Should You Avoid Painting Your Ceiling White? Here's Why It Could Be A Design Mistake

Look up. Chances are you're glancing at a white ceiling. The stark shade is a common color painted on the fifth wall, but why? White is plain and doesn't do much stylistically to the room. In fact, it can seem as if the ceiling was forgotten instead of being treated like the main feature that it is. Painting your ceiling white could be a home design mistake that you want to avoid. In some spaces, it can make the room appear smaller, hide architectural detailing, and be a missed opportunity for dynamic design.

The ceiling is one of the largest elements in a room. It impacts the overall ambiance and style of the space. While white ceilings are often the default, there are alternatives so you get the most out of your home. However, this doesn't automatically mean funky colors like neon yellow. There are subtle shades, too, so that when you look up, you won't miss the white.

White ceilings are boring and can make the room feel smaller

It's been said that white ceilings can make a room feel larger, but there's a caveat for that design illusion to work — the walls also have to be white. If your walls are decorated in vibrant colors, the stark shade can be too much of a contrast. Instead of making the room feel larger, it will draw eyes to the ceiling line, which would be a design blunder for rooms with low ceilings. The white shade would literally accentuate an undesirable feature. It can also be too distracting and take away from the gorgeous hues on the walls.

Another problem with white ceilings is that it doesn't complement any of your home's unique features. Ceiling beams, decorative trim, shiplap, and other detailing simply fades into the background. That's like having a beautiful chandelier and hiding it behind the sofa. Interior designers everywhere have shed a tear for all the stunning features lost under the sea of white. Even if colorful ceilings aren't your style, there are several paint shades perfect for your ceilings that don't do the damage white does and aren't crazy bold.

Best color choices for the ceiling

Instead of white, why not paint your ceilings the same color as the walls? As the color goes all the way up, so will your eyes. It is a popular ceiling painting hack that makes any room look bigger. Painting the baseboards and trim to match your ceiling and walls can also create a cozy, inviting atmosphere. This colorful design is perfect for intimate areas like the bedroom or living room that have low ceilings or limited square footage.

The ceiling can also be an opportunity to create cohesion within your interior design. Match the 5th wall with a hue in the room's artwork, decor, or accents to tie everything together. It will be a dynamic look that adds character to your space. If you rather stick with neutrals, soft blues and warm grays are the way to go. These shades can make the room feel more open and fresh, but won't be as dramatic.