9 Ceiling Paint Color Trends Designers Love That Aren't White

Interior designers share their favorite ceiling paint color trends for the most beautiful rooms.

For many of us, ceiling paint colors are an afterthought. In fact, some have only lived with various shades of matte white. While crisp, bright hues will always have their place, today's top designers create uniquely soothing interiors by showcasing ceiling paint color trends in soft shades overhead.

Sticking with a white ceiling paint color can be a safe bet for traditionalists. But if you want to capture a designer look or try something new, consider a soothing shade from nature for your ceilings. "I love opting for soft shades of blue on a ceiling for a wow factor," says Nicole Gibbons, interior designer and founder of Clare Paint. "It gives the feeling of a fresh, open sky and brings calm to a space."

Whether neutral, serene, or statement-making, these expert-recommended ceiling paint color trends can elevate your rooms and foster peace and tranquility.

01 of 09

Stone Harbor, Benjamin Moore

living room with high ceiling and fireplace
Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss

Bria Hammel of Bria Hammel Interiors chose Benjamin Moore's Stone Harbor in an elegant satin finish for the ceiling paint color of a recent project. "We knew we wanted to paint the shiplap ceiling of this sunroom a contrasting color, but wanted to make sure it wasn't too loud or overwhelming," she said. "This beautiful, warm gray was the perfect choice. We love that it draws your eye up but still makes the room feel light and airy."

02 of 09

Gateway Gray, Sherwin-Williams

sitting nook with large windows
Radifera Photography for Stylish Productions

Sherwin-Williams's earthy shade Gateway Gray is a ceiling paint color trend that works with beams and architectural details. Designer Alison Giese of Alison Giese Interiors turned to this ceiling paint color for a home with beautiful views of nature. "To further drive the drama in the space, we painted the ceiling Pure White and chose to paint the trim and beams Gateway Gray," Giese says. "The result is an airy yet layered and inviting space for our clients to enjoy their morning cups of coffee."

03 of 09

Silvery Blue, Benjamin Moore

living room with blue walls and couch
Jennifer Hughes

Designer Laura Hodges of Laura Hodges Studio recommends Silvery Blue by Benjamin Moore. "I chose this silvery blue color to closely match the wall color and continue the calming palette up onto the ceiling," she says. "Painting the ceiling a similar color to the wall allows the room to feel bigger, rather than stopping your eye at the ceiling plane. This soft, powdery blue also resembles the color of the sky and complements the lush surrounding landscape."

04 of 09

Studio Green, Farrow and Ball

vanity with white cabinets
Molly Culver

For Mary Patton of Mary Patton Design, Farrow & Ball's rich forest shade Studio Green is a ceiling paint color trend that was an ideal choice for this owner's suite. "For this client's [primary] bedroom, we painted the walls and ceiling Studio Green and painted all of the trim cream," she says. "The room is very large, so we were originally tasked with making the vast space feel cozy. Painting the ceiling a darker color such as this deep green allowed the room to feel more warm and sumptuous."

05 of 09

Pale Smoke, Benjamin Moore

living room with stone fireplace
Francois Gagne

For cathedral ceilings, designer Linda Banks of Banks Design Associates recommends Pale Smoke by Benjamin Moore."This color is what I call a 'chameleon color.' I have a few in my repertoire that change with light and the weather, and this is a classic example," she says. "I find that when it is painted on a ceiling, it 'dematerializes' the ceiling and makes it seem like it's floating away. The atmospheric character of Pale Smoke is like no other."

06 of 09

Mount Etna, Sherwin-Williams

sitting area with dark walls
Kerry Kirk Photography

Shannon Crain of Shannon Crain Design used Mount Etna by Sherwin-Williams on the walls and ceiling of this glamorous living room. "I wanted it to feel bold but cozy at the same time, and Sherwin-Williams' Mount Etna felt like the right color for movie and game nights with family," she says. "I carried the color onto the ceiling because I wanted the room to feel like stepping into a special place for togetherness. The sort of space that wraps you up and invites you to get comfortable."

07 of 09

Finnie Gray, Benjamin Moore

office with wooden floors
Maura and John Stoffer

Alessia Zanchi Loffredo of Chicago's reDesign Home used Benjamin Moore's Finnie Gray on the ceiling of this monochromatic study. She says the room's uniform palette creates "a calming, soothing, and elegant vibe" ideal for working from home. This sandy shade works beautifully with other colors and textures, allowing lighting and decorative elements to shine."It allows the pairing of many additional color tones such as shades of green, black, brown, gray, and ivory as well as steel, wood, brass, bone, and vintage finishes," Loffredo says.

08 of 09

Skylight, Farrow and Ball

living room with wooden coffee table
Molly Culver

Mary Patton of Mary Patton Design went with the ceiling paint color trend of opting for blue and used Farrow & Ball's Skylight on the ceiling in this modern living space. "We originally wanted to wallpaper the ceiling, but because of budgeting, we went the affordable and cheerful route of paint," she says. "I selected a soft blue-gray ceiling paint color to subtly draw attention to the fabulous Tom Dixon pendants. This also helped tone down how glam they are, as well as pulling blue from the antelope rug."

09 of 09

Onyx, Benjamin Moore

bedroom with book wallpaper and art
Nick Glimenakis

Emma Kemper of Emma Beryl Interiors chose a stormy gray shade called Onyx for her client's bedroom ceiling. "Whenever I use a dark paint color or wallpaper in a room, I think it's extremely important to carry the dark tones onto the ceiling to avoid a high-contrast white ceiling that looks forgotten about," Beryl says. "I love that Onyx by Benjamin Moore has depth and dimension that makes your ceiling appear larger and higher than it is."

Expert Advice for Choosing the Best Ceiling Paint Color

To achieve a consistent look that pairs well with your current wall color, Loffredo recommends using the same wall color for the ceiling but changing the finish to flat."If all the trimwork or walls are Sherwin-Williams' Alabaster, then I continue the Alabaster on the ceiling, but I change the sheen," she says. Painting this way creates relaxing consistency within the space while also adding polish.

Ultimately, considering your ceiling paint color throughout the design process can go a long way, no matter your chosen color. "Painting your ceiling can really elevate your space," Gibbons says. "If you're going for white, it can take your space from feeling drab to looking fresh and bright. And if you opt for a color on your ceiling, it is a fantastic way to draw the eye up while also bringing a sense of drama and high design to your room." Gibbons recommends Headspace and the traditional crisp-white Snow Day for a reliably soothing ceiling shade.

As with all painting projects, test your samples in the room you plan to paint. Checking in on them throughout the day can help avoid mistakes, as natural and artificial light can change the appearance of color once it's on the ceiling.

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