The kitchen floor gets walked all over for good reason, but why should the ceiling too? In terms of getting the TLC they deserve, kitchen ceiling ideas are often overlooked, but why when they offer a ‘fifth wall’ and extra area to get expressive?
When considering ceiling ideas for the heart and hub of your home, really think about your personal style and how you want to enhance the space with a design that elevates, and ultimately ‘crowns’ your kitchen with a warm welcome for family and guests.
Do you want to add natural character and texture with wood cladding; add decorative details and cover up unsightly cracks with beading, or perhaps try something different with a colorful painted ceiling or patterned wallpaper? Excuse the pun, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to trying out something new to reverse the order and put the spotlight on your ceiling.
Kitchen ceiling ideas to make you look up and swoon
Although a key feature, it’s not all about fancy kitchen lighting ideas that steal the show. There's plenty more to add design interest to the overall aesthetic of your cooking space and how you cover your kitchen ceiling can have a big impact on how the area feels.
1. Patina your ceiling with natural wood
Mirror the warmth of kitchen flooring and take natural pattern and texture above with a weathered wood-clad ceiling, rich in honey hues and grainy appeal.
Chad Graci of New Orleans-based Graci Interiors (opens in new tab), comments: ‘Wood creates a sense of warmth and comfort – ideal feelings for a kitchen. Ceiling planks or a beadboard ceiling add architectural detail, define your space with rich texture and color, and cover-up old plaster or cracked drywall. In this kitchen, we used 'pecky cypress', which will patina over time, and ties into the pine floor, natural fiber shades, and mixed metals throughout the kitchen.
Feeling inspired to try this look? Try Home Depot for Pecky Cypress decorative panels (opens in new tab), that will transform your kitchen at an affordable cost.
2. Color drench your entire space for maximalist impact
Feeling bold? Embrace color drenching to maximalist effect, learn how to paint a ceiling, and bring a bright personality to your kitchen or pantry.
Helen Shaw, UK director at Benjamin Moore (opens in new tab) comments: ‘For the ultimate statement create an ultra-luxe, all-encompassing, floor to ceiling finish in one color. Using a single shade, like Tranquil Blue (opens in new tab) to cover the skirting, walls, ceiling, and window frames adds a feeling of grandeur and creates a bold look which provides the perfect backdrop for your favorite furnishings and accessories.’
‘Embracing this monochromatic and color drenching paint scheme is a fantastic way of creating a chic, minimalist base to a room. Using varying levels of saturation of one color can be a great way to take your room from bland to bold in just one color and can instantly shift the dimensions.’
3. Create a striking effect with contrast-finish beams
Paint ceiling beams a contrasting shade to add a graphic, architectural impact from above.
Shown here, a Scandi-inspired kitchen balances a monochromatic scheme with wooden flooring, a wood-clad island and coordinating vaulted ceiling idea (more on this later), to create a clean, calm and cozy space. Dark stained beams unify with black barstools and statement lighting for a modernist edge.
Christine Turknett, founder of Breathe Design Studio (opens in new tab), comments: ‘Wood paneling the ceiling balances out the wood floors in a room. It also creates a custom look when it blends as an extension of the cabinets. Stick with lighter wood tones to avoid a heavy and dark look.’
4. Things are ‘looking up’ with patterned wallpaper
Forget the generic feature wall of the noughties and transform your kitchen ceiling into a narrative of color and pattern with an enchanting wallpaper trend instead. For an individual look bursting with personality, choose a wow-factor botanical, geometric, or abstract design, and paint cabinets in a coordinating accent shade for a delicious sense of continuity.
Mel Bean of Mel Bean Interiors (opens in new tab) says it's all about bold statements, and her wallpaper choices don't disappoint. She notes: ‘A statement wall or surface doesn't always have to be at eye level. Adding wallpaper overhead allows you to appreciate a 360-degree view of the room.
However, if a homeowner wants to test the waters and not commit in a big way, Mel suggests: ‘wallpaper can be added to the back of a bookcase or other shelving unit.’
If this idea has got you in a flutter, try Wayfair’s Tropical butterflies wallpaper (opens in new tab) for a similar look - go on we dare you! Let the butterflies and multi-hued blossoms vie for the title of best and brightest!
5. Flood your space in natural daylight with a skylight
One of many fantastic small kitchen design ideas to max out natural light and enhance the sense of space is to install a skylight.
Christine Turknett, founder of Breathe Design Studio (opens in new tab), comments: ‘To increase the openness of a kitchen, you can take advantage of natural light through skylights in the kitchen. It also emphasizes the height of the ceilings and increases natural lighting to open and brighten up your kitchen.’
Sylvia James, interior designer, Home How, comments on natural light as a key kitchen trend 2022: ‘Expansive windows along the counter space or extra-large skylights over the island or stove will be the trend of 2022. The idea is to welcome nature and allow light to fall across various materials - wood grain, marble, glazed tile, and brush-applied paint undulations. The style now is for a gently used antique hand tool, not the stainless laboratory. This is a time for both warmth and spaciousness.’
6. Choose a coffered ceiling that exudes elegance
Waffles aren’t just for brunch. Add a layered dimension of grandeur to your kitchen ceiling with sunken grids in symmetrical waffle-like patterns. For a decor tip that applies to tray ceilings too, keep things light and bright by finishing your ceiling in one shade, or for a playful twist, paint the grid frame OR the recessed panels in a happy-go-lucky contrast color pop. ‘Accessorize’ your stately ceiling with feature pendants dangled at balanced intervals within the grids to add impact, whilst zoning dedicated task areas like a DIY kitchen island or wash station.
7. Add radiance with a sunshine shade
Imitate a dazzling sunny day outside and try this yellow kitchen idea with a painted yellow ceiling - a sure-fire way to perk-up breakfast time. Choose a muted, mellow shade for a subtle injection of mood-enhancing color, or go the full range yolk with a radiant sunflower pop that extends down to create a border on the top sections of your walls. If yellow isn’t your vibe, you can still bring the colors of nature inside with a sea to sky blue, or revitalizing woodland green.
Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux (opens in new tab) comments: Kitchens are probably the most dynamic rooms in the house and they are spaces where you can let your imagination run wild. Try a color on the ceiling like Bright Skies (opens in new tab) which will make the room appear bigger and border with a complementary organic shade like River Valley (opens in new tab) or Fresh Foliage (opens in new tab) which you can bring down a little way onto the walls. If you are ambitious you could also try a soft tonal checkerboard effect or soft wavy lines in different sheen levels of the same color like matt and gloss.
8. Mirror mirror on the ceiling
In white kitchens, include a mirrored ceiling light fixture to reflect the light around the space, whilst adding dynamic interest. ‘Mirror’ the shine with metallic finishes on appliances, accessories, and even the backsplash design to give your space-enhanced utilitarian kitchen a high fashion aesthetic.
Susanne of Susanne, interior designer, Fox Design (opens in new tab), advises: ‘A modern surface mount fixture in the center of the Kitchen provides indirect ambient lighting, illuminating the entire space evenly. Additionally, the mirror finish used adds some unexpected and exciting dimension.’
9. Upscale with a vaulted ceiling
Get off the flat and ascend to the peak with a vaulted ceiling design that creates a dramatic silhouette and heightens the space. Rooted in history and rife with character-giving appeal, opt for a contemporary update of this classic ceiling design with clean angles and a light color painted finish.
What should I put on my kitchen ceiling?
Elevate your entire kitchen scheme with a variety of ceiling design ideas to suit every style and budget. Popular designs include paint, wallpaper, drywall, ceiling tiles, wood panels, and wood beams.
What is the best type of ceiling for a kitchen?
In multifunctional kitchens where family and friends constantly flock and gather, Wood is a great option to add character, warmth, texture, and natural pattern. Coordinate a wood ceiling with wood flooring for a comforting sense of unison.