So Long, Popcorn Ceilings: 8 Transformative Overhead Architectural Hacks

updated Sep 21, 2022
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(Image credit: Lifestyle and Design)

So, your rental apartment or newly-built home didn’t come with coffered ceilings or pressed tin tiles? Set your sights above that unsightly popcorn or drop ceilings you’ve been dealt. All eight of these ceiling hacks will lend architectural interest to a boring room—whether you channel intricate European plasterwork or rustic exposed wood beams is entirely up to you.

(Image credit: sfgirlbybay)

Give the impression of dramatic crown molding with a painted ceiling that extends about a foot down the wall. In the San Francisco home of Windy Chien as seen on sfgirlbybay, the paint calls attention to the picture rail molding below.

(Image credit: The Decorista)

This West Village townhouse featured on The Decorista may be only 10 years old, but the painted tin ceiling gives the impression that it’s been around for a century. You can give your kitchen instant character by installing tin ceiling tiles, or by faking the look with paintable textured wallpaper.

(Image credit: Lifestyle and Design )

Tired of ugly textured ceilings, Emily of Lifestyle and Design gave hers a faux-coffered treatment (also seen in this post’s lead image) using inexpensive sheets of beadboard. Check out the before photos to see the unfortunate “popcorn ceiling” hiding underneath.

(Image credit: Design Sponge)

Blogger Jami Nato basically won the architectural lottery when she found a home with both white wood paneling and exposed wooden ceiling beams. Imitate the look with faux shiplap (yes, you can shiplap the ceiling!) and decorative reclaimed wood beams. Tour the rest of Jami’s charming home on Design*Sponge.

(Image credit: Theresa Gonzalez)

To mimic the look of decorative molding in her San Fransisco rental, Alysia painted light gray lines where the trim would go. The results are classic, but with a modern spin.

(Image credit: Cutting Edge Stencil)

This elegant ceiling medallion is actually a stenciled design, created using gold metallic paint. You can order the pattern from Cutting Edge Stencils.

(Image credit: Design Sponge)

From the ground, this ceiling featured on Design*Sponge appears to be covered in tiles, but upon closer inspection, the “grout lines” are actually nailhead trim.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Set aside a weekend and grab some tongue-and groove planks, this two-day ceiling project is going to elevate your home’s style.