I have spent the last few weeks wandering round the magnificent sights of Spain and wondering increasingly about ceilings.  I have seen some of the most beautiful imaginable.  And yet, when I look at mine, they are about as interesting as a blank sheet of A4 paper.

Why, when we now have more wealth than ever, are we spending it on larger cars and plainer ceilings?  Even those above our beds, that we see every night as we drift into dreams, and every morning as we wake to a new day, are as plain and, dare I say it, ugly, as can be.

White coffered ceiling

Coffered ceilings are probably my favourite – especially painted white.  They are used a lot in American colonial houses, and they add such interest and character to a room.  In plain wood, they still add interest, but look a lot heavier and more historic.

In one house, I found a ceiling painted to look as though it were coffered, and then decorated with Byzantine stars.

Painted ceiling

I love the cornices of this one.  They just make it.  Lots of ceilings were painted historically, despite the technical difficulties of actually doing this.  Sometimes, it was the main ornamentation in the room.  This gives a pleasing effect as the walls are restful and plain, and yet the room still beckons.

Painted wood ceiling

Here, a dark boarded ceiling is enlivened with a design in one or two colours.

Painted vaulted ceiling

This beautiful vaulted roof is boarded and then painted too.  Each section has a design emblazoned on it.  The repetition of colours and designs is both soothing and intriguing.  Admittedly, you wouldn’t be finding a ceiling of this scale and height on most houses of today…

Moorish painted ceiling

And finally, this exquisite, moorish painted ceiling.  What exquisite designs and restful colours.  I’d love to go to sleep looking at this every night…