Here’s a design trick to file away in your brains: Never ever ignore the ceiling.  It’s often why tract houses can feel boring. It’s why many historic houses are so off-the-charts charming. And it’s something my clients and I spend a lot of time figuring out when building their homes. In each room — what are we doing to the ceiling?

When Tyson and I bought Camp Sterling, we had planned to raise the ceiling up a foot or two, but upon meeting with inspectors and contractors, we learned that we’ll need a new roof in 3-5 years. And by the time we’ve raised all the ceilings, it could be just as cost effective to take the whole roof off — so that’s what we will do.

Our ceiling plan is now wide open, and I’m of two minds.

The trend in Arcadia these days is the modern farmhouse – complete with beams and vaulted ceilings. Tyson and I have walked through some gorgeous remodels with peaks soaring high, like these:

Above: Clements Design

Above: Arcanum Architecture

Above: J. Banks Design Group

And I love to do the Arcadia farmhouse look for clients. But I’m more of a  modern traditional girl who wants to wake up in Paris in the 1940s, with no agriculture in sight. (Except perhaps for a country weekend – with lemonade and a picnic.)

Which brings me to my second idea – the coffered ceiling. We’d raise the ceiling height to 11′ and the coffers drop down from there. There are a couple of cool ways to do this — with MDF, with traditional framing, or with actual millwork. Either way, just add trim. Lots and lots of trim.

Which would you do?



Or coffered?