A dropped ceiling is installed beneath a room's original ceiling, thereby hiding an unattractive old ceiling, concealing ducts or simply giving the room a cosier feeling. If your kitchen has a dropped ceiling, you can use a number of design tricks to enhance its appearance and help it harmonise with the rest of your kitchen's decor. Alternately, you may be able to remove the dropped ceiling easily for an airy, contemporary look.
For a kitchen that evokes a cheery diner, you can turn your ceiling into a black and white checkerboard. This is especially simple with a traditional drop ceiling, made of square tiles resting on a network of metal straps. Instead of opting for white or black tiles -- the most popular options for these drop ceilings -- alternate black and white tiles to create a checkerboard effect.
If your ceiling is a basic, uniform surface, you can still create the checkerboard effect with black and white paint. Keep in mind that painting a ceiling can be hard on your neck or your back. Buying tools such as long-handled rollers can make the project considerably easier.
Faux Tin Decoration
Sometimes a drop ceiling is a relatively modern change to an older building. In the original building, the kitchen might have had a tin ceiling or a higher ceiling with decorative trim moulding. To re-create the look, you can use either adhesive decals or stencils for painting simple, regular patterns on the ceiling. Keep the contrast low, opting for a colour just a few shades apart from the ceiling paint itself.
For a subtle touch of sophistication, add a simple border to frame the ceiling and perhaps a circular detail around any pendant light fixtures you may have installed. You'll create the illusion of a hammered tin ceiling or of bevelled moulding.
Dropping the Drop
If your drop ceiling is made of square tiles suspended by a network of metal straps, you can easily amplify your space by simply taking out the tiles. You'll create the look of a modern, industrial kitchen by leaving ducts exposed. Painting everything in a matt black or white will give you a neutral space overhead. Be sure to paint the metal straps in the same colour. They may even serve as the support for lightweight, overhead lighting. If there are any exposed wires, run them along the top of the metal straps. To complement the large space, look for an overhead lighting solution that attracts your eye with bright colour or a sleek, modern design.
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