile floor. My question is what color ceiling would work? I’m presently painting with an antique white but this seems to blend into the camel with little contrast. The antique white on the door facings and woodwork looks much lighter that it appears on the ceiling (this is puzzling to me)! Thanks!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Donna,

      The ceiling color depends on the lighting in the room and whether you want the ceiling to come down to make the rooms feel more cozy or disappear to make the rooms feel more airy. Dark/warm ceilings will make the room cozy (consider two shades darker than the camel or even a rusty terra cotta from your floor –Ben Moore’s Audubon Russet HC-51?). For an airy feel, paint the ceiling the same camel color as the walls. That will work in the living room and will carry over into the kitchen where it will contrast with all the white and complement the floor.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kelly says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am painting my bathroom Benjamin Moore 1245 (Sequoia), which is a greyish purple. The bathroom is a good size, not very big, not very small. I am wondering what to do about the ceiling color. I am sick of white ceilings. Also, the ceiling is slanted in this bathroom. Please let me know your thoughts.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Kelly,

    How about New Age 1444? It’s a light lavendar on the blue side and should look terrific with nickel hardware.

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Lily Cornely says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am so glad I found your site, since selecting a paint color is always my most difficult decorating decision. I would appreciate your help with my dining room. The room is open to the hallway with just a pillar dividing the space. The dining area is about 11 x 12 with 10 ft ceiling and a tray ceiling. The three walls have wainscoting. All the trim is a cream color (Impressive Ivory semi-gloss by Duron). I’m thinking of painting the walls a salmon-pink color to pick up the primary colors in a tribal looking oriental rug that is in the room. I’m not sure how light or dark I should go with the hue. Also, what should I do with the tray ceiling? Should I go a lighter pink in the tray? How about the remainder of the ceiling outside the tray? Should I use a satin finish for the ceiling or use a flat? The house is new, so the ceilings are in great shape. Thanks for your help!

    Lily

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Lily,

      I suggest a rich salmon for the walls to contrast with your cream trim and pick up the colors in the rug. Then for your tray, how about using a metallic paint (champagne or silver would work) for real drama over the dinner table. Paint the entire tray and leaver the surrounding ceiling the same color as your hallway ceiling for continuity. Just an idea…

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Carrie says:

    Hi Barbara,

    We’ve painted our bedroom a taupe color and plan to put up white crown moulding and leave the ceiling white. My question is in regards to the “tray” part of the ceiling in that room. I’m thinking of paiting that a color that is a few shades lighter or a few shades darker than the taupe color in that room. The ceilings are average height and the room is not overly bright or overly dark. What color for the tray? Thanks for your help!

    ~Carrie

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Carrie,

      Why not pick an accent color, like a nice robin’s egg blue? Then you could pull that color down into the room with bedding and accessories.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • marianne says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Do you have any suggestions for a nice ‘apricot’ paint color. I am considering something warm like this for my dining room. I would also like to know what would be a nice complement color to go on the recessed ceiling.
    Thank you,
    Marianne

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Marianne,

      Have a look at Citrus Blossom (Ben Moore 123) with a metallic silver recessed ceiling (or high gloss Stonington Gray HC-170). With silver and crystal chandelier and silver/white window treatments, you’ve got a stunner!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • marianne says:

    thank you Barbara, I will give it a try!

  • JOHN m LYNCH says:

    Hi my wife painted three walls in our bedroom hunter green and the other a slightly darker green and the ceiling is painted eggshell. Like most houses in the midwest we have oak woodwork. We want to put up crown moulding. I built the house in 1976 so we just have standard 8′ ceilings. The question is do we do the crown moulding in white or eggshell or med dark oak like the wood work? Thanks for your help John.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi John,

      I would keep all the woodwork the same — the medium oak. Although it will call attention to your ceiling height, it’s always a plus to have crown moulding.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Renea says:

    Hi! We just moved into our 100+ house a few months ago and I’m ready to paint the living room. I’m planning on painting it a mustard like color (Del Coronado Amber from Valspar). I have about 3 or 4 inch crown moulding, and my ceiling has that 12 inch square pattern from who knows when. The ceilings are about 9 feet I think. I see you recommend tinting ceilings and using white on the moulding to call more attention to it, which is what I’d like to do. But I”m not sure how a mustard color tint will look on the ceiling. Will the yellowish tint just look aged like it needs repainting? The room doesn’t get tons of light, so I don’t want it darker (it’s like a tinted gray-green now and absorbs light).

    I have a lot of medium toned wood in the room and love antiques, so slate blue and antique reds are my accent colors.

    I’d love to know what you think. Thanks!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Renea,

      The ceiling will be a warm glow if you use a tint of the wall color (even just 10%). The moulding will be the focus. I think you’ll like the effect.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Debbie L says:

    Hi I love your site..I have an attic bedrom that I need to paint. Since it was an attic, the walls are slanted with a small flat ceiling area that connects the “slants” and runs the length of the room..there is one window at the end. I want to paint the room blue and chocolate, but am concerned about putting the chocolate on the slanted areas. I thought about painting the bottom part of the walls chocolate and the slanted areas blue and the small ceiling a white with a hint of the blue in it. Also there is one full wall that I can paint chocolate to match the bottom walls…the wall opposite is closet and is bead board which is varnished….What are your suggestions?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Debbie,

      My best advice is to paint the walls and ceiling including all slanted areas blue. Since cool colors recede, the blue walls and ceiling will make the room seem larger with a higher ceiling. If you want to introduce chocolate, reserve it for the floor (a dark floor will “ground” the attic room) or the furniture and fabrics.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Russell Dee says:

    I want to paint my walls aristocrat peach. What color carpet would go with aristocrat peach? Aristocrat peach is a peach color with a pink tint and I don’t want to add a carpet color that will add to the pink look. I was thinking brown or cream. Any suggestions?

  • Laurie C says:

    Hi.
    I’m painting my son’s (11yrs) room which is in the basement of our house. It is approx 13×13′ with an average size window. We have a Marlin blue rug with a subtle white yarn running through it. My son loves science and space and I was contemplating painting his walls a light shade of grey, or light Silver Marlin (BM), or possibly (BM) dried mustard, but doing something radical on the ceiling; I was thinking a darker shade of blue to enhance a night sky affect and putting glow in the dark planets and stars on it. I’ve always painted ceilings a shade of white in the past, so I’m somewhat hesitant, not having any experience with dark ceilings. The ceiling is an average 8-9′ ht. My son likes blk and darker colors so it would give him something dramatic. My concern is not getting the room too dark, but still going beyond the typical blue boy’s room.
    Thanks for any help!
    Laurie

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Laurie,

      How about going around the room with Graytint 1611, a very light gray. Then you can paint the ceiling a medium blue like Stratford Blue 831, which will darken up the room but not enclose it like a cave. The blue should recede a little (even though it’s dark) giving the room a little more space. Then you can use silver-toned picture frames for posters of spaceships or other sciency stuff on the walls and put the scene from outer space on the ceiling.

      The silver walls are more sophisticated than going around with light blue and should take him into his teens easier. Red accents will warm up the room as well.

      See if that works. If you decide that the dark ceiling is too dark (you should paint a poster board first and try it out), then paint the ceiling the same Graytint and paint one wall in the room the really dark blue like Blue Heron 832 or even the almost black Evening Sky 833. That will become the focal point. Place his bed against it or on the opposite wall so he can lie in bed and still see the stars and planets. One dark wall in the room will not darken it up the room too much, even with only one window.

      See what you think. And thank you again.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Shelley says:

    My 10 year old daughters are ready to update their bedroom. The room is approximately 24 x 10, with two double windows along one of the long walls. The ceiling slopes down about 18″ to the wall with the windows. The girls want to go bright on each end, selecting a color to match their personalities S.W. Dynamic Blue (sort of a royal turquoise?) and SW Confident Yellow (very confident!) Their thought was to paint the long walls white and possibly “splatter” the walls with the yellow and blue as well as a bright pink and bright green (these colors match the solid colors in their comforters and throw pillows). The “splatters” would vary from 6-12″ and be sparse. HOWEVER, they would like to paint the ceiling SW Outrageous Green (very outrageous!). We talked about how it would change the colors of walls due to the reflection but they still want it. I’m concerned about having to paint it back to a lighter color in the future. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Shelley,

      Sounds like you have two budding designers in your family! Nice! I like the concept of putting two distinct colors on either ends of the room to represent the two girls. Sounds like the bedding pulls everything together. I also like the splatter effect (we did pink bubble vinyl stickers on an 11-year-old girl’s room — see my blog for a photo — and it turned out great). So I know that design element will work as well.

      As for the green ceiling, the green they’ve chosen looks like a combination of the blue and the yellow (which makes green, of course). In other words the shade of green looks like it’s equal parts blue and yellow (very saturated). Would the girls consider three shades that were not quite as “primary?” These would be, dare I say, a tad more teen?

      Here they are: Calypso (SW 6950), a gorgeous turquoise (very girly), Decisive Yellow (SW 6902), just as strong a yellow but not as lemony — has a touch of orange to warm it up, and Eye Catching (SW6914), a yellow green for the ceiling.

      As for painting the ceiling, as long as it’s plaster and not textured, you can treat it like a fifth wall and go ahead with a strong color. A coat of primer will cover it up when the girls are ready to move on… But if the ceiling is textured, it will be a bear to paint and even harder to cover up if you ever want to re-do.

      From my experience, “tweenagers” are ecstatically happy when they are given control over the aesthetics in their bedrooms so I try to give them as much design leeway as possible. My son’s room (painted when he was 10 — he’s now 12) has orange walls, a gold ceiling and big red spots on the walls. He designed it — I painted it — and he loves it.

      Good luck with the girls. The white walls will provide adequate respite for the occasional parent visitor. I think if you can get the girls to alter the shades of the yellow, blue, and green just a bit, everyone will be happier for a longer period. Of course, I understand the bedding is already purchased so the suggested colors might not work perfectly — that’s your call. But hopefully the girls will be happy.

      Thank you and all the best to your daughters!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

      • Shelley says:

        Hi Barbara,

        So we have been able to compromise a bit. Resonant Blue, 6954, Confident Yellow 6911 and Humorous Green 6918 for the ceiling. (Yikes!) Anyway, I am not sure what “color” white to use for the long wall. While the walls are long (>20′), there are two double closet doors and the room door on one side and the two double windows on the other. the trim is white and the girls furniture is white (two 4×4 IKEA Expedit bookcases, one IKEA Hemmes dresser and two twin size white bookcase style headboards). thanks!

      • bmeglis says:

        Hi Shelley,

        Oh, I do like their green choice much better. Who knows what it will look like on the ceiling, but it’s a great color! Try Snowbound SW 7004 on the long walls. It has a touch of cream in it so it will contrast just a bit with the white trim, bookcases, etc, but it’s white enough to make the colors really pop without looking like primer. I would love to see a photo taken of course by your two designer daughters when the room is done. I would be happy to post the photo/s and give them total credit for their design brilliance.

        Hope it’s just perfect — and you love it too! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

        -Barbara
        Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jay Schoenfeldt says:

    Hi. I need some color help on the ceiling topic. I’m painting an old california bungalow with a smooth plaster ceiling with a decent height. It is a high end rental in Hollywood, so I’ve had to choose an off white for the walls (Dunn Edwards Vanilla Shake). It really opens up the space which is already wide. The floors are a medium brown wood from 1918. They are classic and I love them. My issue is the beautiful crown moulding in the family and dining room (2 seperate rooms). I want to make that old gorgeous moulding pop. It has been painted in the past so sanding/staining is too costly because it is a rental after all. So my walls are going to be flat vanilla shake and the trim, semi gloss swiss coffee. I’d like to paint my ceiling to make the crown moulding pop. I’d also like the color to be a fresh non obtrusive color so it won’t chase away my prospective tenants. Because I am doing it for a rental I normally try to keep it simple because not everyone likes the same colors. White is the norm for rentals. Can you help me with my ceiling to make the crown pop?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Jay,

      I suggest painting the ceiling the same Vanilla Shake as the walls. It should add a warm glow to the room without darkening it at all, provide a blank “rental” slate for prospective renters, and definitely show off the crown moulding by putting a touch of color on either side of it. There are tons of other options, of course, for paint colors on your ceiling, but since it’s a rental and there won’t be any furniture in it (right?), I think the safest and most effective solution is to keep the ceiling the vanilla and not venture into another color. Anything other than white will help you show off the moulding and that’s the goal.

      Hope that sounds reasonable.

      And thank you again.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jay Schoenfeldt says:

    Barbara,
    Thanks, but now that leaves me the question….what color do you paint crown moulding? that’s the other option I was thinking of, but could not wrap my head around. I’ve always kept the crown moulding the same color as my trim which in this case is a Semi Gloss Swiss Coffee. What did you mean “a touch of color on either side of it”? Very Best,

    Jay

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Jay,

      Oh, sorry for the confusion. I would paint the crown the same as the trim, the semi-gloss Swiss Coffee. That will look terrific. What I meant by having “a touch of color on either side of it (the crown moulding)” is that there will be color on the wall and color on the ceiling, leaving the white crown moulding to pop.

      Does that make sense?

      Thanks again.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Dear Barbara,

    Have along narrow living room with no windows …… light comes from a carolina room at one end ……the ceilings are 9ft with large crown molding …… an off-white couch and medium burnt orange chairs are some of the furnishings. The walls are painted Benjamin Moore
    # 952 Cayman Island ….. At a lost what colors to paint the ceiling and the molding and trim…… thought of White Dove for the molding and trim? …… should i paont the ceiling a lighter shade of the walls or a regular ceiling white ……

    Thanks

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Carol,

      I would love to show off your large crown without darkening up the room too much. Take a look at White Blush 904 (slightly peach) or Ivory White 925 (a candlelight pale cream) for your ceiling — just a slight tint to offset the White Dove on the moulding. You might try a sample on some foam core board and hold it up to the ceiling to see the effect. If it turns gray, then just paint the ceiling a bright white ceiling paint that will optimize the light in the room.

      Hope that works for you!

      And thank you again.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jeff R says:

    Barbara- Thanks for a great, frequently updated resource. I’m usually comfortable with vivid color design; a recent bath remodel has left me with a bit of a quandary, however.

    We’ve raised and vaulted the ceiling, incorporating an asymmetric peak, with the max height at 12′ and room dims of approximately 6′ x 12′. A shower with bench and natural slate walls extends along the 6′ wall, illuminated in part by a 24″ x 48″ window above. A 7 foot vanity will reside on an adjacent mirrored wall.

    We’ve opted for a faux metallic gold on black finish for the orange-peel textured drywall. Our quandary? How to best highlight the angular ceiling, containing several eyeball can lights, without going cave-crazy. Put another way, do we continue the gold on black across the ceiling, go with a grey or white finish, or take a different tack?

    I appreciate any suggestions you may have!

    Kind Regards,

    Jeff

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for posting! You might consider a contrasting color from your slate wall tile to use on the slanted ceiling — something in the gray/taupe/green family? Whatever color from the slate you would like to pull out. Running the gold wall color up the slanted ceiling would camouflage the ceiling but if you’d like to highlight it (and bring it down a touch), then paint it a separate color. Hope that fits with your scheme.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Shelly says:

    Hi Barbara

    Im stumped .. I painted our bedroom a grey color & I really want to paint the ceiling with another color I was thinking dramatic because I have been using accent colors like magenta,purple,black,dark blue .. Do you have high any suggestions ? Its not a high ceiling but I dont mind the lack of light since its a bedroom & I want a more romantic setting .. Do you think one of those accent colors would be too much against the grey ?

    Thanks ~ Shelly

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Shelly,

      A light gray-violet would be nice and would tie in the other accent colors in the room.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Leen says:

    Dear Barbara,

    Greetings from Singapore! I’m an 18 years old teenager girl and I will be moving to a new house in about a month’s time. I’m in need of some advice regarding my bedroom walls/ceiling colours.

    My bedroom is really small (as compared to countries like USA, Europe, etc). There are also two beams from the floor up till the ceiling in my room, which makes it even smaller. My bedroom window occupies 195.5cm (Sorry I’m not good at inch/foot, we do not study that in Singapore unless we’re specialising in the area) which provides a decent amount of sunlight into the room.

    The new furnitures in my room would be dark walnut in colour and the floor is the common “parquet flooring” in Singapore. The contractors and the staff over at different furniture stores suggest that the walls should be in earth/neutral colours to make the room look bigger. I would like one of the walls to be a feature wall, so what colour combination would you recommend?

    Also, I’m considering painting the ceiling, which is pretty high. What would you suggest for the ceiling colour?

    Sorry for the long message and my poor english.

    Thank you for your time. (:

    Yours sincerely,
    Leen

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Leen,

      Wonderful to hear from you all the way from Singapore! Thank you for posting your question on my site. And your English is terrific!

      Since your room is really small, you would benefit from a color scheme on the cool side of the color wheel (blues and greens). You do not need to paint your room beige. The cooler tones will “recede” making your room feel larger than it is. And you can use neutrals like creams/whites/beiges and other sandy tones for your bedding on the dark furniture. Since I do not know what kind of paint you can purchase in Singapore, I will give you colors in Benjamin Moore paints which you can see online or approximate at your local paint store.

      How about Florida Keys Blue 2050-40, a rich teal, for your accent wall behind the dark wood bed? Then you can paint the remaining walls two shades lighter, Arctic Blue 2050-60. Sounds cool but the wood tones in the bedroom will warm up the room and you can use an accent color, like bright orange for pillows and other accents. Then for the ceiling, how about a citrus green like Citra Lime 2032-60? The yellow in the color will brighten up the room. The overall effect should be like being outside in the garden or at the beach.

      Does that appeal? Of course, you could also go with tone-on-tone neutrals (all creams/whites) in different textures for a less colorful, but equally sophisticated look. The neutrals with the dark wood give a rich feel. In that case, the wall color would be a neutral tone out of your bedding… very soothing and monochromatic.

      See what you think of those ideas. And thank you again for visiting! Good luck with your new home!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Karen says:

    Hi,

    I’m trying to pick some colors for my living room. It’s a large room with many windows and two skylights. The ceilings are very high and it’s smooth plaster. I’ve been looking in design mags and I have been inspired to paint the ceiling a medium to darkish brown and the walls a lighter tan color. I’m getting a little scared to do it. I plan to buy a dramatic chandelier as well. Do you think I’ll regret the darker color on the ceiling? In the pictures it looks great.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Karen,

      With your high ceilings and many windows, you can paint the ceiling a medium to dark brown and it will be terrific. The high ceiling is critical because the ceiling will in effect come down. Painting it will make the room seem cozier when it may in fact feel a bit vacuous at the moment. You can always paint a big piece of cardboard and staple it to your ceiling (temporarily) and see what happens to the ceiling. Take a look in the daytime AND at night. If you want a nice cozy feel to the room, darkening up the high ceiling will create that for you.

      Good luck!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

      • Karen says:

        Thank you so much! I really think I will do it. I’m going to do exactly what you said. I’ll paint a piece of card board and tape it to the ceiling. There are so many brown’s to choose from!!!!

        Thanks again. I feel more confident in my idea!

        Karen

  • Ilissa says:

    Hi again Barbara. I just sent in a question but I need to amend my description of my room. I wanted to say that I have a lot of crown moulding around the room – where the walls meet the ceiling and on the vertical part of the tray to where it meets the ceiling. Is there a way I can send you pictures?

    Ilissa

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Ilissa,

      Send a photo to my email if you’d like to (bmeglis@yahoo.com). I’ll be sure to see it there — sometimes the other email gets bogged down with large photos. I’ll check back in a bit to see if your photo has arrived before I make a suggestion.

      Thanks for the payment.

      More soon.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Ilissa,

      You’re on the right track. With a beautiful tray ceiling like that, you have a great opportunity to add color. So here are a couple of options. One is to paint the ceiling part a soft light neutral like the background in your new bedding fabric (something like Almond Cream Behr W-B-710 and then paint the tray a contrasting color from your room decor (maybe something like Waterscape 530F-5 (a rich blue) or the lighter Sonata 530E-3. Blue is a great color for a tray ceiling as it really can look like your ceiling is open to the sky on a beautiful day.

      Another option if you do not want to introduce a contrasting color onto the ceiling is to paint the ceiling area a semi-gloss white — the same as your moulding. That effect widens your moulding and adds sheen to that horizontal surface. Then paint the interior tray a deep dark brown or at least the wall color (which will look darker up there on the horizontal surface with no light on it). Not as interesting an option as the first, perhaps, but you’re still taking advantage of the architecture to add color to the “fifth wall.” The important thing is to not let the ceiling areas stay as is. Go for the color!

      Hope that helps.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Karen says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I asked a question a few days ago about taking the leap with a brown ceiling. I went to the paint store and tried to pick the colors. The paint store manager suggested two colors…Ben Moore Davenport Taupe 1008 and clay 1034 for the ceiling. Bar Harbor Beige 1032 for the walls. The wall color seems fine. It sure does change color on the wall according to the amount of light. The ceiling color I’m just not sure about. Do you have a recommendation? I’m afraid to go too dark but I want to see a contrast. I did as you said and tried them on cardboard….I don’t know…neither seems right. The picture I saw that gave me the inspriation was on the Ben Moore website. They used crisp khaki 234 and branchport brown HC 72 (which seems way to dark).

    I’m worried about making the right choice. Any ideas?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Karen,

      If you have enough light in the room and your ceiling is HIGH, it will work. If you want a dark ceiling, that is. Very dramatic. The bottom line? It’s only paint. And if it doesn’t work out, a gallon of good primer will get you back to square one. If you can’t decide on the color, start with the lighter one. If it’s too light, then paint over it with the darker one.

      Just start slowly but don’t panic after it’s done. You have to get used to the final effect. Give it some time. And beef up the lighting, both task and uplighting in the room. I think you’ll love it. You might want a bit of a sheen on the ceiling as well since it’s going to be dark. Not a flat paint. That’s just for white.

      Good luck!
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Karen Izzo says:

    Thank You Barbara,

    I’m glad you mentioned not to get flat paint because that’s what the paint store said to buy. He was going to order a flat paint meant to take the tint ( a Ben Moore product) I wasn’t so sure…I thought that would intensify the darkness.

    Okay…I’m going for it. Thanks for your help.

    Karen

    • Karen says:

      I’m about to give up on the idea of a brown ceiling. I tried 4 browns on the ceiling and 6 beige colors on the walls. Nothing seems right. So far Ben Moore Vero Beach Tan seems to be what looks the best…not too dark, enough rusty color to match my stained wood trim but when I try to but it with a wall color it all goes wrong. It seems to go best with paint with a yellowish hue but that just doesn’t go well with the rest of my furniture. I have tan sofa’s (camel) vairous antique furniture of different woods, and black acceents in other things like a chair and TV etc. The taupe type colors look good with the room but does not look good with the ceiling. All the browns I tried that didn’t have any rust or red hue were way too dark. I’m about to paint the whole room a light color and give up unless this makes any sense to you and you can give me a color reccomendation to go with Vero Beach Tan. The paint shop is no help and my efforts have not worked

      • bmeglis says:

        Hi Karen,

        Don’t give up quite yet. Have you tried simply moving down the paint chip to something like Cream Soda 1082 for the wall color? That should definitely go with the Vero Beach Tan ceiling because it’s just two shades away. Do you have any crown moulding in the room? That would help to separate the two colors. Also, have you tried a completely different color on the walls, something like a Saybrook Sage HC-114 or even Kittery Point Green HC-119, that would look terrific with your camel sofas and your various woods/antiques. Also would look good with the black accents.

        My suggestion? Finish painting the ceiling. Then move to the wall color. If you end up with a Bone White on the walls, at least you will have a very striking room with that dramatic ceiling.

        -Barbara
        Your Home & Color Coach

  • Marty says:

    Barbara, We are in the process of painting the new house we just bought. Our decorator came out and helped my wife pick out colors and they decided to paint all the cielings in the house 25% of the sumatra devine from Miller paint. The other colors of the house are Sumatra, 50% Sumatra, Burganday, Moss ( all in Eggshell) my conceren after getting the cielings done on the first floor is it is going to be to dark. Should be cozy but not sure if we are doing the right thing with that color.

    Marty

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Marty,

      The tint on the ceilings should be okay as long as you have a lot of natural light coming in through the windows and your ceilings are high. The tinted ceiling can make a room look bigger by creating less of a contrast at the ceiling/wall line. But you’ll want to have lots of lighting in the room, both task lighting and up lighting so that you maximize what light is available.

      Bottom line: it’s just paint. And you don’t have to have all the ceilings the same. If a room feels particularly dark and that’s not the look you’re going for, you’re just a paint can away from a super white ceiling.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

      • Marty says:

        Thanks Barbara, After getting back over to the house and getting the colors on the walls in the kitchen it looks awesome. Really makes the Maple cabinets come out. Rest of the house is looking good also, Dining room will be burgandy and we will get that done tomorrow. Thanks again.

  • Sue says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’m another person who’s been living with a patchwork of paint samples on my bedroom wall for quite a while. The room is 17 x 15, but with average ceiling height. There are 3 windows: 2 tall narrow ones and one very large south facing one. Our bedroom furniture is a gold toned wicker. We like the idea of a strong color for the room (it’s been a teal green with a white ceiling for the last 12 years). All the colors I’m mentioning here are from Home Depot. I have found a medium blue color, called Paris UL230-8 that I like for the walls (it’s the same intensity as the furniture and looks good with it). We are going to be adding crown molding and I thought I would do it and all the trim in Day Spa (PWN-16) — a blue tinged white.

    Until I found your site, I was going to do the ceiling in Mesmerize (590F-6). It’s a darker blue that reminds me of a darkening twilight sky — we don’t mind a cozy feel. I’ve tried some on the ceiling, but it’s so hard to picture it all over. I went to the Benjamin Moore site for inspiration, and saw one of their “favorite” blues… Lake Placid (827). With the average ceiling heights, perhaps that would be a better way to go. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions you might have. We are hiring a painter to do the work, and what we put up there is what it will be for quite a while.

    Thnx, Sue

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Sue,

      You’re right, Mesmerize is a beautiful color, but my fear is that it will go almost black when you paint it on the ceiling. Cozy might turn into a cave. One suggestion is to take your Paris color paint strip and move up or down from that in either direction. That way, the ceiling will be the same hue as the walls, just a different shade or tone (darker or lighter) and the room will look like it’s bathed in blue. The trim color is fine.

      We often take the wall color and add white to it for the ceiling. It provides a “tint” that makes the room look bigger. But if you’d like a dark(er) ceiling, you can go lighter on the walls and then move toward the dark end of the strip a couple of shades.

      If you really like Mesmerize, then how about dropping it down one shade to Magic Spell. As long as that goes with your wall color, the Magic Spell will darken the ceiling but you’ll still be able to see the color (and the room) in the daytime.

      Does that help at all? If you had a really high or cathedral ceiling, I would feel different about the ceiling color. In restaurants they often paint the ceiling black and it seems to disappear. But on a low ceiling, that effect doesn’t work so much.

      Let me know if you’re still having problems. I don’t have the fan deck for the wall color you chose but I do have Behr from Home Depot if that would help.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Sue says:

    Hi Barbara,

    You were right about the Mesmerize color. I tried a sample on the ceiling and it did indeed look black. The Paris color is one of Behr’s Premium Plus Ultra (paint and primer in one) colors, and it doesn’t come on a strip with coordinating colors. I did lighten it up by 75% and tried that on the ceiling. That color on the ceiling, looks identical to the Paris color on the wall — I guess that’s how much ceiling colors darken in an average height room. So I next tried a much lighter blue, but I felt I it was going to be like sleeping in a blue box. So today, I found a very light and soft grey (Behr Quietude 770E-1), which I think works very well. For the crown molding and trim, I’m thinking of Luster White (W-B-600). I’ll do white sheers on the windows, flanked by deep blue “black out” type curtains for sleeping. What do you think?

    I did want to ask what you would suggest for the paint finish. Flat for the walls…. flat for the ceiling??…. what for the trim?

    Thanks so much for your input,

    Sue

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Sue,

      Well that was quite an experience for you. Glad you settled on a color that works with the walls. As for finish, flat is great for the ceiling, and okay for the walls if you like a velvety look. Not great for wiping hand prints off the wall (even if it says washable). So if you have small children running in and out of your bedroom, go with eggshell for the walls. Semi-gloss for the trim.

      You’re all set.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Erin says:

    Hi,
    We are in the process of a complete kitchen remodel and have just installed off-white cabinets, new venetian gold granite counters and a marble subway tile backsplash in various shades of beige. Since the cabinets cover about 75% of the wall space in the kitchen, it is looking pretty monochromatic. I tried green (Behr’s Ryegrass) on the walls but didn’t like that color in that room, so now I plan on painting the walls a medium shade of beige that I’m taking the color from our backsplash. I was thinking of a really light shade of green for the ceiling but my concern is that the ceilings are just under 8 ft and the kitchen faces North so it doesn’t get a ton of natural light. Thoughts/suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Erin

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Erin,

      You are definitely on the right track to take a medium tone from your backsplash and apply it to the walls. That will warm up all the white. But for the ceiling, you might prefer a bright white just to maximize the reflection of light back down into the room. Especially since your kitchen faces North. I know I prefer to at least tint the ceiling — and you can still do that with a tint of the wall color 10-30% — but even that will darken the room. If your ceiling were higher, the tinted ceiling would be preferred but with a relatively low or normal-height ceiling, you’re better off going bright.

      Hopefully that helps. Thanks for posting!
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Steve says:

    Hi Barb,

    We’re in the process of re-decorating our master bedroom, which is approx 15 x 18. The walls, which are 11 feet, meet up with a 1 ft horizontal soffit, then go into a 45 degree upward angle to 11 ft, to form a tray ceiling. We’ve already selected Sherwin Williams “Latte” in a flat sheen for the vertical wall color, but we’re having difficulties in selecting the ceiling colors. The current ceiling color is white, but we’d like to try something a little more dramatic. Should the sloped portion of the ceiling be the same as the wall? Or should we somehow break it up? I bought a gallon two shades lighter (I forgot the color name on the swatch), and painted a sample on the horizontal surface of the soffit, but color appears to be too similar to the latte. All of the trim is painted semi-gloss white, and the room gets a lot of light though the French Doors and two casement windows, but we’re looking for some ideas. We don’t want the room to look like the inside of a chocolate milk carton! (LOL)

    Thanks,
    Steve

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Steve,

      Since you already tried a tint of the wall color on the ceiling area (or close to it) and that was too similar to the wall color, I suggest a completely different hue on the ceiling. Looking around at your bed linens, drapes, or other color in the room, pick a pastel of that hue and try that on the ceiling. It might be a soft blue like SW 6224 Mountain Air or a light green like SW 6175 Sagey. Either of those will put a tint on the ceiling that will add color to the room.

      In terms of what to paint, start with the flat central part of the ceiling and work out. You may want to consider leaving some white around the perimeter of the room (the soffit perhaps?) to serve as a break between the two colors and substitute for crown moulding. If you do that, then paint the slanted part ceiling color. Actually, in your case with the soffit there, I would definitely paint the slanted area the ceiling color. (In rooms with dormers, the slants often become wall color just to make the room feel bigger but that’s not the case in your master.)

      Hope that helps. As you’ve discovered, painting the horizontal ceiling actually darkens the effect of the paint color so you can paint a very light tint up there and still feel like it’s quite rich. Going too dark on the ceiling will tend to lower it (also an option for your ceiling height).

      One last idea: if you really love drama, you can paint the tray in a faux finish or even metallic!

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jerry says:

    I have all my crown moldings inside and outside my house
    high gloss white. They look great. However, my ceiling is also
    white, but a classic white flat paint. The ceiling color blends too
    much with the crown molding high gloss white color. What other
    ceiling color do you recommend to make the crown’s stand out
    more?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Jerry,
      Any tint of the wall color will make the crown stand out. Or something like Ben Moore’s Marble White. Just enough to set off the white trim.
      Hope that helps.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • madeena says:

    We are wanting to paint our livingroom a brown and put up
    crown molding. Our ceiling is vaulted. myproblem is what color do I
    paint the ceiling. I thought I would paint it the same color as the
    walls and the crown molding would seperate the two. As you can tell
    I am not real good at decorating. Please help. Thank You

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Madeena,
      The wall color will turn dark on the ceiling. Try a tint of the wall color, something like a 10-30 percent. That will give you color and will highlight the crown without darkening up the room.
      Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Tamara says:

    My daughter’s bedroom is painted Lime Green, Porter Paint color. We are painting her adjoining bathroom Paris Pink (also Porter Pink). Her furniture is cream color w/ green leopard print w/ hot pink trim and accents (same for window treatments). What color would you paint the ceiling (9′) in the bathroom and the bedroom? BTW, I am painting her desk chair the same Paris Pink to tie in the bathroom color. I really appreciate your input and desgin assistance. Thank you.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Tamara,

      Honestly with all that wonderful color in both rooms, the best color for the ceilings is bright white. The white will make both the lime and the hot pink “pop” — any other color on the ceiling will tend to muddy the colors a bit by reflecting down onto the walls. The white will make the rooms absolutely stunning. (I know I like to paint ceilings but sometimes you have to know when white is your best option. This is it! Bright white!)

      Good luck and thanks for visiting!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Lucy says:

    Hello Barbara –
    I just found your website and absolutly love it! I’m in a process of re-decorating my 12 yr old daughter’s bedroom. The walls will be painted this weekend in shimery gold/mustard (Valspar paint, but can’t remember the exact color). The walls are 8′ high with 3″ crown moldings. The main colors of her bedding and furniture are different shades of orange, green, mustard. Thanks in advance!

  • Lucy says:

    Sorry, I didn’t ask my question. What would be the best ceiling color besides white? Thank you.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Lucy,
      You could paint the ceiling either a tint of the wall color (a percentage of full value) or a tint of one of the other colors in the palette, like the orange or green. Just remember that the color will look darker once it is up on the ceiling. So a tint of one of the hues should be enough to show off the beautiful crown moulding.
      Thanks for visiting!
      Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jill says:

    Hi Barb,

    I am thinking of painting my second bathroom in a chocolate brown for some drama and masculinity. The room is 10’x5′ with no windows. There’s a full mirror above the sink with a strip light. Do you think it will work to paint the room chocolate brown? What color would I paint the ceiling? The floor is tiled and the cabinets are maple. I love your suggestions.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Jill,

      A small second bathroom can be just about anything and since all the light is artificial, you don’t have to worry about the room being dark because the lights will always be on when you’re in there.
      So yes, you can paint the room chocolate brown. You might want to step up the sheen on the paint to maximize reflection in the room. The ceiling can be a light tan from the maple cabinets, a color out of the tile, or another accent color. Guest bath ceilings are fun. Then be sure to bring in some shiny chrome fixtures, lighting and accessories to again maximize the reflection and contrast in the room.

      Thanks for posting.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jack says:

    Hello Barbara,

    I recently moved into an attic style apartment which has fairly low ceilings in parts, and slants at a 45 degree angle to the flat part of the ceiling. I saw a previous poster refer to it as a “tray” so I’ll borrow that term. The space is roughly shaped like a cross, with the bedroom area and kitchen area jutting out from the sides of the main “strip” of the room, with no walls closing them off.

    I really liked the idea of using a 3-color scheme of a light blue, an off-white, and dark brown. The three I went with are called Vintage Blue (LA1118), Sunwash (EB1-4), and Leather Chair (CI 64). I have chocolate color furniture, a light tan carpet, and curtains that are striped and contain close matches to the colors I chose for paint.

    My original idea was to paint my vertical walls running East and West in the Vintage Blue, the slants that connect to them Sunwash, and the flat strip of ceiling in Leather Chair. The vertical walls running North and South would be painted in Sunwash, and the running boards and door frames also in the Leather Chair.

    There is not any crown molding, and there won’t be any going in since I am just a renter. The lighting is very good, both natural and electric.

    There are two things I could some advise on. First, the idea of painting the strip of flat ceiling dark brown. There tends to be a lot of shadow thrown on the part, during both day and night, so I thought it would look unique and a little classy. I realize now that it would make the ceiling appear lower, but I don’t mind a cozy feel.

    Second, the bed and kitchen areas. The ceilings of these areas are flat rather than having the tray design. I was thinking of doing the walls of the “bedroom” all in the Leather Chair, and all the walls of the kitchen Vintage Blue. The ceilings for both would be the Sunwash.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for your time!

    ~ Jack

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Jack,

      I commend you on your progress at choosing a palette for your apartment. And getting furniture and curtains to coordinate. Terrific! As for the placement of paint color, here are my thoughts.
      Usually in an attic apartment with a sloped ceiling, the space feels a bit closed in. The paint technique we usually use to maximize the airy open feeling is to take a relatively light paint color and paint it on the walls, slanted part, and the ceiling — in other words, paint the entire space the same color (perhaps the Sunwash). Isolating the different architectural slopes and surfaces will have the effect of chopping up the space and making it feel a little too close (read: busy) up there. So my fear of you painting the ceiling the dark brown is that it might narrow the room even more (your eye goes to contrast).

      The bedroom and kitchen are a little different since they branch off the main strip of the room. There, I would have no problem with painting at least the end wall of each the brown and the blue as you suggested since the ceiling appears higher in those areas of the apartment. And if you want cozy in those spaces, go ahead and paint the other two walls the darker colors. The effect will be to make the kitchen and bedroom seem like distinct rooms in your apartment even though there are no doors separating them from the rest of the space.

      Out in the other main part, I would use the brown in the furniture and other accessories as well as the blue (same way) to tie the whole space together. Bring in lots of shiny metal to reflect light but keep the color palette to the three colors for continuity and flow.

      I suggest you start with that approach. You can always paint the main part later if the one-color is just too boring for you. Hope that helps get you started!

      Thanks for posting!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Joan says:

    Our finished basement has wood cedar paneling. There are no windows so lighting is a problem. The bartop is a marble dark brown with gold. What color should the ceiling be?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Joan,

      If you do not want a white ceiling (optimal for maximizing light), look at a light gray-blue like Ben Moore’s Lookout Point 1646. The blue should recede making the ceiling seem a little bit higher and the blue will look good with all your browns. Just bring some silver metal into the room for reflection and some blue accessories and you’ve pulled the basement together.

      Thanks for posting.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • poonam n says:

    Hi,

    I have a small rectangular bedroom with a square shaped false ceiling at the centre. Please suggest some painting ideas that will go well for false ceiling and the actual ceiling such that the room looks tall.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Poonam,

      A light powdery blue ceiling will recede visually creating the illusion of a higher ceiling. Cool colors recede; warm colors advance. Worth a try on your false ceiling…

      Thanks for visiting.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Chris says:

    Hi, am just finishing my basement and am at a loss for paint! I normally tend to go with whiter/lighter paint however am trying to open up. Ceilings are low througout – just under 8 ft.

    Have golden oak baseboard, ledges and 6 panel doors.

    The family room (app 13 x 14) transitions into a small office (7’3 x 12’6) through 5 ft french doors (9 lite also in oak). Family room has a 6 ft by 42 in north facing window, while office has a south facing window 5 ft by 42 (although this is under a deck, so lighting is minimal). There is also a soffit for duct work running between the family and office, parallel to the french doors.

    Bedroom is standard about 12×12 again with a 5 ft south facing window (partially blocked by another deck, so not a lot of light). Oak ledge as well.

    Bathroom is about the size of my left foot – literally! Extremely small, 6 ft by 7 ft before 48″ shower, vanity and linen closet! Overhead light and also vanity light though so very bright. Bamboo carbonized flooring.

    Leaning towards Mohawks Heaven View Canyon Clay for the carpet.

    So, now with all of that said, could you recommend colors? I’m open to same or different throughout and also for walls and ceilings, accent walls, whatever. Not a huge fan of browns or tans. Leaning towards Behr paint but am also open on that.

    I’m a single male and need help!

    Thanks!!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Chris,

      Here’s a palette to get you started. Have a look at Behr’s Twilight Gray 750E-2 (it’s a light blue with gray undertones — might work in your small bathroom to make it feel a little more spacious), Silver Drop 790C-2 (a very light gray green — very tasteful, great with woods), Hazelnut Cream 750C-2 and Cozy Cottage 740C-2. All four will blend together so you can decide where to put the color and avoid the all-one-shade look of the house. Happy painting!

      Thanks for posting!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Susan says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Our large master bedroom in our beach house is very boring. The white ceiling is vaulted to 16′. Walls are Benjamin Moore Dune Grass, which is serene on a summer day but dreary on stormy days. The large windows (not on the water but a wooded lot) have rattan blinds. The adjoining bathroom is Passion Blue selected to match the aqua glass tile accenting cream tile and limestone sinks; the hallway outside of the bedroom is Healing Aloe with a built-in bookcase’s back painted Ocean Air. All trim is decorator white, and the style is calm contemporary. The floors are hickory, with a Crate and Barrel pale blue rug in the bedroom. I’d like to spice the room up and pull it together, possibly by painting one wall a stronger color and or painting the ceiling. I don’t know whether to paint it an aqua or lavender blue, and how light or dark to make it. As the project is daunting, I want to do it only once!
    Thanks
    Susan

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Susan,

      How about painting Passion Blue (from the bathroom) on the ceiling in the bedroom? Since the ceiling is so high, a medium to dark shade should be fine in there and still have adequate light. Blue Lake is also an option but it is darker — colors will turn darker on the ceiling than they appear on the walls. But either will be extremely dramatic and will pull together your bath and bedroom. (Start with the lighter shade — you can quickly switch to darker if it’s not enough color). Then add some bright orange pops of color down below.

      Thanks for posting.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Andrea,

    How about a light blue for your ceiling color? Take a look at Blue Haze (Ben Moore 1667) — should work well with the cottage white beams. Great idea to paint out the beams and blend them with the ceiling to make them vanish!

    Thanks for posting!

    -Barbara
    Your Home & Color Coach

  • kandy says:

    Hi Andrea,
    What a great informative site!
    We are in the process of building a new home. The ceilings will be vaulted with a bead board type thing and exposed beams. I want them to be white or a shade of white.
    If our kitchen cabinets and trim will be something like Benjamin Moore Cloud White or some other shade of off white, should the ceiling also be Cloud White?
    If the ceiling is a white-white, won’t it make the off white cabinets and trim look dingy?
    Thank you so much,

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kandy,

      Ah yes, beadboard ceilings…

      A couple of thoughts on them: First, since the ceiling is covered, in essence, with trim (the wooden beadboard), it does make perfect sense to continue the trim color you’ve selected (the Cloud White) right up over the ceiling. Having said that, of course the color will most likely look a bit darker since the ceiling is high and slanted and doesn’t get as much light up there as the vertical cabinet surfaces will. But there will be no problem with dingy cabinets.

      So to answer your question, I would not put a white-white ceiling paint on beadboard. Use the same trim paint.

      Another option is to tint the ceiling beadboard slightly toward blue or green and keep the beams the creamy white trim color. That will create a little contrast up at the ceiling and make the area up there more interesting. Blue and green tints (although still quite white) create a freshness to the room — kind of like a dose of spring sky.

      But when it comes to ceilings, it’s all about the light and the height of the ceiling because both will affect the color that you actually see up there. So my best advice if you want to try something other than the current Cloud White is to try a little test area and see if you like it.

      Hope that helps.

      Thanks again.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • kandy says:

    Ooops sorry Andrea,
    I didn’t see the thing about donating first.
    I just sent it to you through paypal.
    Thanks

  • kandy says:

    Barbara,
    I am so sorry I addressed you as Andrea.
    UGH!

  • kandy says:

    LOL!!!

  • kandy says:

    Thank you Barbara, Great advice!

  • mozz says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I love your website. It is so informative, especially in “do it your self” decorations and the like. I really love designing my bachelor’s pad. I just painted my wall with green and created white clouds with it. I am wondering if what color can I paint in my ceiling? The one that would find it cool for a bachelor. I am thinking a baby blue to make it like sky/horizon or any suggestion you could provide me will surely be appreciated.

    Thanks and more power!

    mozz from the Philippines

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Mozz,

      You sound like an outdoors-kind-of-guy so I would continue your cool earth/sky palette up onto the ceiling with a medium blue as long as your ceilings are not too low. Baby blue might be a little too youthful so look for a medium-toned blue/blue-green. Then bring the blues and greens into the room with accessories and really “Bachelor-Pad” it up with some brown leather furniture. Silver metal (lighting and other accessories) will provide a nice contrast against all the color.

      Hope that gets you started.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Serena Chase says:

    Love your mission! Okay, so my ceilings are (god forbid, as you say) popcorned. Oy. House, circa 1978 and all original when we purchased it last spring (mix&match paneling, orange/green/blue carpet etc). Slowly but surely we are bringing it into this millenium, but it is taking a lot of time and effort!

    I’d love to paint my kitchen ceiling a rich medium blue, but, that doggone popcorn… and the concern that my kitchen will be too dark (standard 8’ceilings) — I’m a little scared about taking the plunge. I hate the thought of repainting it white if I hate it! Any suggestions?

    I’ve started removing the popcorn from the soffit above the cabinetry (can you believe they put it there????) and plan to paint a faux finish in browns to “match” the dark wood cabinetry (the cabinets are surprisingly nice and have updated nicely with hardware) to give the illusion of no soffitt. (I hate soffitts!) but i’m not sure about removing the popcorn from the ceiling. Am I better off just leaving it there?

    I really love your blog! So helpful!

    Serena Chase

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Serena,

      I feel your pain… popcorned ceilings are not fun. They are hard to paint and are often left as is. I would not suggest painting the popcorn a color since your eye goes to color and that will only attract more attention to the ceiling. If you’ve got popcorn, it’s best to leave it alone. BUT having said that, I think it’s TOTALLY worth it to scrape that stuff off the ceiling (big mess, of course!!) if you have any inclination to do so. Get a professional in if you have to. A smooth plaster ceiling becomes your fifth wall and will gladly accept paint colors other than white. But the popcorn? Forget it… Good luck, Serena. Hang in there!!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kristin says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Our little church purchased a hundred year old home next door and we want to tun the second floor into a youth center area. the ceilings are high and the area is pretty much a very long open area.

    I have to pick out colors for the walls and ceiling, and well and the floor too, but I just have no idea. Do I need to pick out the flooring first? If not what are some good color ideas for a youth area? And should I make it all one color, or should there be one or two accent walls? I like the idea of painting the ceiling a color, but that’s a challenge for me too.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kristin,

      You might consider Ben Moore’s Natural Elements 1515 for your wall color in the Youth Room. It’s a fresh soothing green that can provide not only a nice backdrop to all the wood furniture that might go in there but also a neutral canvas for bringing in other colors. You can paint the ceiling the same color — wonderful if you have any crown molding (possible in a house of that era!).

      I would keep the floor in the warm brown tones (will not show dirt and will ground the room).

      Hope that helps!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • denise says:

    Hi I have a question we are redoing our kitchen new floors cabnets took down half a wall going into our dinning room etc… my question is my what color should I paint my ceiling in the kitchen? My maple cabnets are like a ben moores cloud white aswell as the crown molding trim and light valance.
    The molding is very very nice I am at a lost do I paint the ceiling white eventhough the molding etc is a cloud white or do I paint the ceiling a color. My kitchen is square and has lots of light. (can be seen from front hall and dinning room aswell as the livingroom.
    Dont know what to do.
    Thank you

    Denise

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Denise,

      If you paint the ceiling a light tint of the wall color, your moldings will pop! It works best if the ceiling is smooth plaster and not textured.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • R. says:

    Hello, Barbara,
    We are about to buy a rather simple, rectangular Victorian, one story, with a deeply pitched roof, built of brick. Its porch is fitted out with rather new, simplified plain white only mildly spindled posts; the porch is small, concrete, plain, and square, with concrete steps also, and concrete foundation. It is really an old Pioneer era sort of Victorian house, perhaps. But the previous owner fitted it with brand-new windows, white inside and out, very tall and deep.

    The house is on an extremely dramatic overlook, the edge of a bluff, directly beside it modern and very tall apartment buildings (ochre and brown colors) and overlooking the city. Mountains run all around. A house is behind it with deep brown paint and deep green roof and that house is backed by tall evergreens.

    Our loan will enable us to tear off our old brown roof, and we plan to repaint its brick, now a dated pale green with eggplant touches at sides and tops of windows.

    Any ideas? I love Mediterranean/Santa Fe colors—am thinking terra cotta somewhere—maybe roof color? Have never seen terra cotta color paint on brick Victorian. But could put up with brown again. Or garnet. Or maybe a glowing sort of bisque color for brick, and then some accent color (I want to avoid rose, lavender, etc.) in areas around window. (There is no gingerbread anywhere on house; its ornamentation is its triangular frontpiece above the porch, a very tall triangle with those rows of angularly-cut trim strips, often painted on Victorian houses in rows of different colors. I am tempted to paint here in the glowing mountain range colors—musty, misty blues, grays, off-whites, navys, charcoals, arranging them to suggest the same colors seen in the mountains, paler colors toward the top, suggesting snow. But worry: how will/can this work with bisque or terra cotta?)
    This is the best picture I can present. The house is dramatically terraced with landscaping in front of triple rows of reddish castle stones and garnet red landscaping rock in a broad thirty-foot cornering swathe. The house sits on a high corner.
    Inside, the house is painted in a warm gray with a touch of mauve in it, and the kitchen is deep garnet with plentiful dark granite, and we plan to fill it with our jewel-colored woolen rugs, some handmade. There is a new sleek shiny granite fireplace.
    All this just to give you a feel for the inside, and outside, the environs.
    The front door, at present, is a brand new one, one of those elaborate oval glassed sorts with Victorianesque swirls and faceted glass. Ordinarily I would prefer pure door, without ornamental oval glass, but new and brilliant, they are rather beautiful. The previous owner invested a great deal in this house, and we are so grateful for all he did. Now it’s our turn to finish. We want to paint it a color that makes it glow and celebrate its wonderful spot up there, looking out at the mountains and the semi-desert city just below—and differentiate it somewhat from what surrounds it but not clash with it…
    Thank you for any thoughts, concerns—-Ella

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Ella,

      Here’s one palette idea:
      Take a look at Ben Moore’s Smoke Gray 2120-40 (a charcoal), White Water 2120-60 (a lighter version), Evening Dove 2128-30 (a dark gray-blue) with an accent color of… Adobe Orange 2171-30. The colors would be distributed over the siding and trim with the orange reserved for accent only. Not sure if you’ll want to paint your door that color but it would be dramatic. And the Victorians loved color!

      With that color scheme, I would suggest a GAF Pewter Gray roof — I don’t think you want to put all the color up on the roof. Should blend with the rest of the house.

      If you would like a warmer roof, take a look at GAF’s Hickory. Then you might use a palette of Decatur Buff (HC-38) for the siding and Mystic Gold HC-37, Putnam Ivory HC-39, and Cinnamon 2174-20 for your accent colors.

      See what you think. Send a photo to bmeglis@yahoo.com if you’d like me to take a look. And thanks for posting! (You must be a writer — very clear picture in words!!)

      Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Nimisha Shah says:

    Hello,

    I have just begin the task of painting all the rooms in our house. The walls and ceiling are already textured and I don’t want to spend money on fixing it. The living room have a VERY high ceiling, with wood beams forming at the peak. I’ve painted the walls a shade of brown and am wondering if I should paint the ceiling another color or just white?

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Nimisha,

      White gives you maximum light in the room but since the room is already quite big, the light may not be an issue. If you want blending, paint the ceiling a tint of the wall color. If you want to bring the ceiling down, paint the ceiling a warm rich color that is darker than the wall color. There are always more options than white, but white always works.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Danny says:

    Hi Barbara

    My husband and i are building our dream home! 3500 sq ft. 4 bedrooms sunroom, two story foyer. 9ft ceilings downstairs and 8ft upstairs. The master and dining room have trays.It has a open feel infact the foyer does open right into the dining room. All other areas of the house do have cased openings. Kitchen into family room has 8ft opening kitchen into dining room 7ft. The sunroom is off the family room which is going to have a french door with a side light on each side. Also i was thinking of doing the ceiling in beadboard with a light stain on it. Everyroom including the bathrooms will have crown moulding. All floors will be hardwood oak buttersctoch except the bathrooms will be tile beige with brown under tones. So far i have picked sw Latte for the 2 story foyer thought i would put that into the dining room. The livingroom is off the foyer aswell so i thought i would do the walls sw hopsack then put that in the middle of the tray in the dining room. and was thinking of doing most of the ceilings in the house sw6105. The sunroom i was thinking Valspar Royal Garnet for the walls. Thats as far as i have gotten. What do you think of those colors and any ideas for our kitchen, family room and master. The cabinets are Cherry (i have not picked out the granet yet.) Im not a blue or green fan at all. Oh also what do you think of sw connected gray i picked that for one of the bedrooms which is going to be the office. And we want to do something fun in the 1/2 bath. It has a chair rail with a nice elliptical transom over the window.

    Please Help!!! Thank you!!!!

    Danny~ And yes we are a gay couple… lol… thank goodness for Mass :)

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Danny,

      Wow, that’s a big project. I am happy to help you — I’m going to email you directly so we can set things up. Looks like you’ve got lots of rooms to color.

      Thanks for posting… back in a few.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Danny,

      Let’s start with the 1/2 bath. How about Gauntlet Gray 7019 under the chair rail with Mindful Gray 7016 above? Will look terrific with white fixtures, chrome/nickel metals, and fluffy white towels. Connected Gray is really a gray-green (you do know that (right?) as you mentioned you do not like green). Another great complex color is Mink 6004. Not sure what you’re thinking of for the master — but again, it’s a great color with silver/white.

      You’ve chosen a deep red for the sunroom. The only potential problem with that is what happens in the summertime. The red will look really hot. (Great for winter though, here in Massachusetts!). But you might consider swapping the Connected Gray for the Royal Garnet in the sunroom. The Royal Garnet is a terrific office color. Lots of energy! Just a thought.

      I do like the Latte, Hopsack, and Divine White. It’s a great strategy to use one paint strip for connected rooms as long as the lighting doesn’t make them all look like one color. I think you’ve planned ahead on that and I don’t see a problem. You didn’t mention what color all the moulding is. ??

      As for the kitchen, I recommend picking your granite first. Start with the big-ticket items. Then pick a color right out of the granite for the walls. But depending on what you choose for granite, you’ll want to make sure that the granite is the focus along with the cabinets. If the wall color, cabinets, and granite are all the same hue “value,” then everything will blend away. And don’t forget about a warm gray as a possibility in the kitchen. Since the cabinets are cherry, they will be the warm color in the room. A slightly cooler color on the wall will highlight your stainless steel and most probably your granite as well. A neat trick.

      For the family room, you might try Baked Clay 6340. That color may tie in your cherry cabinets in the adjoining kitchen. You’ll just need some warm leather sofas, pewter accessories, and some greenery in the FR and everything will start to pull together.

      See what you think of that palette!

      Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

      As for the

  • Don Holmes says:

    Hi Barbara,

    My question is what color I should paint my Master bedroom ceiling. The walls are Sherwin Williams Macadamia and the crown molding is Sherwin Williams Antique White. The ceiling is 10 ft with rope lighting behind the crown molding. The light reflex’s off of the ceiling. The Master bathroom has dark caramel to dark brown colors. The carpet in the Master bedroom is called Golden Lock. It’s a medium brown with a slight hint of gold. I’ve already tried a couple different brown\ caramel colors with out any luck. I would like to go with darker color if possible, but not in the same color family as Macadamia. I’m looking for a darker color that can tie the two rooms together.

    Thanks Don.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Don,

      How about the rich, luscious Scanda SW 6529? Although it’s a mid-tone in value, it should look a bit darker when up on the ceiling. But with the rope lighting on it, you might go to the darker Revel Blue 6530. A less vivid option is Denim 6523 — it’s grayed down just a bit. You can tie the bathroom in by using blue towels/accessories. Quite nautical but in a subtle way.

      Are we on the right track?

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

      • Don Holmes says:

        I’m looking for something other than blue… I need a color that can tie both the green tint of macadamia SW6142 and the brown tint of Jute Brown SW6096. For example a color like Smokey Topaz SW6117 looks like caramel next to macadamia. What do you think of Portabello SW 6102 or Toasty SW6095?

        Thanks Don

      • bmeglis says:

        Hi Don,

        Oh, okay. Well, Cardboard has a green undertone so it will go well with Macadamia. Toasty will also work if you have Jute Brown in the bathroom. They’re on the same color strip. The Portabello has a gray undertone — may go even grayer on the ceiling. Hard to tell. Have you ruled out the Smokey Topaz? I know it’s caramel, but it should give the room a warm glow with the rope lights trained on it. If you’re really stuck, paint up a couple of foam core boards with some sample paints and have someone hold them up on the ceiling for you. Easy decision at that point.

        Hope that helps…

        -Barbara
        Your Home & Color Coach

  • cmeaney says:

    Hi Barbara
    We have just painted my daughter’s bedroom and my husband accidentally got some of the paint on the California sytle ceiling. I was told by the painter when the house was built that you are not to paint these ceilings. Do you you know if this is true? He wants to touch up the mistakes with white paint. Is this advisable or is there a way to remove the paint from the ceiling that won’t leave a bigger mess behind? Thanks, Cindy

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Cindy,

      I’m sure there is a way to touch up the ceiling but my best advice is to talk to the experts at the paint store. They will be able to advise you. Most ceilings can be painted with flat ceiling paint. But you might need to dab the paint on just to avoid messing up the ceiling.

      Not to worry…

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • kpasq says:

    I am painting the dining room and kitchen orangey-yellow, but the dining room opens into the living room (the ceiling and walls form an architectural divide, but the opening is big).

    I was thinking about painting just one wall (opposite the dining room) of the living room a creamy medium green (like a dark sage) and leaving the other walls adjacent to the dining room white.

    -our dining room furniture is all dark brown wood
    -our living room has dark brown wood with a smoke blue couch and a yellow/gold loveseat with brown, yellow-cream or smoke blue throw pillows

    1. Will the white detract from the other colors? I don’t want to overwhelm with the green and want to keep the room sunny, but putting the yellow directly against the green starts to look like school colors.
    2. Should I paint the ceiling?

    Next, the bathroom has turquoise and brown towels/shower curtain, etc. what color for the walls? Its a medium bathroom.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Kelsey,

      It sounds like the yellow loveseat on the far wall by the window ties in with the orangey-yellow walls in the adjacent dining room/kitchen and what you may need is a little more blue in the two spaces to tie in the smoke blue couch. I would not add a third color (green) to the wall as it will break up the space. I think you have enough colors in the palette (smoke blue, yellow/orange, whites/creams, browns) to work with and I would let it go at that.

      If you want more color on the wall in the LR, consider adding a couple of stationary panels on either wide of the window in a smoke blue/mix. That will bring some color up onto the wall without painting the whole thing another color.

      Then just focus on accessories in the palette and make sure you have lots of textures to “ground” the room. Lots of energy though and light. White can be your friend!

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Angela Patterson says:

    Dear Barbara,

    I’m in the middle of a kitchen remodel and need some help. The walls are going to be a lighter gray (either Manhattan Mist or Twilight Gray by Behr), the cabinets a midtone brown stain (any suggestions?), gray granite counters, midtone brown cork flooring with a lot of shade variation. I have dummy panels and cornice board in a yellow patterned fabric that also has a cobalt blue in it for the large windows. We scraped the popcorn off (yah!) and getting it skimed. What color would you suggest for the ceiling (which is 8ft)? I thought about a pale yellow but now worry about color casts. My husband suggested the cobalt, but I think it would close down the room too much with the low ceiling height. Should I just continue the gray onto the ceiling and if so, should I tint some white with the wall color or continue it undiluted? I’ve never had popcorn free ceilings so this concept of painting the ceiling is new but exciting to me. Thanks so much for any input you can give me!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Angela,

      You’re right about the cobalt blue. With an 8′ ceiling, the rich blue might be too dark for the space. If you have adequate light in the room, then going with a tint of the wall color is fine. That will take away the corners where the ceiling meets the walls and make the room feel more spacious. A tint is white ceiling paint with some wall color mixed in. Mostly white.

      The other option is to paint the ceiling a light cream, something like Marble White 942 (Ben Moore). That will create a little contrast with the walls and should reflect a warm glow into the space.

      Either will work on the 8′ ceiling.

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Alison says:

    Hi Barbara

    I have enjoyed reading your advice and could use some of our own. We have 10 ft ceilings and room runs from kitchen to dining to living room ending at a wall of windows looking at the water with much sun and light, the room is 18 ft long 12 ft wide. We are painting walls sailcloth from BM and thought to paint ceiling one shade darker, crisp khaki. We will eventually add crown molding. Do you think the ceiling will be too dark? If so what color would you recommend? The couch is gray brown and the furniture is mostly white and the floor is a beige tile.

    Alison

  • Mantis says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I am planning to paint my bedroom 11w x 131/2 D x 8 H.
    My door is off-centred along the longest wall with a large window centred opposite of the door.
    I would like to go modern monochromatic theme…since my taste is mid-century.
    I am going neutral with Benjamin Moore – stonington gray HC-170 gris clair.
    Will it be ok if I painted my walls and ceiling the same colour? I don’t have any crown molding on the ceiling?
    If I do decide on crown molding, what depth should it be and is it ok to colour it the same gray or does it need to be a darker tint? semi-gloss or flat.
    I am also going to putting down wooden floor, do I go dark, med or light colour flooring or can I even go gray on the flooring?

    Thank you

    Mantis

  • Brad Shannon says:

    I’m thinking of painting my ceiling and crown mouldings a lighter shade of my wall colour . Should I go flat or eggshell. As well should I continue the same colour for doors and trim and baseboards . Would u go semigloss for trims . How light do I go for ceiling and trims . Thanks Brad

    • Barbara Meglis says:

      Hi Brad,

      Flat on the ceiling and semi-gloss on the crown mouldings to match the doors, trim, and baseboards. You can go really light on the trims (white always works) and then use a “tint” of wall color on the ceiling. The wall color several shades lighter. It’s a really nice effect!

      Hope that helps.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • CC says:

    My bathroom is two parts. I have a bathtub and toilet area and a vanity and sink area. My bathtub and toilet area is tiled (floor and wall) to the ceiling. The floor tile and 1/4 of the wall is a warm brown color with shades of tan/mocha and the wall tile is a ivory/light mocha color. Both look really nice together. My grout is a mocha color…My ceiling is white….I would like to paint ceiling. I’m thinking painting the ceiling same or similar color as the grout color? as well as the trim and door?

    • Barbara Meglis says:

      Hi CC,

      As long as your ceilings are high and you have adequate task lighting in the mirror area, then you can go ahead with the mocha ceiling. Just know that it will affect the light in the room — but it will be very dramatic. If you paint the trim and door the same color, then the ivory and other non-mocha colors will pop out. I might suggest painting the trim and door a lighter color (ivory) so the mocha will still pop.

      Go for it.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

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