Should My Ceilings and Walls Be Painted the Same Color

By on September 21, 2011

paint ceilings walls along stairs 800x800 Should My Ceilings and Walls Be Painted the Same Color

I hope you can help me. I am in the process of building a house. I know that the trend is to paint the ceilings the same color as the walls but I don’t want to do something that is a trend and then have to redo it later. I am painting with fawn colors and my trim is macadamia. What do you suggest I paint the ceilings? Same as the walls or the trim or something else?

A: You’re on the right track with first being aware of the trends in wall and ceiling color, so that you can make a more informed and conscious choice about what you want.

Whenever you’re considering a design or decorating move, you have to take into account what the current trends are, even if you’re not going to be following them. Trends in design often work on us in subtle ways, and so we may not even be aware that we’re following them until we suddenly start seeing “our” brilliant ideas in magazine photographs and at decorator show houses.

First, let’s consider the reason that painting the wall and ceiling the same color may work, and then we can take a look at whether or not this will work for you.

You can see in this first photograph that both the wall and the ceiling are painted a bright, glossy white. This is in a small eat-in kitchen, and here, we think the method works, because it gives the illusion of making the ceiling appear taller, and therefore of making the small space appear larger.

The idea follows a basic principle of design: a line between two colors draws attention to the end of the top of the wall, making the viewer more aware of the ceiling.

So the idea behind the trend of using one color for walls and ceiling isn’t a bad one; it’s a way of disguising the ceiling so it blends in more, making the room appear more spacious.

However, in a good-sized room, this effect may not be the best. Painting the walls and ceiling in one color can flatten out the look of a room, whereas using a different color can add elegance.

We also like the use of crown molding in older homes or in rooms with a vintage look. Often you can take a room that is boring and needs some extra detailing and add crown molding, for not much money. Then, by painting the top edge of the wall, above the molding, the same color as the ceiling, you create an elegant, classy effect.

Often in older homes ceilings are painted white, regardless of the wall color. Using any color other than white will make the ceiling feel low. If you must use something other white, make sure it is the same shade or paler than the wall color, or you’ll create a cave-like feeling.

One place where painting the ceiling the same color as the walls can work is in rooms decorated in a very modernist style. Here, the monochromatic look of using the same color can work, especially if you’re using a somewhat monochromatic scheme in the rest of the room’s decor.

One place where painting the ceiling the same color as the walls can work is in rooms decorated in a very modernist style. Here, the monochromatic look of using the same color can work, especially if you’re using a somewhat monochromatic scheme in the rest of the room’s decor.