The Best Ceiling Ideas: From Beadboard to Coffered Ceilings

Although ceilings are main structural elements, they often go unnoticed. Nobody seems to actually like the flat and boring ceilings, but only a few do something about it. And that’s because most people associate home style with wall decorations and special furniture. We might change the floor but won’t do much for the ceiling. But if you think about it, ceilings are the fifth wall of each and every room. Depending on their structure, they can make the room look taller or shorter. They can make a room really interesting and add architectural style.

So, when it comes to fifth wall renovations, there are two things you can do. You can either make the existing one interesting or structural changes. It goes without saying that the former solution is the most cost-effective one.

Beadboard ceilings are elegant and cost-effective

When we think about beadboard wainscoting, our minds go straight to walls. But such panels also make excellent ceiling design ideas. Although these wainscotings are often associated with bathroom walls and kitchen islands, they are actually versatile. Why should you choose them for your ceiling?

  • You can install them alone or with crown molding.
  • Their tongue-and-groove system makes their installation easy.
  • They blend beautifully in any home interior design style.
  • You can paint them any color you want.
  • They provide an inexpensive solution for ceilings.
  • Although the classic wainscoting beadboard is made of wood, you can now find sheets made of vinyl and PVC. In other words, you can use these panels for the ceiling of your bathroom, kitchen, and basement where there are moisture issues.


Will bead board turn your home into a farmhouse?

Those who dislike the cottage-style fear that ceiling beadboard wainscoting installation will make their home look like a farmhouse. The truth is that such profiles are not recommended for very formal living rooms. But if you want to keep your home style informal and cozy, rest assured that bead board ceilings won’t necessarily bring the cottage style indoors.

It depends on how you use beadboard in relation to other decorations, the colors you choose, and whether or not your walls are also covered with such panels. As an overall, they give a clean cut look and can be really very trendy depending on wall d├ęcor choices too.


More ceiling design options to consider

If you are interested in more fundamental home design changes and don’t mind the hassle of altering the structure of the ceiling, you have many choices.

  • Coffered ceilings are actually panel ceilings since they have protruding parts, which create the illusion of multiple sunken panels. These parts can also be wood beams, but you can also create the same illusion by installing beadboard with stiles. Stiles will play the role of beams.
  • Vaulted and cathedral ceilings are designs often used interchangeably whereas they have plenty of differences. The vital one is that vaulted ceilings have uneven sloped surfaces whereas cathedral ceilings have equal sloping sides. In either case, you need space for such constructions.
  • Tray ceilings look like trays turned upside down.
  • Cove ceilings have a flat surface and rounded parts connecting the walls with the flat part of the ceiling.

Can you beadboard such special ceiling designs?

Let’s say you already have a tray or cathedral ceiling. Can you install beadboard wainscoting panels? In short, yes, you can. The panels run toward the vaulted part of the ceiling. Bead board planks will also look good in the intervals between beams, make a tray ceiling really interesting, and add character to the overwhelming space cathedral ceilings create.


A coffered ceiling with beadboard might not be very formal, but most households are looking for casual solutions to bring out elegance and make each room cozy. If you aim at that direction, you can’t go wrong with beadboard on the ceiling.

A final touch of personal house design

Don’t forget about the importance of making your choices personal. No matter what you decide to do with your ceiling and whether or not installing beadboard paneling is an option, make it personal. One way to make ceilings personal is to match them with the existing modern wainscoting design on the walls. You can always take advantage of the elegance of crown moulding too. You can match beadboard ceilings with molding and pair the style of these elements with the base and wainscot.

White ceilings are always the best option because they brighten up the space. But when it comes to home offices, bathrooms, kitchens, and other private areas, you can choose another color, especially if the room is rather small and gets plenty of natural light.