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The “Fifth Wall”

How ceilings can transform a space.

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Ceilings deserve love…. or at least a greater appreciation.  In early American homes ceilings were low to keep spaces warm.  During the Victorian era, high ceilings – 9 ft. or more -were embellished with cast plaster, stenciling and other decorative treatments.  This kind of detail is coveted today in historic home listings.  Today, loft-style apartments in manufacturing districts that present a  grittier industrial look have become vogue.

These days, interest in personalized space has meant ceilings are again helping rooms take on different personas.  Creating a memorable impression with buyers and giving visual depth to a low room can create a lot of “wow” effect.  Here are three simple treatments sellers can consider if they are looking to boost their home’s appeal.  No matter which treatment is chosen, replacing a plain ceiling with a visually interesting one can provide an edge to a seller competing for buyer attention.



This is the least expensive way to make a ceiling stand out without major architectural change.  To add depth, many decorators encourage homeowners to paint their ceilings a slightly lighter version of what’s used on the walls.  But sometimes an unexpected hue can be a great way to update a room.  For example, a darker gray can give a room a modern edge without being too overpowering.







While many see this option as a throwback, wallpaper is once again finding favor among design professionals for multiple reasons.  Wallpaper can hide cosmetic blemishes or introduce pattern in rooms where all the walls are taken with cabinetry – like a kitchen.  A graphic paper can define an activity area in an open space; colorful papers can pull together a palette in a room; and gold, silver or pewter leaf paper can add stature, drama and radiance.



Millwork can define an area in an open-plan home, highlight features such as skylights, unify adjoining rooms, or baffle sound.  One technique used by Chip and Joanna Gaines of FIXER-UPPER fame involves the use of manufactured shiplap boards with grooves that fit together snugly to create an updated farmhouse look.  For a more modern vibe, trims with a slanted profile fit the bill.  Also, it’s important to keep the millwork in the right proportion the the ceiling’s hight.  Four inch crown is perfect for an 8-9 foot ceiling.



Whatever your choice, minimal effort and expense can make a big difference when it comes to changing the look of your space.  And in today’s competitive market, making a property memorable will set it apart from the rest.  Flip through more than two dozen examples at  And as always, if you’re looking to buy or sell, Eagle Mountain Realty would love to assist you!

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About The Author
Gwen Gibbons

Gwen, named one of D Magazine's Best Realtors, is a 33 year resident of the Eagle Mountain Lake area. She and her husband Todd have raised three children on the lake and in the Azle Independent School District. She knows first hand that this area is an ideal place for a growing family and working parents. As an original member of the Azle Arts Association Popcorn Players (, past chair of the Texas Health Harris Methodist Azle Development Council, and a member of the Texas Health Harris Methodist Board of Trustees, Gwen knows the importance of involvement in the community. She has served on many other various civic and charitable organizations and has grown strong roots in this community. She believes once you experience the area, you’ll want to put down roots too.

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