style file

interior design problem solving: the ceiling


This master bedroom was odd. It was designed with a huge octagonal ceiling. There were windows all around the main walls, LED lights tucked under molding, a cupola in the center and walls painted multiple colors. (We all called it the circus tent!)

The client did not want to do any structural renovations, so what to do with that ceiling! I went into the room and looked out the beautiful windows. The view was an all wooded lot, a stream, a pond out front, a bridge and five ducks. How picturesque!

The only way I could solve this challenge was to become the homeowner. I laid down on the floor where the bed would be and looked up. What would I want to see if I woke up there? If I opened my eyes in the morning, had the warm light coming in through the windows, listening to the babbling brook and smelling freshly brewed coffee … I would want a beautiful ceiling! A ceiling that shimmered and was magical. I knew just the thing.

I love grasscloth wallpaper. It is earthy, elegant and timeless. Many grasscloth options have glimmers of silver, gold, or rich colors that add depth to a room. It is a go-to style wallpaper when I am considering paper. So I searched for a lovely paper that would make an impact from high up. The height of the ceiling is 15 feet high and went up to a point of another 10 feet at least!

The ceiling treatment would have to have enough interest for you to see the details. The wallpaper I chose was a grasscloth with a very dense, layered texture. It was white, grey, off-white, silver metallic and woven so elegantly. It would make a stunning impact! To cover such a large space and labor, it would be expensive though.

It took a bit of selling to the clients. I reminded them that the room would now become what it was intended: a refuge, a magical space that they would enjoy. I showed them how this was the best design solution to showcase its uniqueness. Everyone was on board and we had two weeks before the clients flew in from California and moved in. We hustled, having our best installers on site, finishing all touchups and installing drapes. Phew! When they moved in, we walked the house and went into the bedroom. They turned to me and said, this is our favorite room!

 

That’s why we do what we do. We love design, creating new spaces, and we love the happiness in our clients’ eyes. In order to really connect with the design, I find I have to see myself living in the house through my clients’ eyes from the beginning. Where will they sit to watch the favorite Netflix series, where will they put their keys or curl up in this corner to have tea? When we bring in our vision and understand how you will be living, that’s when the fun begins!