How to…Design a ceiling

Ceiling Decoration
Ceilings were often ornamented to complement and counterbalance the elaborate wall decoration which was popular in the late 19th Century. Wallpaper patterns specifically designed for use on ceilings were abundant during this period. A popular ceiling treatment would have consisted of a light patterned field enclosed by a darker and densely patterned enrichment. Typically, a border would be used to divide the enrichment from the field and coordinating blocks would have anchored the corners. Often fan ornaments would be set in the corners to provide further embellishment and to soften these hard corners. These built-up corners served to balance the elaborate decoration that was planned for the center of the ceiling. To create a central focal point, a rosette or similar decorative device would have been chosen to adorn the center of the ceiling. A ceiling rosette was a paper version of the equally popular plaster medallion and provided a dramatic setting for a hanging light fixture.

Some examples of wall and ceiling designs...

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