Kennon calls the "Gustavian Grey" of this ceiling an "atmospheric complex neutral," creating a sense of openness and calm. Photo courtesy Ellen Kennon.

Designer tip: Ellen Kennon on painting ceilings

Many homeowners hardly give a second thought to the color of their ceilings, content to leave them as they are, or else douse them in simple shades of white. But these days, says interior designer and color consultant Ellen Kennon, ceilings can receive all kinds of treatments, from wallpaper to colorful jewel tones of paint.

“As a firm believer that nature is healing, and that we’re meant to live in harmony with nature, in rooms with crown molding, I like to paint them subtle shades of sky blue so that you subconsciously feel like you’re outdoors on a sunny day,” says Kennon, who has her own paint line called Full Spectrum Paints. “In rooms with average or low ceiling heights and no crown molding, I always paint the walls and ceilings the same color to visually raise the ceiling height. You don’t notice any transition, so the room feels taller. I also paint ceilings the same color as the walls in rooms with cathedral ceilings, because it softens the space and cloaks the room in color, as opposed to having these odd, geometric-shaped end walls.”

To learn more about Kennon and her designs, visit