A couple nights ago I was at home by myself, vegging in front of the TV while surfing pinterest, and got a sudden burst of energy to paint our ceiling in our front hallway.

I was totally inspired by these patterned beauties:

sources (left to right): from here, here, here, and here

So I changed into my paint clothes, grabbed all the supplies from my stash of paint in the basement, and got to work. We haven’t done much (other than hang a few things) to our entryway since we moved in, so I was starting with a completely blank slate.

I loved the gray and white herringbone pattern posted above (top right), so since I had some light gray paint kicking around (and was starting with a white background), I  decided to go with something pretty similar.

First step was to put a piece of tape down the exact center of the ceiling. Oh, you might be wondering why I didn’t take off our light to paint the ceiling. Replacing that old boob light is on the “to do” list – it’s ug-ug-ugly. When we do, I’m planning on putting up a medallion to add some architectural interest to the space. Since the medallion is going to be bigger than the boob (ha), I wasn’t worried about getting under the light fixture. Plus, the hubs wasn’t home and I didn’t want to get into removing the light by myself.

Now, back to the steps. I put down the first piece of tape down the center and then re-measured to get the half point between the middle piece of tape and the two side walls. On that half way point, I put down two more strips of tape. Once those two pieces were up, then I just added some tape along the wall edge to ensure a crisp paint line. So that’s 3 pieces on the ceiling all evenly distributed, and 2 along the wall edges.

Then I used a ruler and measured 10 inch increments along each piece of tape (except the two pieces that are masking off the wall). See those pencil marks on the tape?

Then I got out my tape again and stuck down the diagonal pieces. You match from one mark on one piece of tape, to the next mark on the second piece of tape. Does that make sense? Check out the pattern below and I think you’ll see what I mean. I also added the small dots of tape to remember that those were the sections I wasn’t going to paint (one painted, one not painted, and so on).

I didn’t care about having an exact herringbone pattern, so my tape is even throughout. If I had wanted a perfect herringbone, I would have needed to have the tape be on the inside of the line for the white rectangles. Frankly that just hurt my brain a little too much.

Then I got out my little sponge roller and painted.

I put on two coats of the gray, watched a few episodes of Home by Novogratz (anyone else love that show?!), and then went and peeled off the tape. And surprise surprise, it turned out really nicely! I was sort of expecting for this to not really turn out, since I did it on the fly in a couple of hours, but I am totally smitten with the results. Plus, it makes the room feel a whole lot taller.

Fun, right? I’m glad I went with the light gray — it feels fresh and airy.

Now to do something about that boob light. Hmm…

What about you guys? Ever painted a ceiling before? Doesn’t it transform the room? I now want to go and paint all the ceilings in our place..

 

  • Alana

    so cool!!! i love this!

    ps don’t hate on the boob

  • http://greeneststuff.blogspot.com Katherine

    I like it! It looks even more fresh – modern – abstract since you didn’t go for the exact perfect herringbone! wow!

    • gemma

      thanks katherine! i was a little worried about it not being “perfect” herringbone.. but luckily it worked out (love it when that happens)!

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.compartmentlife.com Shannon Sumemrs

    Gemma! That design looks so effortless and awesome! Great jobs and perfect color choice!

    • gemma

      thanks shannon!! i’m definitely happy I went with the lighter gray for sure..

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.mydailyrandomness.com/ Britt @ My. Daily. Randomness.

    WoW! I think that it looks great Gemma! Also, stopping by to say that it was great meeting you at the Meet-Up tonight! Hope you get home safe!

  • http://NotAHouseButAHome.blogspot.com Emily-Jane

    omg that looks so great! The scale and colour of the herringbone looks pefect in your entryway. Good job!

    And it was great meeting you yesterday Gemma. I love blogging events because I get to find out about awesome blogs… like yours!

    • gemma

      thanks, emily-jane! so so good meeting you yesterday!!

      xo,
      gem

  • http://jaxdoesdesign.blogspot.com Kelly @ JAX does design

    WOW! Your ceiling looks amazing! It actually creates the illusion that the ceiling is angled and not flat. Very cool!

    I’ve painted a couple of the ceilings in our house – the living room ceiling is gold and the dining room ceiling is dark chocolate brown. Don’t like the process of painting a ceiling, but love the final results :-)

    It was great meeting you and Tanya on Saturday :-) We should meet up sometime here in Ottawa to chat about decorating and blogging :-)

  • http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.com Tanya from Dans le Townhouse

    Oooo, looks pretty! I have WANTED to do this but I have textured ceilings. Boo. But I want to try a stenciled wall or something. I have painted everything – everything – white because I like the “gallery” look but these patterned walls are starting to lure me over.

  • http://nadinethornhill.wordpress.com Nadine

    It looks phenomenal! I can’t believe you did this on whim. Seriuosly, you need to have your own television show – your DIY skills never cease to blow me away.

  • Erin

    I just found your site and I love it. Your budget-friendly and DIY projects are so inspiring. This ceiling is great! It makes me want to tackle the ceiling in one of my rooms.

    • gemma

      Thanks Erin! Glad you’re inspired :) Ceilings are SO fun to paint and the results are really pretty amazing. I’m itching to do the rest of ours now too!

      xo,
      gem

  • Peggy

    I really love the optical illusion that this creates! And it only took you a couple of hours? Amazing!

    • gemma

      Thanks Peggy! Yes – it adds such fun to the entry way :)

      xo,
      gem

  • Carrie

    How wide is your ceiling.

    • gemma

      Hmm.. I can’t remember exactly! Without going and measuring, I would guess 3 feet wide by 7 feet long?

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.wherelovemeetslife.wordpress.com Teresa @ wherelovemeetslife

    I love that you did this on the fly… it looks great!!!

    • gemma

      haha, thanks!!

      xo,
      gem

  • http://simpledetailsblog.blogspot.com Pam {simple details}

    Wow, Gemma! It’s amazing, love the soft colors! Great job! I saw you over at Better After.

    • gemma

      Thanks Pam! Yes – I’m really glad I went with the fairly muted, soft colours. The pattern is enough to make it punchy.

      xo,
      gem

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  • http://vanessadawne.wordpress.com Vanessa Dawne

    Oooh, don’t you love those spur-of-the-moment projects that turn out absolutely stupendous?

    Your ‘imperfect’ taping created the perfect abstract optical illusion that gives a sense of flow to your hallway — I love it!

    Thanks for sharing — love your site & unique ideas.

    • gemma

      Thanks Vanessa!! It’s usually the projects where I don’t spend days/months thinking things through that end up being the best :)

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.involvingcolor.com Jena @ Involving Color and Home

    Hey Gemma! Your ceiling looks fantastic! I love the herringbone pattern and the soft gray and white colors were the perfect choice. Great job!

    • gemma

      Thanks Jena! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out too :)

      Thanks for popping by!

      xo,
      gem

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  • http://googiemomma.blogspot.com shannon/googiemomma

    gorgeous!!! i love it so much i may have to try it somewhere…(since you already know i’m not opposed to painting ceilings hehehe)

    • gemma

      thanks shannon!! i love, love, love your girls room. fabulous job!! looking forward to checking out more of your projects!

      xo,
      gemma

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  • http://www.sarahgunn.com Sarah

    I love that ceiling so much! I so want to do a pattern on my kitchen ceiling. I just need to narrow down what I want. Congrats on being the CityLine blogger of the month!!

    • gemma

      Thanks Sarah!! The ceiling is so much fun.. a total pop of pattern and colour where you would least expect it!

      xo,
      gemma

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  • http://www.how2home.wordpress.com how2home

    WOW! I’ve never seen this until now and its so great! Love this idea! Chevron is my favorite pattern so this is amazing. It gives depth and very creative pattern. Great job Gemma!

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  • jenn

    I love this! Sounds like you and I work the same way as far as getting the itch to do something and just hopping up to do it! It looks so great, I’m trying to think of a space in my house that I can do something similar! Oh and I love Home by Novogratz too, I used to watch them when they were on Bravo (9 by design).

    • gemma

      You should do it!! Its one of those super fun projects that always makes me smile. Thanks Jenn!

      xo,
      gem