Posted in Ceilings, Glamour, Kitchen Tours, Modern Kitchens, Molding, Paint, Traditional Kitchens

Ceilings Need Attention Too.

Many times the ceiling is the overlooked surface in kitchen remodeling.
Here are some lovely examples of designing with the 5th “wall” in mind.
If you are graced with 10′ plus ceilings, there are more options available. But, if you live in a two story home with standard 8′ ceilings, take heart, there are still options available for you.

This space designed by one of my favorite designers, Patricia Gray, shows off a floating ceiling. What a fabulous technique.

Another view into the work of Patricia Gray. The wood tones adds warmth to the otherwise glistening reflective space with nearly floor to ceiling spans of windows.

In this rambling California Ranch with cathedral ceilings, rough hewn beams (the very top left of the photo), were added to ceilings. Additional accent lighting above the cabinets sends the accent lighting upwards. The focus directs your attention up.

A two story home, although the ceilings are standard height, this vintage inspired kitchen plays up the molding detail, wrapping around the angled details. This kitchen, designed by my associate, Liz Tiffen, will be on the Tour of Kitchens, October 19th. For tickets and more information about the Tour please visit

For many of us who have had the 1970’s recessed 4 x 8 fluorescent light tubes covered with plastic panels, an interesting update to the ceiling is the use of coved drywall finished with crown molding accenting the inside perimeter. Additional recessed can lights can be run inside this recessed area or as shown here, pendant lights and accent lighting behind the molding.

In Southern California, our older Spanish style homes, Art Deco or Craftsman style homes built in the 20’s and 30’s had great detail included: coved, art deco tray or beamed ceilings . If you are lucky to have a home with good bone structure to start with, lucky you.

If not, there are so many lovely styles to select from, it’s a shame to neglect the ceiling.

Here are some more examples of great ceilings.


A barrel ceiling by Capital Improvements, in Dallas Texas. (In Texas where they really do everything big).

From Euro Builders, Texas

From the Vaughn Group, Dallas, Texas.

From the Traver Group, Texas.
And of course, I cannot end this series of ceiling details without showing the lovely, over the top (literally) faux painted sky ceiling. This one feels like a trellis above with the vines trailing down onto the wall. This one is just faux you.

I have been holding onto this photo forever. I think the kitchen is charming.
This is from YesterTec. A furniture company that specializes in amazing workstations hidden in armoire designed furniture.



Laurie Burke, connected to the design and construction industry since 1996. A seasoned residential kitchen and bath design specialist , Laurie has designed thousands of kitchens & baths as well as other cabinetry projects requiring technical precision in design drafting utilizing state of the art 2020 software for creating accurate plans and elevations. Through on- going product knowledge training and a desire to always stay current with an evolving marketplace, Laurie Burke maintains a strong command of knowing the appropriate Fit & Finish materials required for a residential remodel to meet the budget, the timeline of a project and a client's need for a finished product that meets their satisfaction. Kitchen Designer by trade, foodie, techie, weekend traveler for fun. For more information contact me at

6 thoughts on “Ceilings Need Attention Too.

  1. I think it is great that you have addressed the ‘5th wall’ dilemma. The ceiling is the most overlooked element in a room! There are so many ways to play up ceilings – like you have already mentioned.
    I am loving Patricia Gray’s designs! They are so fresh and subtle.

    I wanted to leave you with my company’s URL to give yet another idea to play off of ceilings. ( I won’t go into it too much to avoid spam. However, if you would like additional information, I can provide it! E-mail me at


  2. Thank you for the comments.
    In Patricia Gray’s work, you can see that the beauty of clean geometry adds volume and depth without the use of heavy moldings. I really love this style.

    In traditional or vintage designs, moldings complete the space. Originally, tin ceilings, bead board and heavy use of moldings were a great cover for a whole myriad of sins in plaster, gaps and inconsistent surfaces.

    Randi, please forward more info on your company. Thanks.


  3. Laurie, we’re starting to meld! I just posted last week about ceiling treatments — I’ll link to you. Perfect timing! *grin*


  4. Here’s another idea for ceilings: I’ve got a century farmhouse that had nasty accoustic-tile things done to the living room ceiling when the old plaster started to fail, sometime in the 1970s. We’d have loved to restore the plaster, or go for a tin ceiling, but neither option would fit in the budget. Instead, we covered the ceiling tiles with a thick lining paper and then papered that over with anaglypta wallpaper to simulate the old tin-ceiling look. The embossed wallpaper was paintable – so, two coats of paint, and it looked like authentic pressed tin! A pile of work, but well worth it.


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