Bedroom ceiling ideas – 11 convention-defying designs that make looking up the best view of the room

With our bedroom ceiling ideas, make the fifth wall the hero of the design scheme

a bedroom with a cloud wallpaper ceiling
(Image credit: Marys Wadsworth. Design: Cherie Lee Interiors)

When thinking of bedroom ceiling ideas, the famous quote by master interior designer Albert Hadley comes to mind – 'ceilings must always be considered. They are the most neglected surface in a room.' 

Ceilings are often a last thought when it comes to interior design, but the bedroom ideas are achieved when all a room's surfaces are carefully considered. A decorated ceiling can help create a cocooning feeling, set the tone for the room's design, and even create an illusion of higher, or lower, ceilings depending on how you approach it. 

If you're ready to save your bedroom ceilings from neglect, then this set of 11 bedroom ceiling ideas is for you. 

11 bedroom ceiling ideas you should hang on to

Bedroom ceilings offer a canvas to go big with creative ideas. 'Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries, so think about a color or pattern that gives you joy,' says Ann Marie, founder of AMC Design. 'Consider painting the ceiling a bold color. This will alter how you perceive the space and make it feel cozier.'

With that in mind, we've pulled together 11 bold bedroom ceilings look to inspire. 

1.  Experiment with gold leaf effect

A bedroom with gold leaf on the ceiling

(Image credit: Victoria-Maria Geyer)

For a stunning modern bedroom ideas, consider gilding your ceiling. If you have an architecturally rich room, highlighting it with gold leaf will really draw the eye to these details. Plus, the soft luster from the gold can really set the tone for a luxurious space. 

'This ceiling was guilded with tiny gold leafs. And the light bulbs were chosen to fit the colors of the room,' says interior designer Victoria-Maria Geyer (opens in new tab).

Of course, gold leafing is a rather bold choice but if this concept appeals to you, but you prefer not to go all the way, choose a smaller surface to experiment it on, like a mirror or a stool. Many design and craft stores sell gold-toned metal leaf sheets and adhesives, while there are professional gilders who can also undertake the project for you. 

2. Leave the ceiling rafters exposed for an earthy touch

A bedroom with a wooden ceiling and brown toned wallpaper

(Image credit: General Assembly)

If you live in a home that is wood or brick-dominated space, we suggest you leave the walls and surfaces exposed. This type of Cottagecore aesthetic is coming back in vogue again. Allow your master bedroom to look as natural, organic, and untouched as possible.

'The river town of Hudson has become an escape for New York creatives looking for a little more space and a slower pace of life. The homeowners, who split their time between New York, Los Angeles, and London, came to us to brighten up and modernize their new country home located just outside the town,' says Colin Stief, founder of General Assembly (opens in new tab). 'The natural and neutral finishes throughout emphasize the heavy timber construction, which we took great care to not disrupt. The result of the renovation is a home that has been modernized to meet the needs of the family who live there, without losing the character that attracted them to the property.'

3. Consider decorative crown moldings to elevate the look

A beautiful round ceiling design in a bedroom

(Image credit: Bespoke Only)

Molding adds a flair of antiquated character, charm, and architectural detail that is hard to match. Whether you have a luxurious bedroom with existing molding or decide to customize one entirely, one thing is for sure: your space will be rich with texture before you even get to the furniture.

When it comes to this design feature, you don't have to limit yourself to the edges of the room, either. Enhance its expression with an intricate ceiling rose design in the center of the ceiling. 

'We installed a medallion with an oversized ceiling ring to highlight the historic heritage of the brownstone, complementing the originally carved marble surround and cast iron summer cover of the fireplace in this otherwise pared-back bedroom,' says Melissa Lee, principal designer at Bespoke Only (opens in new tab).

4. Go for a vaulted ceiling

A bedroom with vaulted wooden ceilings

(Image credit: Michelle Mele. Photo by Rafael Soldi)

Ceilings don't have to be all flat, horizontal planes of white-painted drywall. A vaulted ceiling can create more volume in a room by opening the ceiling to a higher point within the framework of the roof. Plus, they look eye-catching and make for a great first impression as you enter a space. 

If you have the budget for it, playing with the ceiling structure can be an effective way of achieving something special and unique, especially in an attic bedroom. A simple, vaulted design with wooden rafters, as seen in the project by Michelle Mele (opens in new tab) looks intricate and interesting.

'A vaulted ceiling with exposed collar ties or other structural components is a great way to add volume and interest to a bedroom,' says interior designer Michelle Mele. 'We love exposing existing structural components in place and just finishing them nicely. This not only adds interest to the space, but it is also a great way to save on the cost of any structural work which might be required with re-engineering trusses or other structural elements found above a lowered ceiling.'

5. Create a decorative design with paint 

A bedroom with wooden beams and paint on the ceiling

(Image credit: Utkan Gunerkan)

Decorating a ceiling with paint is an excellent way to introduce introduce overhead, while still easily combined with any original features of your space, as this design showcases. 

'We used the original wooden beams of the existing room as decorative elements on the ceiling, and enhanced it with simple paint,' says architect Utkan Gunerkan, principal architect, Studio Utkan Gunerkan (opens in new tab). 'A yellow shade was chosen in order to fit the old colour – we slightly saturated the original yellow for it to match the shade of the cabinets.'

'As for the bespoke bed, we used breezeblocks and made a metal construction inside to hold the mattress,' says Utkan. 'It was simply laying bricks than sanding them to make them smooth. There’s also a brass layer on top which is made from salvaged materials that become a canopy for the bed, to compliment the old window frames.'

6. Create a cocooning effect with brick tiles

A bedroom with brick tiles on the ceiling

(Image credit: Etchegaray. Photo Sergio Lope)

Natural, earthy ceiling tiles in exposed brick can instantly add warmth to a space. Bricks are especially perfect for arches and curved ceilings in rooms that have plenty of natural light. For the most welcoming rustic bedroom ideas, consider this design.

While looking for bricks, consider ones that complement the furnishings for a cohesive design. You could even add wooden elements to the room to add another degree of warmth to the stone.

For a seamless look, you could consider painting your brick ceiling white, but if you're going ahead with the exposed design, ensure you coat it so debris doesn’t fall from overhead.

7. Color drench the walls and ceiling for a seamless look

A pink toned bedroom with paint on the walls and ceiling

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

In smaller spaces, it's always good to show as few visual breaks as possible. This will allow your eyes to travel the length and breadth of the room and take it in as one space.

A seamless, continuous look to create an illusion of space can be achieved with smart bedroom paint ideas. Consider color drenching. Choose soft pastels and douse walls and ceilings in the same hue, covering all surfaces in a unified shade so the room looks cohesive. Ensure the interiors receive plenty of sunlight or have other sources of illumination. Semi-gloss or gloss paint can help bounce light around the room and make it seem even brighter. 

8. Lift the scheme with color contrast

A bedroom with purple walls and lilac ceiling

(Image credit: Folds Inside)

More often than not, it's a standard procedure to paint your walls and keep the ceiling white. But if you were to believe us, that is a wasted opportunity. A great way to a pretty bedroom with a bold personality is with the magic of contrasts. This means, pairing two different colors side-by-side for a vibrant, stark look. 

Usually, lighter colors can make a space seem more expansive, in which case, it would be wise to choose a soft tone for the ceiling while reserving a deeper hue for the walls. Usually, warm colors advance and cool colors recede. However, if you have a double or triple height space, then you could lower the ceiling with a bright red, orange, or yellow.

'When you are lying in bed how nice would it be to look up to a lovely color or a decorative feature such as a beautiful light, ceiling rose, or even wallpaper,' says Emma Gurner, founder of Folds Inside (opens in new tab). 'Adding color to the bedroom ceiling can make the space feel much cozier and warmer. In this bedroom, I painted the ceiling Calamine by Farrow and Ball (opens in new tab) which compliments the dark Brinjal walls softening the overall room.'

9. Decorate original features to match your scheme 

A bedroom with bleached ceiling beams

(Image credit: Côte de Folk)

We all love the look of wood but sometimes its rustic appearance can pull a scheme in the wrong direction, especially if you're looking to create a soft, pretty bedroom design you're after. In this case, consider painting/bleaching the wood in white to match the overall decor of the room.

While the ceiling is original in the scheme above, designer Sophie Rowell, founder of Côte de Folk (opens in new tab)customized this four-poster bed and for the bedding, chose Cloth Shop London for heritage linen. The rug is by Soho Home and the bedsides tables by Chelsea Textiles Furniture.

10. Install coffered ceilings

A coffered ceiling painted blue

(Image credit: Living With Lolo)

Coffered or box beam ceilings are a grid-style ceiling design with sunken panels. The millwork adds timelessness to the home and makes a room look inherently grand. 

Not only do these ceilings add symmetry to the room, but but they also are great for installing lights and hiding wires or pipes within their design. Linear LED lights are a great way to easily hide the light in custom trim panels, so all you get is a soft, gentle glow from above.

For a more glam bedroom, and to give the ceiling a more personalized touch, choose to paint the sunken spaces in light colors while keeping the beams white. You can also add wallpaper inside them to bring pattern to your room. 

'The coffered ceiling was actually already in this bedroom when our clients purchased the house, but it was white and just felt a bit boring,' says Lauren Lerner, principal designer of Living with Lolo (opens in new tab). 'When we chose the beautiful wallpaper as the accent wall, we immediately knew we wanted to paint the ceiling a complimentary color and picked a gorgeous soft yet deep blue. The paint color is Benjamin Moore Kensington Blue (opens in new tab).'

11. Choose an eye-catching chandelier to create interest 

A bedroom with a sculptural lighting piece

(Image credit: Lena Zufarova. Photo by Evgeniy Kulibaba)

You don't have to go all out with a renovation or a long and winding paint job to make your ceiling stand out. All you need to do is use an element that convinces or encourages people to look up. If you have a ceiling that is already beautiful, then you simply need a good bait.

Pendants and chandeliers can be used to create a focal point. You could choose a long cascading piece to accentuate the height of the room or a small yet sculptural light like the one pictured above. 

'Add interest to the bedroom ceiling by introducing beautiful light fixtures,' says Poppy Peace, group Creative Directorat Milc Interiors (opens in new tab). 'Pendant lighting will catch the attention, bringing the eye up to the ceiling. This is especially effective when striking or sculptural lighting design is used.' 

How can I make my ceiling more attractive?

Make your bedroom ceiling the talking point of your design with clever ideas. The most common and perhaps the most easily-done way is with paint. Color has a way of lifting a scheme and packing a punch in a room of any size and design. You could choose to paint the ceiling in a dark hue while leaving the rest of the walls white. Or, for a striking look, contrast the ceiling with the wall color, and watch the magic unfold.

Other than that, you could also go in for bedroom wallpaper ideas, and cover the fifth wall in texture and prints. This will give the room a lovely, cocooning feeling. If you're open to it and love the look of gold, you could go bold with a gold-leaf ceiling.

If a renovation is on the cards, then choose a coffered, tray, or vaulted ceiling design to give the room an architectural touch. Hide spotlights inside the trusses and make the room seem neat and full of character. Wooden beams or panels or even brick tiles can give the room an earthy feel.

A brown bedroom with a painted table

(Image credit: Thomas Guy Interiors)

What are the different types of ceilings?

While the regular, drywall ceiling is one we are used to seeing often, there are other designs to experiment with. A suspended ceiling hangs from a metal grid below the existing ceiling. One can add special acoustic panels and lights inside this design. A grid or coffered ceiling is usually made with wood or POP and requires plenty of thought and precision. These give the room a symmetrical and elegant vibe.

A tray ceiling is multi-level, where it starts at the top and the design drops with each level. These are ideal for rooms that have height and where one can work with ceilings that drop down.

Cathedral or vaulted ceilings are designed with an inverted V-shape that gradually slopes down. These types of ceilings are usually seen in hillside homes or farmhouses that have double to triple volume rooms. Finally, wooden beam ceilings and moldings are ones to take note of.  While the wooden beams give a room a rustic edge, molding can make a bedroom seem sophisticated and sculptural.

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast).  Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.