We often focus so much of our design attention to the walls in a room, but forget about the single large, uninterrupted surface in any room - the ceiling. I fall prey to this same forgetfulness all the time. But, what if we started really thinking about the ceiling as a design opportunity? What are some of the options available to us?

Beams for that rustic, European feel. In looking for an example of beams, I found this one and fell in love with the strong juxtaposition of the ceiling treatment and the contemporary cabinetry. It's simple and elegant, just the way I like it.

Bead-board adds country charm. There is something so beautiful about the simple bead board treatment in this kitchen. Not quite Americana-type country, but certainly an elevated version of it's self. The soft blue tone helps expand the space in an unobtrusive manner.

Tin ceiling for a vintage touch. Reminiscent of a speakeasy, this basement bar, complete with dark wood, tin ceiling and aged walls feels as if it were plucked from a different era.

Tin of a different sort for a different feel. Nothing feels more rustic than rusted corrugated siding. As a ceiling treatment it adds interest and immediate age to this cabin setting. 

Wallpaper on the 5th wall? Why not? This beautiful, degraded pattern adds a certain charm to this contemporary bedroom not really possible with paint. The randomness of the pattern plays an important counter point with the clean lines of the room.

Custom millwork for a truly elegant treatment. Delicate millwork in a graceful pattern adds a timeless appeal to this dining room. While certainly the most labor intensive (and probably costly), nothing beats the feeling of a well-designed ceiling.

Which of these would you most likely use in your own home? In our 1908 house in Portland, we decided to use bead board ceiling in several locations to help keep the vintage feel even though the home has been updated. Just don't let your ceiling be just another ceiling.