A Dramatic Ceiling for the Living Room

Last week I shared that I painted our living room and while I loved the warm, inviting white, the vastness of the room made it feel a little empty. The cathedral ceiling reaches a height of nearly 15 feet at its peak and it just felt too open and boring up there. I decided to make the ceiling a dramatic feature by painting it a rich, dark color and I have to say, I LOVE how it turned out!

I chose a color I have used several times in the past: Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. I’ve seen this color described as a warm gray, a deep taupe, and a greige, among other things. It’s a bit of a chameleon color that can change drastically depending on the lighting. It somehow feels dramatic and bold, yet is neutral enough to go with anything. When I started thinking about what color to paint the ceiling, I knew I wanted something show-stopping that would continue to look good over the years as I tweak things in the living room. Urbane Bronze was the perfect choice – I know it will continue to work in the space no matter what updates I make to the lower portion of the room.

In addition to using the 6-foot scaffold we own, we had to rent a scaffold to paint the highest points of the ceiling. There is a large oak beam in the center of the ceiling that I did not want to paint, so Justin and I split the work of cutting in around it. Since we had the scaffold for 24 hours, we also had the chance to take down the light-less ceiling fan and install a new fixture. I chose this round chandelier with globes and I absolutely love it! The dark iron + white globes + warm bronze paint + stained oak combo is just the dramatic vibe I was going for and Justin and I love that we finally have overhead lighting in this room!

Renting a scaffold ended up being a super cost-effective solution. Instead of hiring a painter for the ceiling and an electrician for the light fixture, we were able to rent a scaffold from Home Depot (a 24-hour rental was about $70) and take care of painting and hanging the new light fixture ourselves. I want to add: this is definitely not a beginner DIY. Being on a scaffold is unnerving no matter what you’re doing; you want to be really confident in the task so you can focus more on balance. At this point in our marriage, Justin has swapped out approximately 10 different light fixtures. We would never have attempted this project if he wasn’t experienced and confident with switching things out – even with his skill and experience, the scale of this one still made it a challenging DIY for us. Similarly, the painting was obviously more challenging than painting a room with an 8 to 10 foot ceiling, but I’ve done countless rooms over the years and that helped me feel confident enough to attempt painting a large room using a scaffold. I think with DIY it’s good to push yourself to try new things but it’s also very important to know your limits. Even with the experience we just gained, we will be hiring out the painting of our foyer – scaffolding + stairs is not something we feel confident enough in so hiring out the work to professionals is 100% worth it!

While paint has made a huge impact already, there are many things left to address in this room. I have sconces to replace the floor lamps as soon as we can get an electrician out here to hardwire them, art to hang on the wall, I need to paint the windows and replace the window trim, and I need to figure out the situation with the TV + stand. Oh! And did you see that fun round green chair? We’re going to get a second one – and I need to figure out a side table as well. It’s slow and steady but we’ll get there!

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