21 Stunning Bathroom Ceiling Ideas That Will Make You Look Up

bathroom ceiling ideas
Image: Dar Lighting

Whether you have a small or large bathroom, the bathroom ceiling is one area that can’t be left unnoticed. 

It might be all that way up there, but it’s still something that will be appraised and appreciated on a daily basis. When you’re having a soak in the tub, or staring at the ceiling in the shower, those final touches will make all the difference.

The bathroom is one room of the house that is subject to humidity and moisture, so the type of thing you might want to use on the bathroom ceiling might not be as appropriate as to what you would use in a living room. 

There are plenty of ways to elevate your bathroom ceiling in your bathroom design, let’s take a look at these 21 bathroom ceiling ideas to help transform your relaxing retreat in no time.¬†

Best Bathroom Paint For Ceilings

The best type of ceiling paint for a bathroom with high humidity is a mould resistant, durable and washable paint that is a satin, or semi gloss paint. Look for paints that state they are mould resistant, easy care and designed specifically for bathrooms.

Humidity can damage paint over time, causing it to flake, lose its color and develop mould. This is why choosing a specific bathroom paint is so crucial here. It will provide a durable, and long lasting result that won’t dampen over time, and won’t need repainting every few months. 

If you have experienced water damage at any point and the issue has been resolved, you need to wait for it to fully dry out before painting. You can tell if a wall is still too damp if it caused bubbles in the paint. Use a dehumidifier to draw the moisture out of the air and don’t start painting until you’re sure it is fully dry. 

Bathroom Ceiling Ideas

1.Hanging, Trailing Planter For Visual Interest

Pendant lighting, shiplap and hanging baskets can all be hung from a bathroom ceiling for great visual impact. When choosing the pendant lights always opt for those with an IP44 + rating to ensure they meet bathroom safety regulations.

A hanging, trailing planter is a versatile decor accessory for most decor styles. Use a hook on the ceiling to attach the cord, or rope to let it hang.

If you have wooden beams, you could hang them from here too to create a focal point. Opt for plants that love humidity for a low maintenance house plant that looks great all year round.

hanging planters

2. Faux Skylights

A faux skylight is an LED light that emits high CRI light that is the closest replication to real, natural daylight. Daylight light can aid tasks in a bathroom such as applying makeup and shaving. High CRI light can even help to boost your mood too. 

If your bathroom has no natural light or high ceilings with very limited light, then a faux skylight could be a smart choice. It’s a great way of achieving a daylight look without the cost of fitting in a window, if that were even possible. It will also give the illusion of more space as your eyes will immediately be drawn up to the ceiling as you step into the bathroom.

If a faux skylight is not something you want to invest in, always choose high CRI downlights and bulbs where possible so you can still get that daylight light in your bathroom. 

faux skylight bathroom ceiling ideas

3. Shiplap Panelling

Shiplap panelling or wooden panels are always a great choice for a bathroom ceiling, especially if you are looking to create a nautical, farmhouse style bathroom in your home as it brings a certain rustic charm with it.

It can be fitted either horizontally or vertically in the room. As it is wooden, it can swell in humid conditions so be aware of this, it may require touching up with paint during this period of movement that can happen in the first few months of it being fitted.

‚ÄčThis style of panelling is perfect for bathrooms with a sloped ceiling too when the entire space is panelled as it doesn’t draw direct attention to the slope.

Once in situ, paint to your desired color palette. White is always a great idea as it provides a fresh, contrast to the rest of the bathroom.

shiplap panelling bathroom

4. Paint It Black

That’s right. Bathroom ceilings don’t have to just be white. 

Dark colors are perfect for creating a statement ceiling that demands instant attention. 

A black ceiling will create a statement look that will get your guests talking, this style is perfect for a more modern bathroom design. You’re going to want to contrast this with a different color or pattern to avoid the room getting lost in this color. Ensure you choose a mould resistant, easy care type of paint for this. 

black bathroom ceiling

5. Introduce Stencils

Stencilling can be a really fun way to create a great visual aesthetic in a small space. Everyone will naturally be drawn to the bathroom ceiling design, so focus on getting some exquisite light fixtures like crystal chandeliers in there too!

Stencilling a ceiling is not for the faint hearted as it is far more time consuming than painting with a roller, but it will be worth it! 

If you’re choosing to go down the patterned stencil route on a ceiling, you’re going to want to avoid patterned tiles on the floor to stop any clashing. 

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @bathrooms_of_insta

6. Skinny Slats

Skinny slats are a thinner version of traditional wood shiplap panelling, they can bring a modern look to a bathroom and help to draw the eye up.

These can be a great alternative to traditional shiplap and they can be finished off in any color that you desire. 

It’s an affordable way to elevate that ceiling, it looks super effective with exposed wood skinny slats, ideal for that farmhouse style bathroom space that you have always dreamed of!

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @crumbshome

7. Upscale Lighting

Make a statement with the lighting fixtures in your bathroom. Choosing attractive bathroom light fittings that are also suitably IP rated can be somewhat of a challenge. Don’t be tempted to scrimp or miss the IP rating as it then becomes a safety issue in your bathroom.

For a traditional style bathroom you can find some grand, chandelier pendants for a bathroom, or opt for something a little more rustic to suit a farmhouse style bathroom.

A vaulted ceiling in a bathroom can be a little trickier to tackle as you need more adequate lighting to appropriately light the space. Opt for a long hanging pendant and team with wall lights or spotlights for better control over your lighting.

statement lighting bathoom ceiling

8. Ceiling Tiles

Tiled ceilings are not a conventional way to finish off a bathroom ceiling, but who likes playing by the rules? It does come with an element of difficulty, as they literally do defy gravity in a situation like this, but it’s not impossible.

Instead of ceiling tiles, another option is multi panels which are much slimmer in build, and lighter, whilst you don’t need to grout them.

This means that in a years time you won’t have that tell tale mould appearing on white grout. They are a modern design and require so much less maintenance, and it looks just as effective as traditional tiles.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @sydney_pressed_metal

9. Color Blocks

Who said your bathroom ceiling has to be just one color? Make a bold statement by create zonal, color blocks with bold colors for a fun, vibrant look.

Use geometric blocks, or you could even go for a striped look to mimic shiplap panelling for a fun, Beverly Hills hotel esque look. It will bring a unique style to your bathroom which instils instant visual interest as you enter the room, and give you something to admire during a soak in the tub.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @elledecoration_nl

10. Flush, Recessed Lighting

For a seamless, and practical look on a bathroom ceiling, recessed lights are a great choice. Downlights fit into the ceiling, being unobtrusive and practical. You’ll need downlights with an IP 44+ rating or 66+ if you are fitting them directly over a shower. 

Match them to the rest of your interior bathroom hardware such as the taps, and shower fittings by matching it to the bezel on the downlight. 

In terms of the brightness of light, you’re going to want something that provides great levels of light to help you with specific tasks in the bathroom. Always go for a high CRI that is greater than 95, and something over 3000k in color temperature for a white, bright light. 

Recessed lights are one of the best ways to provide targeted lighting to the areas that need it, and they bring more of a modern feel with them.

recessed bathroom lighting

11. Add Wooden Planks For A Rustic Touch

One of the easiest ways to create a rustic feel in a bathroom is using wooden planks to panel the ceiling.

Not only does this bring some natural elements into the space, but it grounds a neutral color palette and is perfect for farmhouse and modern rustic style interiors.

Combine with white shiplap panelling on the walls for a gorgeous contrast. 

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @stikwooddesign

12. Color Drench In A Bold Color

Color drenching involves using the same color to paint the walls and ceiling. Whilst the same could be said for white, you just won’t get the same effect as you do with a bold color like this.

This is a good choice in a more spacious bathroom as it will make the walls and ceiling feel closer, and more enveloping which can be perfect for creating a relaxing feel in a bathroom.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @kbbmagazine

13. Use Rustic Beams For Depth & Character

You don’t need a quaint cottage to enjoy the beauty of rustic beams, you can install faux or reclaimed beams to get the desired look.

It brings instant depth and character to a bathroom ceiling and pairs beautifully with a neutral color palette.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @rossalanreclaimed

14. Paint The Ceiling A Bold Color

A simple way to deliver instant design impact to a small space is simply by painting the ceiling an opposing, bold color.

Make like this bathroom, simple on the bottom, party on the top! Yellow might not be the shade for you, but you can play around with different colors to get the desired look.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @thusthefuss

15. Natural Slat Wood Panelling

In recent years, there has been a huge surge of natural slat wood panelling in an interior. It’s a more contemporary form of panelling to other types and it’s great for Scandinavian and boho style interiors.

This contemporary style is perfect for both neutral and bold color schemes. Don’t forget to introduce some black accents for a touch of modernity and definition.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @abbbclark_homeee

16. Add Interest With Wallpaper

Ever considered wallpaper for a bathroom ceiling?

I know, what you’re thinking, oh the humidity. This is not a recommended choice over a shower because of the high humidity and moisture levels but if you just have a tub in the space, this can be a much better option.

You should still ensure you have a high quality extractor fan in place to avoid issues with peeling wallpaper in the future.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @styledwithnavy

17. Create An Overlap With Tiles

This is a great example of how you can carry on floor and wall tiles up to the ceiling for a visually exciting look that works.

It creates a cosier space, yet make the rest of the bathroom feel spacious with the white walls and shiplap ceiling.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @purewowhome

18. Dark, Wooden Panelling For Definition

If you want a farmhouse style bathroom, really lean into those rustic themes by opting for dark, wooden panelling on the ceiling.

Pair with a neutral color palette and defining black accents throughout to pull the space together, and provide a cohesive scheme.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @southerngraceinteriors_

19. LED Star Like Lighting

Create that warming ambience in a bathroom that it desires, these LED lights on the ceiling create a cocooning starlight feel.

Just imagine kicking back in the tub and looking up at this in the evening, perfection!

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @lux.interiors

20. Install A Skylight

If you have an attic sloping bathroom ceiling, installing a skylight might make total sense, and it’s one of the best ways to let lots of natural light into an attic bathroom without compromising on wall space.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @taborinteriors

21. Go Bold With Metallic

Metallic accents are hugely popular in specific interior schemes, but how about a metallic ceiling?

Whether you opt for metallic ceiling tiles or metallic paint to get the desired look, there’s no denying that it delivers a touch of elegance and luxury to any bathroom space.

bathroom ceiling ideas
Instagram Image Credit: @thirteen79design

What Color Should My Bathroom Ceiling Be?

A bathroom ceiling should generally match the color of your walls for a cohesive look, white is one of the most popular colors for a bathroom ceiling. 

However, you can choose to contrast your ceiling with another block color to add visual interest to the bathroom, it will also create a more spacious feel as it will instantly draw the eye up as you step into the bathroom. 

It is also dependent on the decor style of your home. The type of paint you choose is more important than the color, always opt for a mould resistant, easycare waterproof paints in a bathroom. 

Should A Bathroom Ceiling Be Painted White?

A white ceiling in a bathroom is the most popular choice as it generally helps to aid brightness in the room, however, a bathroom ceiling can be painted in various colors to complement your decor scheme. A contrast color on a bathroom ceiling is a great way to create visual interest and a design feature in your bathroom space.

It’s important to not be short sighted when it comes to designing your bathroom. A plain white bathroom ceiling is not necessarily the best choice, and there could be better bathroom ceiling ideas to complement your chosen decor scheme. Be creative, trust the process and refer to Pinterest for any ideas you might want to bring into fruition in your bathroom.

What are your thoughts on creating a contrasting bathroom ceiling to your bathroom walls?

Photo of author


Nicole Sage

Nicole Sage is the founder of Sleek-chic Interiors and is a highly experienced interiors writer and skilled home renovator who has a passion for all things design. She has been featured as an authority at Pinterest, Ideal Home, Daily Mail and in countless other interviews. For 8 years, Nicole has written, observed key interior trends, renovated and undertaken interior short courses at the renown KLC school where she has gained her grounding interior design principles. With a keen eye for detail and a love of creativity, she shares her expertise on the latest interior trends, practical DIY tutorials, and styling inspiration to help others transform their homes into stunning spaces. With a commitment to delivering informative and engaging content, Nicole inspires and empowers readers to explore their own unique sense of style and create beautiful, personalised interiors. Contact her at hello@sleek-chic.co.uk for interiors advice, colour questions and any commentary.

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