Ceiling Trends: Five Ways to Make Your Room’s 5th Wall Count

acoustic ceiling
Quick! How many walls does an average room have? If you’re like most people, you said “4.” But if you’re a designer, chances are you said “5.” Don’t forget the ceiling!

The ceiling— often called the “fifth wall”— is a key element in any design plan. Design thought leaders and influencers have been moving away from flat, single-color ceilings for several years now, introducing multiple novel ways to draw attention to the fifth wall as a room’s focal point (think acoustic ceilings, among other designs). From high-end wood to a simple coat of textural paint, here are five ways to highlight your ceiling within your overall design scheme:

Color & Pattern

The use of color and pattern can totally transform a ceiling space. Try using large-format panels covered with high-definition printed fabric for that pop of color that can change the entire tone of an otherwise traditional space. Play with iterations of your logo, abstract geometrics, urban scapes, and nature-inspired scenes to achieve attention-grabbing ceiling graphics. These panels have an extra-smooth, premium surface that absorbs inks thoroughly, delivering vivid colors and detailed patterns.

Integrated Lighting

The right interior lighting is critical to supporting the highest levels of productivity in the workplace, schools, hospitals, and other public places. Consider integrating lighting organically into the fifth wall with translucent fabric ceiling systems made by stretching a monofilament fabric membrane over an extruded aluminum frame. The most sophisticated systems have modular, accessible panels that offer light transmission rates of at least 80 percent along with high NRC values.

Wood Visuals

Looking for a luxurious, high-end look with the added benefit of sound absorption for your executive office or venue? Try custom fabricated, micro-perforated, acoustic wood panels and planks. Connecting perforations are difficult if not impossible to see from a distance, creating the impression of solid wood panels. If you love the look but don’t have the budget, look into fabric-covered, fiberglass panels imprinted with high definition wood grain for a similar look. You can even simply accent with large wooden (or “wood-look”) beams.

Sculptural Shapes

One of the most striking trends in ceilings is the use of multi-dimensional panels. Ceiling material manufacturers are creating curved, zig-zagged, and wave panels that can be combined to create custom visuals with excellent sound absorption properties.

Sustainability & Wellness

Sustainable products that also enhance occupants’ health and well-being are being integrated more often into interior design. Architects and designers are opting for ceiling products that blend acoustic performance, light reflectance, and a focus on air quality.

A cool white ceiling may be classic, but it’s certainly not the only way to make a room look complete. In fact, the sky’s the limit when it comes to products and techniques you can use to create a decorative statement on your room’s fifth wall.