Can I use something other than white on my ceiling without shrinking the room?

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I inherited a very small house which was completely painted white from one end to the other. I’ve never owned a home before and have only vague ideas about how to make it my own, but I know I should start with paint. I am considering an Ozark Mountain cottage look for the living room but I am stumped about what color to paint the ceiling. The room is small (the entire house is less than 900 square feet); I counted 23 steps long by 15 steps across, with a pitched ceiling instead of flat. There’s not a lot of furniture (a couch, a recliner, a loveseat) but I have a lot of books and I plan to line one of the long walls with bookcases, broken up by a flat screen TV in the middle. (It is these shelves that have me petrified about making a mistake. Once they are set up, it would be SO much harder to redo the color scheme if I decide I hate it) I’m afraid if I go with brown wood-tone walls and brown ceiling like in pictures I’ve seen of Ozark cabins, it will make the room seem claustrophobic. All my life my parents have painted every house we lived in with beige walls and white ceiling, so I’d really like to avoid that. Can you offer any suggestions?

2 Responses

  1. Unless you like to feel "boxed in" … always use white to "enlarge" the look and feel of rooms… you can use a slightly tinted white (a drop of black plus a drop of gold) to help in covering the existing colors… but use a high quality paint, like Sherwin Williams Classic 99 …

    Using white also makes it much easier to decorate, with drapes, furniture carpet etc.

  2. Yes, you can use colors other than white on your ceiling without shrinking the room. Light, cool-toned colors such as pale blues, soft grays, or light greens can create the illusion of a higher ceiling and make the space feel more expansive. Additionally, using a matte or flat finish instead of a high gloss can help minimize the reflective properties of the ceiling, preventing it from visually closing in the room. Consider coordinating the ceiling color with elements in the room to create a cohesive design scheme. By strategically selecting colors and finishes, you can enhance the perceived size of the room without sacrificing style or visual impact.

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