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Here is an example of the classic tray ceiling used to achieve spaciousness in a great room. This remodeling project consisted of taking down a wall to make two rooms into one. To avoid the oppressive feel that a continuous, flat and 8'-high ceiling would create, the ceiling structure was raised a few feet. In this ranch house space taken out of the attic was an easy and cost-effective way to achieve a well-proportioned room.
The classic tray ceiling: this time in a bedroom. The beadboard finish and ceiling fan gives this room a tropical island feel. An especially nice detail is how the ceiling, through the use of trim and crown molding, seems to start at the top of the windows. This has the effect of lowering the ceiling and creating more intimacy, while the ceiling height adds spaciousness.
A tray ceiling such as this offers a great opportunity to install indirect lighting. In this room, the indirect lighting provides generous overall light and, with a switch capable of dimming, can be turned to low for just the right, romantic level.
This ceiling incorporates two steps of soffits. The first and lowest soffit follows the geometry of the room, as does the area rug directly below it. The higher soffit is a rectangular shape to provide a centering device. This type of ceiling gives an order and structure to a room that incorporates different angles and asymmetry.
The lower soffit also provides a wider flat area at the bed headboard. This wide and flat area gives more intimacy at the headboard area as well as a place for ceiling-mounted items such as grilles, speakers, etc.
In a simple bedroom with a low (less than 8') ceiling, the step up with indirect light provides spaciousness. As with the above example, the stepped ceiling provides a centering device in a room that has some angled walls and asymmetrical configuration.
Simply by borrowing from the attic space and adding some small framing extras, a ceiling such as this is easily achieved in a second-floor bedroom, or a first floor room when there's no second floor above.
A coffered ceiling can also be used to counterbalance a room's decor. Here, this elegant and all-white, deeply coffered ceiling adds structure and visual weight to the room, balancing the wall color and furniture style.
Sometimes a simple, wood paneled ceiling with wood beams is the answer. In this room, the wood beams break down the large space while the wood finishes tie everything together.
In a room where the main sitting area is away from the source of light and view, the wood beams direct the eye towards the window and out to the landscape beyond.