Popcorn ceilings don’t necessarily bother me too much. I mean they aren’t the prettiest thing in the world, but they’ve never been something I’ve stomped my feet about and lost sleep over. Also, they are not fun to remove. I tried it. I learned from it.
And I’ll never do it again.
When we got the 70’s Landing Pad, it of course had popcorn ceilings. There weren’t many homes built during that era that didn’t sport the acne of the ceiling.
Yes, I just referred to popcorn ceilings as acne. No, I have no idea how I come up with this stuff.
Anywho, I did want to have the popcorn ceilings removed at the new place if it was in the budget. Not because they bothered me so much, but mainly because I really wanted to paint the ceiling in colors and even a few patterns here and there.
I had no intention of removing the popcorn ceilings myself. As I said, been there, done that, had the gross white snot to prove it. I got a few estimates for the job and shockingly discovered that it was in fact in the budget to remove the popcorn ceilings for about $2000. Sign. Me. Up. I was confident this would be the best $2K I would ever spend.
And then the contractors came and started to scrape and realized it had been painted over multiple times and was going to take three times as long to remove and therefore the price would now be around $6K.
There are a lot of things I could buy with $6000. So, I called it off. The popcorn ceilings would stay.
And guess what?
I barely notice them anymore.
Here are my six best decorating ideas for distracting from those popcorn ceilings and making them practically disappear….
6 Decorating Ideas to Distract from Popcorn Ceilings
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Don’t buy flush-mount lighting that focuses the light upwards. Instead, try to use flush or semi-flush mounts that direct the light downward. Chandeliers and pendant lights are an even better choice when you can use them. (I have lots of great affordable lighting options here by the way.)
2. Huge Art
Nothing more easily grabs the eye (and distracts from popcorn ceilings) than a huge piece of stunning art.
I’ve done this in three places at the 70’s Landing Pad and have not been disappointed yet. I placed this huge lion print above the bar in our living room. Not only is it gorgeous, but it commands attention.
The same is true of this abstract art in the dining room. I also used the vintage palm print in the photo of our bedroom you saw above as a focal point in our bedroom.
Paint the ceilings. Paint the walls.
First off, if you are ready to just finally embrace those popcorn ceilings and they are a bit dingy and even stained in some places, please for the love of all things good in the world, just paint them. Yes, it does mean that if you want to remove them at some point it will be more difficult, but it will look so much better. I promise. A good coat of white ceiling paint will do the trick. Chances are that if you’ve never painted your popcorn ceilings or don’t know if they were painted, that they are more dirtier than you think.
Case in point: the ceilings of our master bedroom. I had no idea how beige-y and gross they were until I went to touch up a few spots I had hit on the ceiling with the pink paint. There was no touch up for that! They had to be completely painted!
If you really want your popcorn ceilings to blend in with everything else, paint your ceilings and walls white. The eye will be tricked into barely seeing the popcorn at all. If you aren’t ready to go all white with your walls, then perhaps paint the upper half or third of the walls white with another color below that. That would be similar to what I did in our old guest room.
4. Crown Molding
I know it may seem like this one would draw the eye to the ceiling. I used to think so too. Here’s the thing though and it may not be this way for everyone, but here it is. When my mother-in-law had crown installed in their house, she said that afterward she didn’t notice the popcorn ceilings as much. I thought about it, looked at it and then when she had it installed in our old house / their soon to be new house, I realized she was right. I don’t know what it is, maybe the angle of the molding or just the fact that it’s something pretty at the top of the wall, but it does seem to distract from the popcorn. I think if you went with even a bigger molding and added a smaller trim piece below the crown on the wall and painted all that white or whatever your trim color is, it would distract from your popcorn ceilings even more.
Don’t want them to look up? Make them look down.
Bring in boldly colored or patterned rugs to draw the eye down and not up. Works every time.
Personally, I’m a fan of pretty rugs anywhere. It’s just a bonus they turn those eyes away from the ceiling.
6. Window Treatments
Another way to distract from popcorn ceilings is with your window treatments. Go for long panels that go all the way to the floor. They don’t have to puddle, but can just barely touch the floor. This will once more help to draw the eye downward. Don’t opt for valances for sure – this will keep the eye closer to the ceiling.
If you love color or bold prints, even better. Those things will distract the eye even more.
So will you be keeping your popcorn ceilings and decorating to distract from them? Any other ideas you have to offer to distract from popcorn ceilings?
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