Painting Tip: Dealing With Angled Walls and Sloped Ceilings

As a color consultant, one question I seem to get asked over and over is “should I paint this wall or ceiling color?” It seems like a lot of the homes I have been in recently have odd angles and sloped ceilings.  I am not talking about a slightly sloped ceiling like in this room below where it is still easy to identify wall from ceiling.

Brian Brady and Franco Biscardi

Hamptons Show House 2011 by Brian Brady and Franco Biscardi

I’m referring to a deep angled ceiling with multiple slanting walls like in this bedroom below. It can often be confusing to figure out if something should be painted wall or ceiling color.

bedroom angled walls

House Beautiful

Even among designers and painters there seems to a difference of opinion of how best to treat angled walls and sloped ceilings. To help you make a decision of how best to treat your angled and sloped walls I thought it would be helpful to show you four options: Three that work and one that doesn’t.

#1  The first way is to paint everything wall color except the flat (horizontal) ceiling like in this room below.

painted angled walls

Denise Wenacur Designs

This is a perfectly good option if you want to keep the ceiling light but prefer a richer color on the walls. Wrapping all the slopes and angles in the same color minimizes the choppy feeling of the room. This treatment works best if the flat part of your ceiling is fairly wide, otherwise it could end up looking like a white landing strip like in the photo below.

painting angled walls

Google Images

#2. paint the entire room the same color. Many designers like this option the best. As top Designer Jamie Drake says:

“If your space has odd angles dormers, or unsettling beams, wrap the entire room in color. Use the same paint or paper on every surface. It will make all the oddities disappear.”

Jamie Drake

Design by Jamie Drake

Painting the entire room; walls, slopes and ceiling the same color not only minimizes all the angles but creates a calmer feeling for the room. I would caution you against using too dark of a color because you don’t want to create a dark cave like room (unless that is the look you are going for). A light color is  expanding and usually you can use all the visual height you can get in these sloping and angled rooms.

white painted room

Look how restful the bedroom above looks even though visually there is a lot going on with that ceiling.

Wrapping the whole room in a soft neutral or white is also a great way to introduce pops of color in the furniture and accessories like in this family room below.

angled walls houzz

Houzz

#3. Embrace the angles and slopes and make it the focal point of the room. This is a good option, especially if you want to create a statement.

check out the 4 rooms below and see how the homeowner embraced their odd angles and made it the focal point of the room.

bead board bedroom houzz

Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest

and lastly, what NOT to do:

#4. Paint ceiling and angled walls white and walls a dark color. This is what I recommend NOT to do. The problem with this is that the more angles and sloped walls the room has, the more choppy the room feels. Since many of these types of angled rooms are bedrooms the choppiness does not make for a very restful space.

angled wall 10 attic-bedroom

Houzz

Another problem with Option #4 is that it can appear as if  the ceiling is coming down and taking a bite out of the room.

Google Images

Or that your room is wearing a big white hat like in this image below.

Houzz

As always, I would love to hear from you… What is your favorite way to treat angled walls and sloped ceilings?

 

If you would like help deciding the best way to paint your room or help choosing the perfect color give me a call.

 

 

For the love of WHITE

Ever since I can remember, I have loved color. I mean I really love color. Show me a sassy RED, a cool TURQUOISE or a happy YELLOW and my heart starts racing. There is just something though about a pure, clean white that makes me stop and take pause.

I think these rooms are both so beautiful….

 

AHH……can’t you just imagine relaxing in this room?  I LOVE IT…….. for about 10 minutes……after that, I would be throwing bright colorful pillows on the sofa, flipping through my color fan deck  and  swapping out that white rug out with something maybe like this.

 

 

Matt Camron rug

Matt Camron Rug

Kristie Barnett AKA  The Decorologist recently blogged about this beauty from West Elm which ironically I had just brought home about 2 weeks ago for my own house but just couldn’t seem to find a spot for it. Wouldn’t this look fabulous in one of these rooms as well?

West Elm Bull's Eye Rug

 

So maybe an all white room isn’t for me but one thing I can never get enough of are bright white accessories. For whatever reason, I am drawn to white accessories like a moth to the light. I absolutely love them and they fit into almost any decor.  Since bright white accessories are SO popular right now I thought I would share a few of my favorites.

For on line shopping, Z Gallerie has a huge selection of fabulous white accessories and Jonathon Adler is my all time favorite designer for white animal pottery.

Ram's head Jonathon Adler

Here are a few other fun items I want to share.

 

Isn’t this umbrella stand from Two’s Company so cute?

 

 

And I think  these would  look great on a mantel against a dark wall.

Kokoware Joss and Main

West Elm also has a nice  selection of white accessories. I have seen this owl lamp used by HGTV’s  David Bromstad at least twice.

West Elm Owl Lamp

West Elm also has a fabulous collection of white vases in lots of different shapes and sizes.

West Elm

And for those of you totally in love with all white everything, this is the room for you!

So to all you color lovers out there…I would love to hear how you feel about white.

Starting From White….how to choose color for an empty white box

My dear friend Barbara is starting over. For the past 24 years she has lived in the most beautiful 100 year old Craftsman style home. It is meticulously decorated with rich warm colors and it is such a warm and welcoming home. She has filled it with a lifetime of family memories, travel memorabilia, collectibles, and art work.

Her soon to be built new home is an open concept, contemporary penthouse condo just minutes from downtown Boston…completely different from what she currently owns. She is ready for a fresh start, a new look, and is bringing practically nothing from her current home.

She recently asked me to help her pick colors since her contractor is almost ready to paint.

Barbara in her new condo which is currently a white box

Barbara is in the medical profession and has a highly stressful job. She spends her days in white, sterile, operating rooms and does NOT want bright white walls in her new home. She DOES want the same warm and inviting feeling that she has in her current home but she likes the light, open and airy feel of her new home….so, where to begin choosing color?

She is planning to purchase mostly all new furniture and decor for her new home so I didn’t have the usual “go to” items I would usually use for color inspiration such as existing carpet,  fabric or art work.

The kitchen is where color maven Maria Killam advises people to start with color direction in new construction ( look at the counter tops) but Barbara has chosen white cabinetry with white quartz counter tops…okay, not much help here.

A BUNCH more questions and Barbara picks some color inspiration words...Asian inspired, light neutral colors, warm,  pops of red, maybe an accent wall….okay, now we are getting somewhere. Barbara finds an inspiration fabric to work off of….BINGO!     She  has decided to bring two chairs from her current home and have them reupholstered in this beautiful cream and red Asian inspired print. Now I have a starting point.

 

 

 

cream and red Asian inspired fabric

 

Using the creamy background of the fabric as our jumping off point we choose a few soft neutrals as possibilities for the main walls. We also discuss using the warm red of the flowers as a possible accent wall color.

 

 

fabric with color possibilities

 

In the living room there is a free standing wall on the left ( with all the blond wood leaning against it) where we discussed  having some sort of accent or focal wall. The sofa will go against this wall and the two reupholstered chairs will face it. We considered  painting the wall completely red or possibly  having a decorative painter do something creative using the red flower blossoms in the fabric as her inspiration.

location of possible focal or accent wall on left

The next step is to paint up some large sample boards of our chosen colors and see how they look at different times of the day in her condo. My friend is so excited to have a color direction and she can now start to visualize what will soon be a spectacular new home.

 

Next up..the bedrooms!

 



 

 

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