Statement-Making Walls and Ceilings

Popular solutions for these wide, open spaces.

You aren’t limited to paint when it comes to adding a little flair to walls and ceilings. When viewed as a blank canvas, you can turn any bare wall or ceiling into a conversation piece.To get your creative juices flowing, consider the following seven ideas for adding character, texture, and visual interest. 


A style of paneling typically made of wood, wainscoting covers the lower third or half of a wall and is capped with decorative molding. It’s ideal for rooms with walls that are typically exposed to wear and tear, such as kitchens, mudrooms and hallways.  


A type of wainscoting, beadboard is crafted of narrow pieces of wood planks. Usually installed vertically, beadboard’s tongue-and-groove strips have regularly spaced ridges (the “bead”) along the edge of each piece. While beadboard certainly lends a cottage feel to a space, it works well in many different types of aesthetics. 


This style of interior paneling is made up of long, overlapping horizontal boards. (The upper strip goes slightly over the top of the one below it, similar to exterior siding.) Like beadboard, shiplap works well with a cottage/farmhouse/rustic style—but is also beautiful in modern décor.

Picture frame molding

You can easily add architectural character with this decorative trim. Create “panels” by applying thin strips to walls in the shape of a square or rectangle.

Coffered ceiling

A coffered ceiling consists of three-dimensional grids in recessed or sunken panels—and is great for adding dimension to a room. Just make sure that your ceiling is high (at least 9 feet), so you have plenty of space between the beams and your head. 

Wood beams

Reclaimed wood beams—or even paintable faux wood beams—lend a rustic feel to a space. They work well in everything from living rooms and bedrooms to kitchens. 

Ceiling medallion

A decorative disk that’s attached to the base of a light fixture (or even a ceiling fan), a ceiling medallion makes any ceiling more dramatic. You’ll find ceiling medallions in wood, metal and polyurethane (which is easy to paint), in detailed patterns as well as contemporary designs. 

Copyright © Hunter Douglas
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