I love when I walk into a room and the ceiling is fabulous. Old buildings almost always feature a ceiling with ornamental plaster details, crown, and paint. Anything that draws your eye up is a plus, as it adds visual height and highlights great lighting.
For me ceilings are some of my favorite design spaces. Here are some examples:
1) Grand Central Station has an amazing green ceiling with a metallic constellation above. I never tire of looking at it even though I have been there many times.
2) The creme plaster ceiling above is the lobby of my apartment building - loved it day one.
3) The blue ceiling achieved a similar effect with paint by mimicking original plaster details - wallpaper or reflective tea paper would also do the trick.
I have adapted the decorative ceiling approach on a simple scale by placing panel molding in the shape of a rectangle or square on my ceilings. The plan has always been to take this concept to the next level by adding a circle in the middle, rosettes in the corners, or a frieze. In my new space I will be closer to street level, so whatever I do will be in full view. This may be the push I need to get there.
Another design I would like to try I found while walking down the street one night. The lighting in the space was focused up to highlight the original plaster ceiling. The ceiling was covered with rosettes in various patterns scattered randomly around the room. Unusual, very cool and almost modern really.
I am always looking up for great design, but today ceilings are often neglected and get nothing more than a coat of white paint. What a shame when you consider what you could do…