37 Living Room Ceiling Ideas to Transform Your Home

and Caitlin Sole
Andrea Beck
37 Living Room Ceiling Ideas to Transform Your Home

Ceilings can sometimes be an overlooked part of home design. Whether you have high ceilings or a standard style, there are plenty of ways to utilize your existing ceiling to give your living room a new look. A few budget-friendly options include painting your ceiling a new color, adding paneling or tiles, or even wallpapering the ceiling.

Even if you have a living room with a low ceiling, the right renovation can even make it appear higher and make the room feel larger, such as painting it a lighter color. Or, if you already have a ceiling you love, such as a dramatic vaulted ceiling or a ceiling with stunning exposed beams, you can use these living room ideas to help decorate the space to emphasize the ceiling. Whatever your living room is in need of, these ceiling design ideas can provide the inspiration you need to give the room a refresh.

01 of 37

Black Living Room Ceiling

Vaulted living room ceiling painted black with wooden beams

Andrew Patterson

Don’t be intimidated by dark ceiling colors. In this room, painting a paneled, vaulted ceiling black adds cohesion and drama throughout the entire space. Especially paired with large, floor-to-ceiling windows, the dark color adds elegance without making the room feel small.

02 of 37

Rustic Living Room Ceiling

Living room with exposed wood ceilings.

Nathan Schroder

If rustic style calls to you, consider an exposed wood ceiling. If you already have this feature in your home, you can emphasize it by keeping the rest of the room neutral, such as painting the walls white and choosing furniture in gray or beige tones. You can also create this design by covering your ceiling with wood panels.

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Exposed Ceiling Beams

Rustic living room with exposed wooden beams on a white ceiling.

Nathan Schroder

A little simpler to create than a fully wood paneled ceiling, exposed beams can also create a farmhouse style. You can install your own wood beams if you want with wood boards, then arrange them however you like. This room leaves the rest of the ceiling white to help the dark wood beams stand out even more.

04 of 37

Elegant Ceiling Treatment

Living room with crowned molding ceiling in dark green.

Julie Soefer

If you want to add sophisticated elegance to your living room, consider an intricate molding pattern. This large scale pattern only repeats a few times, which helps the room feel more open and emphasizes the high ceilings. Painting the walls and ceiling a matching slate blue also helps the gold light fixture and natural wood dresser stand out.

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White Living Room Ceiling

White living rooms with small pillars and large windows

Annie Schlechter

This stunning room proves that white ceilings don’t have to be plain. Installing paneling adds interest to the ceiling while still letting the wall of windows act as the focal point. Leaving the ceiling white also helps it blend with other textures in the room, such as the white brick around the fireplace and natural wood floors.

06 of 37

Paneled Ceiling

Living room and foyer with wooden beams on ceiling.

Nathan Schroder

Two design elements help put this living room ceiling design in the spotlight. Small white panels provide contrast for the large, exposed wood beams framing the ceiling. With neutral whites, grays, and greens throughout the rest of the room, the ceiling beams immediately draw the eye.

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Wallpapered Living Room Ceiling

Sofa and wing back chairs in living room

Werner Straube 

If you want to create a one-of-a-kind living room with lots of drama, consider using wallpaper on your ceiling. This room uses an abstract patterned wallpaper in shades of gray, which adds interest without overwhelming an already-maximalist design. Paired with dark blue walls, an ornate area rug, and a leather sofa, this living room design is elegant and sophisticated.

08 of 37

Vaulted Living Room Ceilings

Shelves by front door store toys for the kids and peg hooks and bench give guests a place for coats and a spot for purses or packages; Interior of seating room with furniture and decor

Kat Teutsch

Simple ceilings can also add interest to a room. This vaulted ceiling is covered in white panels, which adds just a touch of style to an otherwise-plain ceiling. The clean lines also pair well with the neutral colors and furniture used in the rest of the space, allowing the hardwood floors to pop.

09 of 37

Two-Tone Living Room Ceiling Design

Navarro's living room with shades of blue and neutral colors; Furniture in living room at home

Buff Strickland

At first glance, the ceiling design in this living room seems to match the plain walls. But with a closer look, it’s noticeable that the ceiling is painted just a shade or two darker than the walls. This subtle difference lets the bolder design elements of the room take center stage, like the patterned rug and blue couch, while also creating a slight separation between the walls and ceiling.

10 of 37

Dark Living Room Ceiling Design

Kristin Jackson's small living room with black painted ceilings, twin mirrors, white walls, light sofa and brass/glass table; Interior of living room with furniture and patterned carpet

Jim Franco

Because the walls of this living room are white, the black ceiling in this design gives the entire space an updated, modern feel. Generally, dark ceiling colors also make the room feel more cozy and homey. However, paired with contemporary touches like the matching framed mirrors and large art print, the dark ceiling contrasts with the white walls and feels modern and stylish.

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Spacious High Ceilings

living room with high vaulted ceilings trimmed in shiplap, painted white brick fireplace, gray matching sofas and leather chairs, and black chests for coffee table

Dane Tashima

Living rooms with high ceilings often feel grand and spacious. This ceiling design helps the space feel comfortable by covering it with white panels and painting the exposed beams white. A hanging ceiling fan also helps guide the eye downward to make the room feel a little more cozy.

12 of 37

Crown Molding Living Room Ceiling

Living room with crown molding around light fixture on ceiling.

Hector Sanchez

The ceiling in this living room may be white, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking style. A small section of crown molding around the hanging chandelier-style light fixture instantly gives the room an elegant feel. It also complements that large accent wall, matching the crown molding framing the artwork.

13 of 37

Ceiling with Wood Beams

Tall living room ceilings with wooden beams.

Jay Wilde

Just a couple of wood beams help upgrade this white living room ceiling. The exposed wood also matches the farmhouse-feel of the sliding barn door and dining table with bench seating. Combined with the white walls and leather sofa, the entire room is a stunning example of modern farmhouse style.

14 of 37

Simple Living Room Ceiling

Small living room with fan and wallpaper on part of ceiling.

John Bessler

With several different design elements in play, a simple white ceiling complements this living room. Since part of the ceiling is sloped, some of the large scale print wallpaper extends over part of the ceiling. Combined with white brick and brightly colored art, throw pillows, and poufs, a plain ceiling helps tie everything together.

15 of 37

Wood Paneled Ceiling

mid century modern living room with stone fireplace and burnt orange and teal sofas and chairs

David Land

Wood paneling extending across the entire living room ceiling helps add warmth to this living room design. White walls with black trim could easily make the room feel cold, but the ceiling design paired with wood floors keeps it cozy and homey. Since the colors are neutral, bold blue and dark orange furniture stands out even more.

16 of 37

Show Off Engineered Lumber

Lumber ceiling

John Granen

Roof beams are traditionally made from hand-hewn trees or solid-sawn lumber. Forest product engineers have recently invented “glulam” beams, which are created from many layers of flexible wood strips glued together to form robust laminated wood beams that can form curves and arches as well as straight runs. These beams have given form to architectural shapes that were difficult to create a few decades ago.

17 of 37

Create a Coffered Ceiling with Molding

Coffered Ceiling with Molding

Michael Partenio

The term coffered ceiling often connotes a crisscross of heavy ornamental beams that create a grid of deep recesses in a lofty ceiling. But you can create a similar effect on a low ceiling with much less material and trouble by applying a grid of stock moldings to the ceiling. For added contrast, paint the moldings in a color or sheen that contrasts with the ceiling’s planar surfaces. Arrange ceiling molding in a unique layout rather than the traditional grid for contemporary appeal.

18 of 37

Lighten Beams with Paint

Living room white ceiling beams

Werner Straube

Massive dark beams loomed heavily over this seating area, but the owners wanted a lighter look for the living room ceiling design. They achieved it by painting both the beams and walls a shade of clean white. A neutral rug and furniture give the entire room an airy look, and the vaulted ceiling allows natural light from a wall of windows to fill the open floor plan.

19 of 37

Get Dynamic with Paint

Living room painted design

Brittany Ambridge

Paint your own ceiling pattern instead of opting for wallpaper. This contemporary space features a black-and-white geometric ceiling design that mimics the shapes and colors of the unique sofa below. An abstract-style light fixture mirrors the same sharp angles.

20 of 37

Use Ceiling Tiles

Living room ceiling tile

David A Land

Ceiling tiles are an easy way to add texture and a contrasting finish to a living room. The ceiling panels in this family space are painted with a glossy paint to add interest and depth overhead. The traditional paneled tiles coolly contrast the room’s contemporary decor.

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Barrel-Vaulted Ceiling

Barrel-Vaulted Ceiling

Edward Gohlich

This ceiling idea for living rooms is a new twist on the barrel-vault design. Light wood ceiling beams contrast with the room’s dark gray walls and rich blue floor. The gently bowed arches lend a protective, sheltered feeling to a room designed for informal gathering and relaxation.

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Natural Brick Ceilings

Vaulted brick ceiling

Paul Dyer

Many homes have beautiful, natural building materials hidden below the surface. When remodeling, consider showcasing your home’s natural building materials for ceilings, walls, and flooring. This room gets a style boost from a vaulted brick ceiling in a unique dome shape.

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Clean Contrast

Painted ceiling beams and crown molding


While natural wood beams can provide contrast from white walls and ceilings, they may not fit with contemporary decor. Achieve a similar effect by painting beams and crown molding a solid color rather than staining. A painted white brick fireplace, walls, and ceiling let warm gray ceiling beams and molding, as well as orange and blue decor, stand out.

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Metallic Wallpapered Ceiling

Metallic wallpaper ceiling

Gordon Beall

Natural light can be hard to come by in certain parts of the home, so the interior design should make the most of it. This ceiling bounces natural light around a small living room with the help of metallic wallpaper. This ceiling treatment lightens the room and adds warmth and character to the jewel-toned space.

25 of 37

Add Beadboard for Texture

Beadboard ceiling

Kat Teutsch

Beadboard wall treatments can translate to the ceiling for subtle texture and cottage appeal. In this airy space, white glossy beadboard adds just enough texture to the ceiling to bring eyes up but not overwhelm the decor. Plus, beadboard comes in wood, vinyl, and PVC options—as both planks and panels—so you can achieve your perfect living room ceiling.

26 of 37

Painted Boxed Beam Ceiling

Colorful box beam ceiling

Emily J Followill

This boxed-beam ceiling packs an unexpected punch of color with forest green painted inside each square. Because the rest of the space, including built-ins, trim, and a white area rug, implements light colors, the green ceiling and blue accent wall don’t feel overwhelming. It also brings out the green tones in the decor.

27 of 37

Visually Lower a Vaulted Ceiling

Lowered vaulted ceiling

David Patterson

Vaulted ceilings add volume to a space. But they can also leave a room feeling vast, cold, and open. For this high ceiling idea, dark wood planks visually lower a lofty ceiling, bringing welcome warmth and a more human scale to the room while contrasting with the light-colored walls and upholstery fabrics. The tone of the stained wood matches that of the hardwood floor for a cohesive design.

28 of 37

Consider a Tray Ceiling

Living room tray ceiling

John Merkl

An elegant living room gets an overhead treatment befitting its traditional style: a tray ceiling. Framed out in drywall and set off with heavy crown molding, this ceiling idea contributes to the room’s sense of intimacy. The bright white molding complements furnishings in various neutral shades and sets off rich blue-gray walls.

29 of 37

Use Vigas for an Open Feel

Southwestern themed ceiling

Werner Straube

Traditionally, adobe structures in the American Southwest featured open ceiling beams, called vigas, made from peeled tree trunks. Try this wood ceiling idea in your next remodel. The natural wood tones and rich textures of these beams contrast with a smooth white planked ceiling for a comfortable, made-from-the-earth feeling that continues to influence Southwestern interior design.

30 of 37

Include Dormers in a Vaulted Ceiling

Living room vaulted ceiling

Vaulted ceilings generally ascend to their peak in a smooth, unbroken plane. Add unexpected interest—and an additional shot of daylight—by incorporating dormer windows in a soaring, two-story living room. The upper-level windows animate the lofty space, adding a subtle sculptural quality that lifts the eye. The light from the windows bounces off the ceiling on the opposite side of the room, creating a soft, even glow for the living space below.

31 of 37

Add Boxed Beams

Ceiling box beam

John Bessler

If you’re seeking to pump up the design of a plain room, look up: The ceiling is a great place to start. Ceiling beams make an impact, but the structure of some homes can’t support the weight of solid wood beams. Instead, use boxed beams: hollow structures that have all of the visual impact of solid beams with a fraction of the weight. This beautiful ceiling design works well in many living room styles and designs.

32 of 37

Use Rustic Beams

Contrast ceiling beams

Rett Peek

Rustic, age-blackened ceiling beams add character in this great room. For contrast, and to keep the living area warm and light, the rest of the ceiling was painted white. The combination adds an interesting tracery of structure overhead without overwhelming and darkening the decorating scheme.

33 of 37

Vaulting a Ranch Ceiling

Wood vaulted ceiling

James Nathan Schroder

Vaulted ceilings are often associated with soaring contemporary spaces, but even the comparatively low, modestly pitched ceilings of ranch houses can take advantage of the treatment. This home utilizes the variation of color in natural wood to add to the orange-and-tan color scheme. A benefit: room overhead for ceiling fans, formerly precluded by the low ceiling height.

34 of 37

Radial Beam Structure

Ceiling with radial beam

Michael Partenio

Radial beam patterns give a room the illusion of being round and bring attention to the light fixture in the center of the room. This living room uses wood beams to complement the natural color scheme of the decor. The large chandelier ties the look together with traditional flair.

35 of 37

Natural Wood Ceiling

Living room barnwood exposed beams

Tria Giovan

Instead of installing all new wood beams, utilize old barnwood or strip existing beams of their paint. This wood ceiling idea gives a natural, rustic look that adds textural interest to the living room. Keep walls and the ceiling area white for maximum visual impact.

36 of 37

White-on-White Ceiling

Living room white ceiling

Kim Cornelison

In this contemporary living room, large windows illuminate the entire room—a fairly common practice in modern home design. To ensure that daylight reaches the entire room, the homeowners painted the ceiling and its beams glossy white. The result bathes the entire space in soft, reflected daylight. The modern ceiling design for the home also makes the most of reflected artificial light and firelight once the sun goes down.

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Incorporate Roof Structure

Pine roof ceiling

Brie Williams

Tongue-and-groove pine roof decking and robust solid-sawn beams with black iron hardware are a hallmark of contemporary vaulted ceilings. This living room embraces these elements by continuing the wood look on a mantel in a similar finish. The tall ceiling helps bounce light around the white walls and reveals the variegated grain and geometric structure of the roof.

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