HEADS UP! CREATIVE IDEAS FOR YOUR FIFTH WALL

When I first moved to London (feels like forever ago) someone, I forget who, gave me a great piece of advice: Always look up. 

Rushing about, head down, from bus to tube, in and out of shops it's easy to miss so many fantastic architectural features on the streets, not to mention things that no-one thinks you can see going on! The importance of looking up and appreciating things above eye level also applies inside, in our homes.  

 Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball

The oft-neglected 'fifth wall', aka the ceiling, is no longer just the underside of the floor above, painted white so as to appear invisible.  It is fast becoming a blank canvas for something much more exciting: making a statement.

It's not just paint and wallpaper either, although obviously these are the quickest and easiest ways to transform your plafond.  Tiles, metallic cladding and glass are all being used to add wow factor.

 My 'safe' ceiling!

My 'safe' ceiling!

In my own living room I took the relatively safe option of painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls (Valspar's Clay Figurine, above) but even this small step caused my decorator to question my decision in going against traditional white.  Imaging if I'd have wanted leopard print wallpaper like in the image below! 

 Image credit: Living Etc.

Image credit: Living Etc.

Fellow stylist and interiors blogger, Sarah Akwisombe has opted for a bolder approach to a painted ceiling in her living room, below.  Because her personal style is so 'out there', this candy pink ceiling doesn't even look too crazy.  Somehow it works.

 Image credit: Sarah Akwisombe

Image credit: Sarah Akwisombe

Kate Watson-Smyth, interiors journalist and author of probably my favourite blog, Mad About The House, has clad the ceiling of her dining room in these stunning tin tiles.  

 Image Credit: Kate Watson-Smyth/Mad About The House

Image Credit: Kate Watson-Smyth/Mad About The House

They bounce light all round the room and add interest to an otherwise simple space.  By keeping the floor white as well Kate has ensured that your eye is guaranteed to be drawn upwards. Clever.  (If you like Kate's style you can take the full house tour here.)

Bathrooms are often the perfect place to experiment with bold decor and this one, below, is a great example: Johannes Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring watches over you while you're on the loo!  Once again the rest of the decor is relatively simple to enable this mural to take centre stage but perhaps this isn't for you if you're of a somewhat nervous disposition!

 Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

There are lots of options and it's got me thinking.  How about these fabulous hexagonal mirror tiles?  They add another dimension to the room and the golden glow from the light fitting creates a lovely warm honeycomb effect.  

 Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

I know there is a bit of a 70s revival going on but be careful not to go full Austin Powers with the mirrored ceiling! ;-D

Kx