Ceiling in the living room: design options and photo ideas for inspiration

The ceiling can become an accent in the interior, correct an unsuccessful layout or, conversely can spoil it. We tell you what design options exist and what to consider when designing ceilings.

In the article we will talk about stretch, hemmed, ordinary, suspended ceilings with lighting in a modern living room and other types of finishes. And also about how to choose the color, and shape of structures and fixtures for them. In order for the room to look harmonious and beautiful as a result, you need to take into account its size and design as a whole. Let’s talk about this in more detail.

Key Recommendations

In short, the main advice is: in small, low (less than 15-18 sq.m. room and height below 3 meters) rooms, you need to choose something minimalistic and with a neutral color: white, gray, cream, pearl, or any pastel shade. These techniques will visually stretch the walls, and add air to the space. 

A motley pattern and complex shapes are also contraindicated for interiors that already have accent details: flooring, furniture, and wallpaper. It is desirable to make repairs in the same style. That is, the ceiling must fit into the original idea. If the decoration of the room is classic or vintage, then multi-level, dark, or overly bright designs will be inappropriate. Look at the photo of the ceiling design in this type of living room. 

Underline the soft outlines in the setting with smooth lines on the ceiling. Strict, geometric interior – clear. The monolithic ceiling design is suitable for any interior. 

Such restrictions on color and shape exist only in cramped, small rooms. Over 18 sq. m., not limited by strict stylistic limits, you can embody any design. For example, glossy black drywall or stretch canvas looks unusual and good in a room with clear lines and modern furnishings.

You can successfully use:

More extravagant options – pink, red, purple, orange, and yellow are also found in interiors. They are appropriate only in large areas with high walls. A few photos for example. 

Choosing the material and shape for the ceilings in the living room

First, let’s talk about the most common finishes. 


Ceiling classic. In some rooms, only this option is appropriate, since when it is implemented, the height of the room does not change. A smooth, plastered surface does not have to be white. You can paint it with water-based, acrylic, or latex paint. Gypsum moldings are added to the classic interior. 

Tension structures

On the one hand, this is a very convenient design option from a practical point of view. 

  • If the neighbors from above have a flood, your things will not deteriorate, as the polyester or PVC fabric will withstand the pressure of water. Of course, it will have to be drained (and this is most often done with the help of specialists) and the ceiling repaired, but the damage will be less. 
  • The second advantage of such structures is that they hide wiring, communications, and irregularities. 
  • The third plus is the ability to install a mirror coating that visually increases the room in width and height. 
  • Large selection of colors, the possibility of photo printing – a realistic image. 

On the other hand, such a ceiling eats at least 5 cm. Usually more. However, this minus can be offset by a glossy surface. Installation and materials will cost more than plastering, puttying, and painting.

Tension ceilings can be flat or concave, ordinary and two-level, multilayer, solid, or perforated. If the kitchen is combined with the living room, it can be visually highlighted with a different color, ledge, or built-in lights. 

Suspended and hemmed drywall

Hinged and hemmed structures are mainly suitable for large spaces, as they eat up 10-20 cm from the height of the room. The exception is a monolithic white, gray, or cream ceiling with a narrow border box around the perimeter. This design technique stretches the walls. Especially if you place a backlight in the box aimed at them. 

If a neutral color is not to your liking, prime the surface and paint it in a shade that suits the decor and room parameters. Another design option is mirror inserts that visually expand the space. 

Drywall is a plastic material, you can create as many modules of various shapes from it as you like. This is very convenient when there is a need for beautiful zoning of the room without unnecessary partitions. In small rooms, the transitions between sheets should not be sharp. In the photo – plasterboard ceilings for living rooms are in different styles. 


These are rectangular or square recesses on the ceiling. Caissons are most often made of wood or polyurethane. Black niches look good with light walls and white or pastel ones with hidden lighting and voluminous chandeliers. 


Suitable for interiors in the style of Provence, shabby chic, chalet, ethnic and more. Crossbars are made of wood, polyurethane, drywall, and metal. With their help, you can adjust the layout. 

  • Located across, they visually align long rooms. Accordingly, if you mount them along, you get the opposite effect.
  • Crosswise. Add volume to the space. The base is painted in a light shade, and the crossbars in a contrasting one. 
  • In one part of the room. Zoning reception. So allocate part of the lounge or kitchen. 

To make the walls taller, the beams are painted darker. 

A small and medium living room can be decorated with slats, panels, and tiles. These facing materials look good and do not eat up space. 

Lighting options for different ceilings

Even in a small room, designers recommend equipping multi-level lighting.

  • Central chandelier. Most often it is placed above the dining table or sofa. 
  • Soffits or spots. Located along the perimeter of the hall, they expand the space. They can be adjusted to direct the light in the desired direction.
  • Built-in lamps. Create uniform lighting. 
  • LED Strip Light. Most often it is placed around the perimeter of the living room.

All this can be used in one area to highlight the areas you want to focus on, darken repair defects, and visually change the room. 

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