As a color consultant, one question I seem to get asked over and over is “should I paint this wall or ceiling color?” It seems like a lot of the homes I have been in recently have odd angles and sloped ceilings.  I am not talking about a slightly sloped ceiling like in this room below where it is still easy to identify wall from ceiling.

Brian Brady and Franco Biscardi

Hamptons Show House 2011 by Brian Brady and Franco Biscardi

I’m referring to a deep angled ceiling with multiple slanting walls like in this bedroom below. It can often be confusing to figure out if something should be painted wall or ceiling color.

bedroom angled walls

House Beautiful

Even among designers and painters there seems to a difference of opinion of how best to treat angled walls and sloped ceilings. To help you make a decision of how best to treat your angled and sloped walls I thought it would be helpful to show you four options: Three that work and one that doesn’t.

#1  The first way is to paint everything wall color except the flat (horizontal) ceiling like in this room below.

painted angled walls

Denise Wenacur Designs

This is a perfectly good option if you want to keep the ceiling light but prefer a richer color on the walls. Wrapping all the slopes and angles in the same color minimizes the choppy feeling of the room. This treatment works best if the flat part of your ceiling is fairly wide, otherwise it could end up looking like a white landing strip like in the photo below.

painting angled walls

Google Images

#2. paint the entire room the same color. Many designers like this option the best. As top Designer Jamie Drake says:

“If your space has odd angles dormers, or unsettling beams, wrap the entire room in color. Use the same paint or paper on every surface. It will make all the oddities disappear.”

Jamie Drake

Design by Jamie Drake

Painting the entire room; walls, slopes and ceiling the same color not only minimizes all the angles but creates a calmer feeling for the room. I would caution you against using too dark of a color because you don’t want to create a dark cave like room (unless that is the look you are going for). A light color is  expanding and usually you can use all the visual height you can get in these sloping and angled rooms.

white painted room

Look how restful the bedroom above looks even though visually there is a lot going on with that ceiling.

Wrapping the whole room in a soft neutral or white is also a great way to introduce pops of color in the furniture and accessories like in this family room below.

angled walls houzz


#3. Embrace the angles and slopes and make it the focal point of the room. This is a good option, especially if you want to create a statement.

check out the 4 rooms below and see how the homeowner embraced their odd angles and made it the focal point of the room.

bead board bedroom houzz




and lastly, what NOT to do:

#4. Paint ceiling and angled walls white and walls a dark color. This is what I recommend NOT to do. The problem with this is that the more angles and sloped walls the room has, the more choppy the room feels. Since many of these types of angled rooms are bedrooms the choppiness does not make for a very restful space.

angled wall 10 attic-bedroom


Another problem with Option #4 is that it can appear as if  the ceiling is coming down and taking a bite out of the room.

Google Images

Or that your room is wearing a big white hat like in this image below.


As always, I would love to hear from you… What is your favorite way to treat angled walls and sloped ceilings?


If you would like help deciding the best way to paint your room or help choosing the perfect color give me a call.



Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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