This is not my first post on classical ceilings. See Posts Decorative Ceilings, Statement Ceilings – The Fifth Wall and Steps to Creating a Classical Personality For Your Space. The ceiling has been a favorite place for decoration from the earliest times. Although ceilings are in most interiors the largest unbroken surface, they are often ignored. Most of the time and money is spent on the walls, floors and furnishings. Spaces with ceiling designs introduce the WOW factor. Ceiling envy is all about the WOW factor. There is nothing like a fabulous ceiling for calling attention to the volume of the space.
Vaults, Domes and Soffits – For a more classic ceiling treatment, domes and vaults are often used to create a strong, majestic centralizing effect. Vaulted ceilings are often used to orient views and are perfect for passageways. Vaults reached new heights during the Renaissance with wholly or partially vaulted ceilings with arched intersections and painted bands emphasizing the architectural design.
Vaults and Domes Today
White River Ceiling Design
Beautiful dome ceiling design by White River
Soffits – lend architectural interest to a space. They may not benefit from classical decorative aspects as they are a common ceiling treatment and ideal for varying ceiling heights and concealing structural, mechanical and lighting systems. They also help organize a space and can be used to create visual interest without competing with the look of a primary ceiling space.
Nicely done soffit with panels and downlights. It is easier than ever to add downlights anywhere with LED Ultra Thins. They only require 3/8″ for the clips which hold them in place and drywall is 1/2″.
Gothic Ceiling design generally used structural elements which led to beamed ceilings richly chamfered, molded and painted in bright colors.
Gothic Ceiling Designs Today
Gothic Tracery Ceiling
Ribs and coffers – reached their peak of creativity and variety during the Renaissance. Originally they developed from the structural elements. They create a strong visual effect and bring symmetry with their pattern which also helps with organizing lights, grilles, speakers and sprinkler heads. They also offer varied surfaces and patterns for ornamentation, faux finishes and decorative painting. Coffers can be circular, square, octagonal and L-shaped with richly carved edges and rosettes within the coffers.
This magnificent Renaissance coffered ceiling is the epitome of Renaissance artistry. Palazzo Sacchetti is a late Renaissance building among the most beautiful of Rome referred to as a pearl in the heart of Rome. Its construction was carried out in 1542 by the architect Sangallo, who built it for himself, dedicating the last years of his life to make it the “perfect building.”
Beautiful ceiling with painted coffer panels showing grilles and lighting in the coffers. Decorative Louis XIV Grille by Beaux-Classic Products.
Beaux-Arts Classic Products Custom Work Coffered Ceiling (My 90 year old Mother visiting our project.)
Library of Congress
Another style ceiling from the Renaissance which was characteristic of Venice, was the ceiling as one large framed picture.
Ceiling as a large frame today.
This is gorgeous!! Wish I had the whole ceiling.
Just add a very special medallion. Fell in love with this one.
And this one!!
Cathedral Ceilings – As is true with domes and vaults, cathedral ceilings create a centralizing effect but in a form that is smaller in scale. They are used to add drama to a room and increase the volume of the interior. Cathedral ceilings lend importance to the space. They are often used in conjunction with skylights, clerestories, or large walls of glass.
Large Narrow Ceiling Medallion 78″ x 30″ from Beaux-Arts Classic Products works in this Entrance Foyer Cathedral Ceiling.
Mouldings, Medallions and Ornamentation – are often used at the ceiling perimeters or centers or at regularly spaced intervals. They work well when the walls and floors are similarly designed with ornamental motifs. They can be used in conjunction with baseboard, door and window tirim, pilasters, picture rails or wainscot. They are effective to terminate the wall planes or serve as a transition between the wall and ceiling. The ceiling is now an integral part of the space and complete the room’s classic design.
Clive Christian Chicago Showroom – Chicago Luxury Furniture Center
This magnificent showroom is a perfect example of integrating the walls and ceiling.
Cove and tray perimeters – Cove and tray perimeters are most often used to discreetly accommodate indirect lighting fixtures. They can also produce the illusion of a floating ceiling plane and are also a solution to spaces that have a floor above and would otherwise be limited to a flat ceiling.
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