Custom Ceiling Inspiration for Your Boston Home


Unique Ceiling Styles and Designs From Real Boston Home Building Projects

Interior design and decor is often so focused on eye-level elements like furniture, flooring, cabinetry, or the walls that we forget to look up.

But ceilings need love too! Many of the jaw-dropping homes in Boston have beautiful custom ceilings that are truly inspirational. And while these ceilings don’t always attract explicit admiration, they add an absolutely necessary element to the overall effect of your custom home.

The devil, as they say, is in the details.

So whether you’re building, remodeling or renovating your Boston home, don’t let your ceilings be an afterthought.

What Makes a Ceiling Custom?


The Right Materials for Your Ceiling

Venetian Plaster Drop Ceiling

Venetian plaster drop ceiling in Boston’s Intercontinental

Customizing the ceiling in your Boston home can be as simple as opting for different materials. Traditional ceilings are made with gypsum wall board or plastering. As a unique alternative, opt for blue board and plaster, which offers a high-quality, consistent finish for a more upscale and polished look.

If you’re looking for a more decorative ceiling, opt for venetian plaster. After implementing the blue board and plaster, this technique applied to the plaster gives it a colored, artistic effect with a sleek finish, adding greater depth and texture to any room. In this example in Boston’s Intercontinental, a venetian plastered drop ceiling beautifully sets off shade pocket lines.

Coordinating Your Ceiling With Its Surroundings

Ceiling with museum quality LED recessed lighting in Millennium Tower

Ceiling with museum quality LED recessed lighting in Millennium Tower

Visually, floors and ceilings work together to create the overall ambiance in a room. Coordinating your floor and ceiling requires thoughtfulness about how the two materials work together. For example, hardwood flooring can be used to reflect warmer elements in ceilings.

Your lighting choices should also be well-thought-out as location, brightness, and style can all affect the visual impact of your ceiling. Based on your ceiling materials and design, recessed lighting may be a better choice than a chandelier, or vice versa. For this condo in Millennium tower, we installed museum-quality LED recessed lighting with a plaster in flange to create a seamless look.

Insider Tip: Reveal the Structure

Luxury Kitchen in Wellesley

Coffered ceiling with white pine shiplap beadboard in Wellesley home

There is so much more to a ceiling than meets the eye–so why not bring some of those elements out into the open? Structural components can add quite a lot to your custom ceiling, both visually and stylistically.

Exposed post and beam ceilings, which expose the construction behind the ceiling, give your home a more rustic feel and create a beautiful interior look.

You can also use structural elements to add depth or enhance the transitions from ceiling to wall. Crown molding, for example, is an ornate way to add dimensional structure, and can even bring a subtle Baroque feeling to your home.

If you’re after a less embellished look, consider coffered ceilings, which utilize framing across the ceiling for more visual appeal. In this Wellesley home, we used white pine shiplap beadboard on the ceiling, using coffering to create a sense of texture and a linear visual aesthetic, making the space feel larger than it is.

Coffered ceilings are also beneficial from a logistical standpoint. When installing custom ceilings in a Boston home, coffered ceilings give the impression of a high ceiling, while also allowing HVAC lines and other utilities to be installed within the structure of the home. Adding recessed lighting also reinforces the illusion of a higher ceiling.

The Cost of Custom Ceilings

Custom ceiling with wide-plank walnut wood flooring in Boston's Intercontinental

Custom ceiling with wide-plank walnut wood flooring in Boston’s Intercontinental

Like any part of your home you customize, the costs will run higher than traditional or standard options. For custom ceilings, there are specific materials and styles that will be more expensive to install–but will also be a truly unique and lasting feature of your Boston home.

Ceiling Material Costs

Venetian plaster or wood are the two materials used most often for luxury ceilings in Boston homes. Naturally, they also have a higher price point than traditional ceiling finishes. However, unlike flooring, beautiful soft woods can be used for ceilings. Since you won’t be walking on the ceiling, we recommend skipping the more expensive hardwoods in favor of softer hardwoods. In this Intercontinental condo, we used wide-plank walnut wood flooring on the ceiling to achieve a luxury look without the wear and tear.

Costs of Floating or Suspended Ceilings

Custom floating ceiling and staircase in South End condo

Custom floating ceiling in South End condo

One style that is often requested of us is floating or suspended ceilings. This style, seen in the South End, will run on the higher end of your budget. This ceiling features custom hanging metal frameworks that appear to float to obscure the lighting. Adding recessed lighting into the cloud ceiling also gives a sense of depth, enhancing the floating feel. While this style is certainly an investment, it’s very easy on the eyes and is sure to draw compliments and admiring gazes.

It may not be the first thing on your mind when building or renovating your home, but the ceiling is a hugely important visual aspect of every room. There are many great options for turning your ceiling into a beautiful part of your home’s overall design. Our advice when you start feeling the stresses of building your custom home? Find a builder who can help take the stress out of the process!


Your Guide to Boston Design-Build Firms

Everything You Need to Know About Boston Design-Build Firms In the past, many customers wanting to build their new custom […]

Read More

Find the Best Kitchen Contractors in Boston & Cambridge

Looking for the Best Kitchen Contractors in Boston and Cambridge? Every home remodeling project should be a rewarding experience. After […]

Read More

Residential Remodeling Contractors in Boston & Cambridge

One of Boston’s Leading Residential Remodeling Contractors Since 1993 For nearly three decades, our growing team of remodeling experts have […]

Read More
Take the next step
Contact Us