Room with Light Blue Ceiling
Margot Hartford

Beyond the White Ceiling

Color consultant Jill Pilaroscia encourages people to view the ceiling as a fifth wall. "If you use a color on your ceiling, you can make a room feel taller or more intimate or more interesting," she says.

Lighting and wall colors help determine the effect of a ceiling hue. To judge the impact of a color, paint just part of the ceiling first.

To lift a ceiling, select a pale tint of a cool hue such as green or blue. To create an intimate space, try a dark, warm tone. For peaceful settings, use a darker or lighter version of the wall color.

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