Ceilings to Look Up To

A ceiling plan can be just as important as a floor plan. Though this statement may apply more in a commercial setting, the ceiling plan should still not be neglected in a residential setting. A well thought out ceiling plan can make all the difference in the aesthetic of your home.

Types of Ceilings

Conventional Ceiling
This is the standard ceiling and requires standard materials. A minimum of 8 feet in height and flat, sometimes textured. There is little distinctive about them.
Suspended Ceiling
This is a different version of the conventional ceiling. It is a flat ceiling built underneath an existing ceiling and consists of a metal grid suspended from the existing ceiling or the floor joists of the floor above, with ceiling panels built of lightweight acoustic material laid into the grid. This application is mostly seen in a commercial setting. This application allows you to easily install extra fittings, ducting and design elements.
Cathedral Ceiling
These ceilings have equally sloping sides that join like an upside-down V in the highest point possible, usually the peak of the roof.
Vaulted Ceiling
These ceilings have unequal sloping sides that meet at a high point in a room. The asymmetry is the result of one wall being higher than its opposing wall.
Shed Ceiling
This ceiling has a flat surface, like a conventional ceiling, that slants upward to one side.

Tray Ceilings
A cut in the ceiling, resembling a tray, that can be popped out or inverted to add architectural interest. Sometimes there is a series of steps for a more dramatic effect.  Special lighting can be used to enhance the look of these.

Cove Ceilings
This ceiling style is characterized by curved molding that joins the walls and ceiling in a smooth transition.

Coffered Ceilings
This ceiling style has a grid of interconnected vertical and horizontal lines. The effect creates a waffle-like pattern.

Beam Ceilings
This can either be load bearing or completely decorative. It is usually wood and laid across a conventional or cathedral ceiling to expose or have the illusion of exposing the truss system of the roof.

Ceiling Materials

Dry-wall is the most common, also known as gypsum wallboard or by the trade name sheetrock, and is attached to a structure of ceiling joists with drywall screws or nails. Joints between the drywall panels are taped and finished with drywall compound using the same techniques as those used for walls.

Traditionally plaster was laid onto wood laths, but nowadays it is more commonly laid on to plasterboard. This method is more commonly found in historic buildings. Plastering is very often used for decorative ceiling molding.

**Several different materials may be fastened to existing drywall or plaster ceilings or directly to ceiling joists. These include wood planks and paneling, classic pressed-metal panels, and wallpapers.
Ceiling Tiles: Metal, Plaster, Fiberglass
A suspended ceiling, as described above, consists of a metal grid supporting light-weight ceiling panels. These panels may be made of mineral fiber or fiberglass acoustical board, or may be any of several types of translucent plastic panels or metal. This applications is more likely to be found in a commercial setting rather than residential.

Available in a variety of finishes and a broad range of standard sizes and edge details in addition to their custom capabilities. The wood application adds warmth to your space. 

Wallpaper works as well on the ceilings as it does on the walls. This can be a good way to add color and pattern to your space.

Ceiling Changes and Focals

Material changes on the ceiling can work just like your material floor changes; they help define the different types of spaces in your home. The mixing of materials and the changing of ceiling types can also be used to create dramatic focal points for special areas of your home. 

More Sources:

The Home Office

Designing a home office that you actually want to work in can be a tough task. “It’s about getting all the right components in all the right places (with a touch of personal flair) to create a room that will help you feel calm, confident, and happy while working,” says Laura Drucker, of the Daily Muse in her article Design a Home Office You’ll Actually Work In. You have to find that good medium between making the space user friendly and efficient, and ensuring that it reflects your personality. When you feel like that space is your own, you will enjoy being in it. “When designed well, your home office becomes a ‘silent partner,’ supporting your efforts and increasing your effectiveness,” says Terri Lonier, who runs a consulting firm called Working Solo, which specializes in the small business and home-based business markets.

Types of offices:

There are three main types of offices.  First, there is the work office. Many people work from home. In fact, more than 33 million workers in the U.S. — including employees, contractors, and small business owners — spend some time working from home, according to World at Work. Some operate full time out of their home office, and others bring work home, operating from both an actual office and their home office.

Another type, is the studio office. This office is for crafty hobbies, like painting, scrap booking, sewing, etc, that might require a large work area and ample storage.

Finally, you can have an office for leisure, a place to relax, play on your computer, open your mail, etc. Maybe you aren’t actually operating your job from home, but you do like to have that designated peaceful area where you sit and concentrate on a task.

How do you design your home office?
There are are few essential things to consider:

Deciding where to set up your home office is first. Many times an extra bedroom allots for the perfect space. Or maybe your home was built with a room designated for an office. But sometimes, living in an inner city means a smaller apartment and your office might have to be a shared space. Either way, you want your office to be in a place where you have enough privacy to avoid distractions. The beauty of working at home is that you don’t have to be totally disconnected from your home life, but you still need to have that good balance so that you are able to “tune-it-out” when you really need to. “It doesn’t necessarily need to be separated by walls, but it should be an area where work gets done and an area that is not impinged upon by what you do in the rest of that space,” says Neal Zimmerman, an architect and designer who specializes in home office design.

Layout and Organization/Storage
You want to carefully think through your storage requirements and make sure you have a place for everything. Solutions are simple… pencil cups, trays, memo and business card holders, even pretty bowls for the little stuff; and shelves and cabinets for the larger stuff. The items you need to access the most should be within easy reach, and others can be stored in a more remote place. The layout is very important. You want the flow of the space to work best for you. ” Think of the space as a cockpit that enables you to move from task to task with a minimal amount of effort,” says Lonier. The primary space should be devoted to the tasks you do the most.

Some desk layout options include:

  • U-shape
  • L-shape
  • on a diagonal
  • desk in center with storage (built-ins) on back wall
  • extra chairs or sofa for visitors
  • if the space allows, 2 work stations (his and her or maybe one for the computer and another for other work)

Decide what equipment you will need for your type of work; printer, phone, computer, etc. You also want to work these fixtures into your layout and organization. Many times they are the items you need in your primary space.

Good lighting is essential for your work space. Ideally you want as much daylight as possible. Along with natural light you want a good combination of general and task lighting. General lighting includes your rooms main source of light, usually recessed or flush mount lights. Task lighting includes lamps or maybe a wall sconce with an arm. These are directed in an area for a specific task.

“Items you choose should be ergonomically designed to promote your health and well-being while using them,” says Jo Heinz, a professional designer and auther of How to Design the Ideal Office. This includes, chairs, mouse instruments, foot rests, etc.

Your Personality
DON’T FORGET to make the space reflect your personality. Remember, making it a space fun and characteristic of yourself is the best way to make it a space you want to work in.


Helloooooo Gunlocke Chair! In the office below you’ll notice a Gunlocke front and center. One of our designers, Stevi, is currently refinishing that exact chair that she found at a thrift store for five dollars! We love the bold use of blue velvet on this chair! Should Stevi cover hers in blue velvet (David Lynch, anyone)? Stay tuned for our next history lesson on the Gunlocke Chair.



History Lesson: The Windsor Chair

The Windsor chair originated in England during the early eighteenth century. The name Windsor was given to the chair because of its use in the Windsor Castle of King George III. It is said King George III discovered the chair in a commoners home when out on a hunt. He sat in the chair while waiting on a storm to pass. The chair was originally used outdoors on lawns and terraces and was often painted green (to camouflage the chair in the landscape). The first American Windsors were produced in Philadelphia around the mid-1740s. 

The Construction & Materials:
The Windsor chair is “stick” chair construction. Stick chairs are characterized by round tenons fitted into round sockets. Windsor chair makers used a variety of woods and mixed them at random and the mixture was unified with a finish of paint.
Windsor Chair Profiles from the 18th Century
Low-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA, ca. 1755-1760. 
The High-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA ca. 1760-1770.
The Sack-back Windsor armchair, New York City, ca. 1783-1790 (chair on left).
Fan-back Windsor side chair, Rhode Island, ca. 1790-1800 (chair on right).
The Bow-back Windsor side chair and armchair, Boston, MA, ca. 1795-1800.
The Bow-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA, ca. 1785-1790 (chair on left).
The Continuous-bow Windsor armchair, Rhode Island, ca. 1792-1796 (chair on right).

 You will find the Windsor chairs were present in many important moments and places throughout American history, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon home and at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It’s hard to say why, but the American Windsor chair still remains to be one of the most popular solid wood chairs to date. Stylistic flourishes have been added through the years but the basic construction has not changed. Check out these beautiful interiors using the Windsor chair and you will see why it has been able to retain its popularity!

By the way, a variation of the chair can be spotted at the Baton Rouge Whole Foods–they’re red and in the cafe near the entry!

This Windsor chair adds extra seating in a foyer.  Click here to read our post about Impacting Foyers.

This piece, titled Stuhlhockerbank, is a series of seating for public spaces that approach users and viewers in an extraordinary way. The dividing lines between different types of furniture (chair, stool, bench) are eliminated as the three types blend. The chair that blends in this piece is the Windsor chair. “While the old and traditional served as the basis for the new and the innovative, these highly inviting and joyful conversational structures blend the intimate with the public, the historical with contemporary art and design, and the ordered with the random.,” said Max Borka, journalist, critic, teacher, consultant, copywriter and write of books, curator of exhibitions and events on art, architecture, fashion and design. The piece was made by Yvonne Fehling and Jennie Peiz of Kraud (design) in Germany.