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Ceiling Design Ideas: An Unexpected Way to Refresh Your Space

When designing a room, interior designers tend to focus on the creative elements on the walls. Sometimes we forget about the ceilings, but your ceiling offers countless possibilities to make a decorative statement. It’s the fifth wall! Let’s talk about ceiling design ideas.

There are different ways to elevate your room’s design and bring it to the next level with a creative ceiling look. Similar to other design elements, the ceiling design varies depending on the kind of space you have. First, we need to understand the realistic possibilities of the space, such as the size of the room and the height of the ceiling, before deciding which idea to add to the ceiling. After that, the next steps to consider are your budget and the overall style of your home.

It’s time to gather inspiration to help you visualize the possibilities in your space and the impact a unique ceiling design can have on your home. We’ve rounded up different types of ceiling ideas from our interior design projects all around South Florida.

Wooden Ceiling Design Ideas

Can you guess one of our favorite materials as interior designers? Spoiler alert: it’s wood! Why not use it on the ceiling to add warmth and create an eye-catching ceiling?

We love how versatile this material is for different design applications. Wood comes in several formats, like slabs, panels, planks, tiles, etc. A wood slab ceiling can turn your main common areas into a show-stopper! Let’s see a few examples:

Ceiling Design Ideas by DKOR Interiors

In our Lago-a-Lago Palm Beach Contemporary home, the family room design included a partial wooden slab ceiling that accentuated the large living space. The wooden slabs continued onto the bar area wall to draw the eye further into the room.

Ceiling Design Ideas by DKOR Interiors


Something similar was done in our Waterfront Elegance Fort Lauderdale home, where the common areas shared a slab ceiling. Here’s the view of the family room:


Ceiling Design Ideas by DKOR Interiors

For this application, the wood slabs float below the ceiling to create a modern, airy look that’s unique to this home. We love how the wood slabs create connection between each space in the open-concept layout.

Ceiling Design Ideas by DKOR Interiors

In our Modern Asian Penthouse Design, an architectural ceiling feature takes center stage in the living room. This ceiling design idea adds rhythm and texture to complement the neutral palette of the space. What do you think of this light-colored wooden slab ceiling?

Ceiling Design Ideas by DKOR Interiors


Another great idea for how to use this natural material is wood beams—they always look fabulous on ceilings. This penthouse in Fort Lauderdale, FL is a great example. Above the living and dining room, a charming ceiling with exposed wooden beams adds warmth to contrast the sweeping ocean views outside.

Tray Ceiling Design Ideas

You might be wondering where the term “tray ceiling” comes from. Well, it’s because it resembles an upside-down tray set into a ceiling! This architectural feature is also called an inverted or recessed ceiling. It typically has a raised center section. The center section is several inches (or feet) higher than the areas around the perimeter of the room.

The result is an interesting ceiling feature that adds an impressive focal point, drawing the eye upward.


This ceiling design idea makes the ceiling look higher, creating more visual space. In this dining room, we added LED lighting to highlight the center ceiling tray; combined with the recessed lights, it added a soft glow to the room.


Tray ceilings work great in big rooms with high ceilings, like the living room in our Lago-a-Lago Palm Beach Contemporary project. Our Palm Beach Interior design team decided to add a chevron pattern wood in the center section and we just love the final look.


Here is another example of adding a different finish or color to the center of a tray ceiling. Since this dining area shares the hallway, our design team wanted to create a visual division to the space through this dining room ceiling idea. Plus, the dark gray hue adds depth and contrast to the white walls.

Reflective Ceilings Idea

For an unexpected element, consider a reflective ceiling design. A glossy ceiling finish reflects natural light and makes the room feel more spacious.

Paint or Wallpaper

Ceiling designs are an important part of your budget. The good news is there are budget-friendly ceiling ideas you can implement and still create a big impact. It’s all about getting creative with two of our favorite materials: paint or wallpaper.

Wallpaper can help you add texture, color and pattern to your ceiling in a cost-effective way. With so many wallpaper options on the market, the sky’s the limit!


Paint is another great way to change the whole mood of your space. You can opt for a bolder color to make a fun statement. In this kids’ room, we used color blocking around the bunk beds to create separation and visual interest. This technique uses bright solid colors, or opposite bold colors on a color wheel, that are applied to a specific section of a room’s interior. Check out more Inspiring Color Blocked Interiors by DKOR here.

Ceilings are often forgotten, but they’re a great way to add architectural interest to your home. This can be especially important if you have a new build—see our Interior Designer Tips for Building a New House for more ideas on how to get started.

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