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Sarah Wolfe, For The Associated Press, Published March 30 2012

Don’t forget the ceilings when giving room a makeover

Ceilings are the Rodney Dangerfield of homes. They get no respect.

Here are some suggestions – from the simple to the complex – to transform your ceilings from drab white squares into the focal point of a room.

Ceiling medallion

Probably the easiest way to bring the eye upward in a room is with a ceiling medallion, a white or colored decorative disk typically mounted around a lighting fixture.

The pieces come in a variety of styles and can be found in any home improvement store.


If you have tall ceilings or want a cozy feel, extend the wall color onto the ceiling, or go bold and throw a darker or contrasting color up above to make the area appear smaller.

Go with a flat paint on ceilings to minimize light reflection and mask imperfections.


For a classic New England cottage look, you can’t beat the charm of wood paneling such as beadboard on the ceiling.

The panels, which can be cut with a power or handsaw, should be nailed to ceiling joists, and can then be stained or painted.

Pressed-tin panels

These are a popular ceiling option if you’re looking for a folksy, vintage feel, and they also come in larger patterned-metal sheets for easier installation.

The panels can be nailed in place with a hammer or nail gun onto furring strips that must first be nailed up.

Overlap the edges and seal the panels with a clear polyurethane or paint them with an oil-based paint.

Drop panel ceiling

Many people shudder at the thought of a drop panel ceiling, envisioning the white utilitarian grids and fluorescent lighting common in 1960s basements and office buildings.

But today’s drop ceilings are handsomer, designed in many more colors and textures.

Coffered ceiling

Originally used during the Renaissance and popularized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, coffered ceilings are one of the more complex ceiling projects, but also the most formal and dramatic.

TIt drops your ceilings down, so use caution in a small room, but it adds instant classic elegance to a dining or living room.

Building a soffit box around the perimeter of a ceiling also can give the look of a layered, coffer-like ceiling.