High gloss painted ceilings are viewed as glamorous, light catching, enlarging and energizing in any room.
Paint is the least expensive and most powerful way to transform a room. But who wants to bother with the time and expense of high gloss ceilings? Smart designers do. Lacquer-like painted ceilings are gaining attention for their high octane impact even though they require extensive preparation, cost and painterly skill. With all the effort put into choosing wall colors, ceilings are usually ignored. But bringing light into a room by way of a glossy ceiling can add overall luminosity because the ceiling surface becomes reflective.
Perhaps the best case to make for devoting time and expense to creating a drop dead high gloss ceiling is in the Montauk, Long Island bedroom [top] by designers Vicente Wolf and Matthew Yee. Using Vicente Wolf White color #581-1 — a paint he created for PPG Pittsburgh Paints two years ago —the bedroom ceiling gains an unforgettable shimmer.
Wolf is not the only designer who endorses the high gloss life. Last year, a Wall Street Journal writer decided to gamble on high gloss paint to enliven her foyer. Unsure whether such an indulgence would be viewed as a design-crime, the writer consulted hotel designer Kit Kemp who quickly gave her blessing saying “After years of matte paint, it is so refreshing to come in somewhere that is invigorating and bright.” No surprise to Wolf and Yee.
The payoff with high gloss ceilings is that they are glamorous, they help to enlarge a room, make a ceiling look higher, and they are light reflecting and diffusing. Even against a color as powerful as the difficult Tiffany blue used by interior designer Todd Klein to update the living room of a Kentucky estate, the white lacquer ceiling becomes a reflecting pool thanks to ample floor-to-ceiling windows.
Airy rooms benefit but what about small spaces? For this year’s Kip’s Bay Show House, designer Phillip Thomas created a little “lady lair,” complete with a blush pink lacquer ceiling. Another bonus is the stunning vintage Italian glass chandelier which is nearly five feet in diameter and succeeds in doubling the luminescence. Along with colorful grafitti walls done in paint on fabric, this high gloss ceiling was noticed. This may be the start of an interesting trend at a moment when Pinterestitis has made normal interiors look a little dull. Kit Kemp sums up the high gloss ceiling idea well: Although it’s a completely different [texture], it’s the interesting contrast that brings an interior alive.” Agreed.
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