By Lexi Nielsen
What color should you paint your ceiling?
The short answer? It depends. Some decorators use the 8-foot rule: If your ceiling is less than 8 ft high, then paint it either white or 2 tints lighter than the wall color. (Tint just means the color has more white in it and is therefore lighter. If it had more black in it, you'd say it was a shade darker).
If your ceiling height is more than 8 feet, paint it 2 shades darker than the walls.
Other decorators feel that painting a ceiling white makes it feel lower than it is. I disagree with this. It's true that when you break up the color - when the wall color is different from the ceiling color - your eye notices the change. But if the ceiling is lighter than the walls, and especially if it has a semi gloss finish to it, it actually looks more expansive and higher. But you may need to play with this a bit, because if your walls are really dark, then the change from dark (walls) to light (ceiling) is much more noticeable and therefore the ceiling appears closer.
Another trick to make that ceiling appear higher is to bring the ceiling color down the walls a bit: paint the same color on the ceiling a foot or so down onto the wall. This makes the ceiling appear taller than it is.
So play with color on the ceiling if you want. If you don't like it, you can always paint it over!