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Why Ceilings Matter in Furnishing Your Home

Saturday Nov 3, 2012

Furnishing a home is a big commitment. With so many rooms, walls and halls to fill, there are a bevy of choices. In the design process, one space that should not be overlooked, but which often is, is what's above - the ceiling.

It can significantly change the look of a room by defining a space, spotlighting specific areas, creating interest, instilling a mood and, most importantly, by adding comfort and energy-efficient style with a ceiling fan.

Gone are the days of the plain white ceiling. Conceive your look by starting at the top and then moving down to the rest of the interior.

Today, there are countless design opportunities to draw the eye upward and make it difficult to look back down. In light of the fact that ceiling fans are taking their rightful place as a serious design element, who better to share some useful ceiling design tips than Sherrell Watson of Big Ass Fans®, the worldwide leader in high-performance fans, who consulted celebrated interior designers in Chicago and New York.

Watson knows something about ceilings as Big Ass Fans recently introduced the sleek Haiku®, the world's most energy-efficient ceiling fan, and undeniably the trailblazer in the next generation of fans.

Here are her tips:

  • Contrast: Treating your ceiling as a fifth wall can open up the realm of design possibilities for a room. Try contrasting colors for both a classic and modern look. Going a few shades darker on your ceiling can create a warm and cozy feeling in a den or living room. Going one or two tones lighter will give the room an appearance of being taller than it really is.

  • Haiku® Ceiling Fan: With energy conservation taking its rightful place in any well thought-out décor scheme coupled with technological advances that have dramatically improved the category, the ceiling fan is enjoying a renaissance. The fans of today are nothing like their antique prototypes; they provide levels of comfort, convenience and style that were only imagined before.

    "Ceiling fans are not known to be beautiful, but the highly energy-efficient Haiku really is sculpture," says Brian Snow of Chicago-based SemelSnow Interior Designs, who is using the fans for a mountain home in Calistoga, Calif. "The fan architecturally fits in with the space and complements the care any architect or designer would put into designing an interior. It is why we love this fan."

    According to Snow, the handcrafted airfoils, which are made from beautiful Moso bamboo, seamlessly blend with the central motor and result in a smooth, stylistic effect. Outfitted with a silent motor that generates top-in-class airflow as well as sustainable materials, quality craftsmanship and a minimalist design, the Haiku is undoubtedly the fan of the future.

    Gail Green of Gail Green Interiors in New York City couldn’t agree more, "Haiku doesn’t interfere with any of the surrounding architectural elements, but rather is an embellishment to the ceiling and the room. It is truly the leader in smart ceiling fan design."

  • Compositional Texture: Moldings and Friezes: To bring appealing texture overhead, Green recommends running a frieze around the perimeter of the room to create a "humanistic feel to the space." This softens the blunt juncture between the vertical wall and the horizontal ceiling.

    Green says, "A contemporary frieze that runs around the perimeter of the room complements the proportion and scale of an interior; it adds to the intellectual interest and to the beauty." Plaster relief decoration is another way to create depth and dimension on a ceiling.

  • Stencils: Ceiling stencils are a great way to play up the architectural elements of your room or give a plain ceiling some pizzazz. Go vintage or modern with the wide variety of available patterns or design your own unique pattern for a space all your own.

  • Fabric and Wallpaper: Fabric is a very versatile option for ceiling décor. Try applying a jacquard fabric to give texture to a dining room ceiling or a geometric wallpaper for an intriguing bedroom ceiling.

    According to Green, wallpapering a ceiling "can be an effective way of raising or lowering the ceiling as well as distinguishing one area from another." For example, wallpapering a small entry portal can make the room it leads into feel taller. It can also just simply add a "wow" factor to the entire space.

  • Playing with Proportions: Many people assume the higher the ceiling, the better. This, disputes Green, is an unfortunate presumption. "You can create a magical feel to a room just by dropping the ceiling. People feel lost in very tall rooms. Spaces were never invented for people to get lost in." If the ceiling is too high, it is best to choose the same paint color as the floor.

    On the other hand, if the ceiling is too low, Green recommends painting the ceiling the same color used on the walls or even a lighter shade so as to make it as recessive as possible.

    By incorporating one or more of these ceiling tips, you can rest assured your room is on its way to becoming a truly extraordinary space.

    The award-winning Haiku is the first Big Ass Fan designed specifically for residential spaces. Big Ass Fans, based in Lexington, Ky., is the leading manufacturer of huge ceiling fans for large industrial, agricultural, commercial and residential settings. There are over 65,000 Big Ass Fans installed worldwide in applications such as manufacturing plants, distribution centers, horse arenas, dairy barns, stadiums, art galleries, restaurants, health clubs, zoos and homes.

    Haiku measures 60-inches in diameter and comes in any of four design options, including Haiku Bamboo, available in Caramel or Cocoa, or Haiku Matrix Composite in Black or White. Haiku Matrix retails for $825 and Haiku Bamboo retails for $995.

    For the holiday season, from December 10 to 21, free next-day air shipping is offered. To order, call 1-855-MY-HAIKU (855-694-2458) or visit



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