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Types of Ceiling Designs for Your Commercial and Residential Space

types of ceiling designs

Ceilings have been experiencing a bit of a renaissance over the past few decades. We’re trading tired popcorn and stained drop ceilings for focal points that express our personal styles. When we decide to do something spectacular, we turn to historical ceilings. The kind we made when buildings were crafted, rather than slapped together. Unfortunately, the decision can get overwhelming quickly. 

There are many types of ceiling designs to choose from. Each offers something different. Before choosing the first cool option you come across, make sure you know what’s out there. There’s a good chance you’ve never even seen your dream ceiling yet. Let’s look at some of the designs that are standing the test of time. Those that are feeling as timeless today as they ever were.

A Bit About Ceilings

It’s an oddity that ceilings ever became so boring in the first place. The entire purpose of the ceiling is for aesthetics, as they serve no structural purpose. Ceilings are put there to hide the joists, pipes, and wires above. People throughout the ages have used this space as an outlet for creative expression.

Throughout the late twentieth century, though, things changed. Mass production made it simpler to slap up uninspired ceilings. Drywall with a little texture and cheap drop ceilings became the norm. After decades dealing with dull ceilings, things are finally starting to turn around. We are once again using this space to create dramatic visual appeal for our rooms. Let’s look at some classic and contemporary types of ceiling designs that are sure to impress.

Popular Types of Ceiling Designs

When we start our search for new residential or commercial ceilings, we find there are a lot of interesting options. Many types of ceiling designs work equally well in commercial and residential spaces, so narrowing it down can be tough. Before you start, it’s good to know what types you’ve got in mind.

Classic Ceilings

Tried and true classic designs always go over well. Classic ceiling designs add a touch of class to any room, and most reputable contractors know how to install them. These types of ceiling designs can also be used to equally great effect in both commercial and residential settings. Let’s look at some design styles that never get old.

Coffered Ceilings

Coffered ceilings follow a similar structure to that of drop ceilings. Instead of a t-grid made of metal and wires, the grid is formed with wood beams that criss-cross the ceiling. It’s a classic look that offers as much functionally as it does aesthetically.

You may have come across a coffered ceiling library before. There are a lot of them. That’s because they’re great at absorbing excess sound. The indentations create traps for sound waves, reducing reverberation. If you’re looking for a ceiling solution that combines aesthetic and acoustic benefits, this is one of the best.

Tray Ceilings

If you’re looking for an elegant solution that gives your ceiling visual height, the tray ceiling is a good option. It’s similar to the coffered ceiling, but has a single recessed section, as opposed to a lot of them. That recessed section typically makes up the majority of the ceiling space. Tray ceilings are a great accent to walls with Victorian panelling or wainscoting. 

Cove Ceilings

Coved ceilings are defined by the molding that smooths the junction of the walls with the ceiling. Depending on what type of molding you choose, coved ceilings can deliver a number of interesting looks. Molding is available in seemingly endless design options, but traditionally, coving created a very smooth rounding between the two surfaces.

Sloped Ceiling Designs

If you’re working with a top floor room, why not utilize all the space you have at your disposal? These types of ceiling designs allow you to extend your windows all the way to the roof line. That brightens up the room and creates a grand gathering spot for you and your tribe. Let’s look at some popular types of ceiling designs with vaulted features.

Beam Ceilings

Beam ceilings have been popular for a long time. Accenting your vaulted ceiling with structural elements adds movement and depth. The beams themselves are also a great place to show a bit of your personal style. From industrial to ornate, you can choose from an array of beam styles that accent your design aesthetic perfectly.

Cathedral Ceilings

Unsurprisingly, cathedral ceilings get their name from the houses of worship where they originated. Cathedral ceilings are a type of symmetrical vaulted ceiling where the walls slope up to the center line. They follow the shape of the roof, and are a great way to boost the natural light in the room. 

Sloped Drop Ceilings

If you want something more dynamic than a traditional suspended ceiling, a sloped drop ceiling might be what you want. They offer all the benefits of a suspended ceiling, but give your room a more interesting shape. They also add visual height, which can be great for brightening up the space.

If noise is an issue, you can insert acoustical perforated wood panels just the same as you would with a traditional suspended ceiling. They’ll make all your gatherings, whether at home or work, look and sound a whole lot better.

Contemporary Ceiling Designs

Not all spaces call for classic designs. If you’ve got a great, modern home or office, you’ll want a modern ceiling to accent it. You can still get function and beauty out of these types of ceiling designs. You’ve just got to choose the right one.

Textured Ceilings

With a lack of any architectural interest, many people turn to textured ceilings. Since the 1970s, a popular DIY option has been Artex. It’s like plaster, but allows people to create textured ceilings without having any plastering skills. The downside is that it’s nearly impossible to match the texture if you have to do work on the ceiling. It’s similar to popcorn ceilings in that way, and most people avoid popcorn in the twenty-first century.

Suspended Ceilings

We’re all familiar with suspended ceilings. Not everyone knows how versatile this type of functional ceiling can be, however. Suspended ceilings allow us to drop the room’s facade below things like pipes and ductwork that traverse our rooms. These types of ceiling designs also allow us to access those things without cutting and patching holes.

Suspended ceilings are generally created by suspending a t-grid, which can be fitted with whatever type of panel you like. For those concerned with aesthetics, you can choose to use wood paneling to fantastic effect. If noise is an issue, you can insert acoustical panels in nearly any finish you can dream up. The possibilities really are endless.

Layered Ceilings

Adding layers is a great way to add a dynamic shape to your room. Layered ceilings also add visual height to the room. If you use different colors or materials for each layer, you can add a good deal of motion too.

It’s not the best choice if you have low clearance, however. If you are renovating a basement room, for instance, the low clearance will make the room look cramped.

Benefits of Natural Materials

Sometimes the materials we choose say as much as the types of ceiling designs we choose. Going with natural materials is a great way to boost your mental health and promote a sense of calm. Natural materials are also more sustainable, so you can feel good about whatever choice you make. 

Wood Ceilings

Wood ceilings are a great way to bring natural elements into your room design. The natural grains add color and visual texture, all without messy application. Think wood ceilings are too flat for what you want? Think again.

Wood ceilings are available in incredibly inspired design options these days. You’ll get different textures by choosing shiplap, tongue and groove, or microperforated panels. Wood is also available in an impressive array of wood species. Whether you want a hemlock ceiling or a tigerwood ceiling, nearly all species are now fairly easy to find. 

Metal Ceilings

If you’re looking for more of a reflective ceiling material, metal is a good option. Unlike many of the materials on this list, metal offers an industrial look with unparallelled longevity. Metal can reflect a lot of sound, so be careful in the design process.

If noise is going to be an issue, microperforated panels are the perfect solution. They offer all the visual benefits of metal, and absorb enough sound so the space doesn’t get too noisy. Whether you go with the stamped tiles associated with tin ceiling or microperf panels, metal is sure to impress. 

Plant Ceilings

A design trend that’s picked up traction over the past couple decades is the use of plants in ceiling designs. They look great, promote a naturalistic environment, and can even help a bit with sound control. They do need water and sunlight, so they aren’t suitable for all rooms. If you can make it work, this is a great way to create a stunning visual.

Work with Pros

In order to replace your conventional ceiling with something more eye-catching, you’ll need resources. It helps to talk to someone knowledgeable about many types of ceiling designs. Our pros work with the best in commercial and residential ceiling design and can help you find what works. Whether you’ve always dreamed of an encino wood ceiling or want to know more about sound reflector panels, you’re covered.