Let’s remember how it was. Putty, lime, water-based paint, whitewash. The result is always the same: a flat (more or less) white ceiling is the most familiar, calm option. New times have brought new technologies for finishing the ceiling, and with them new solutions – multi-level. The first experiments were disastrous. Often, the entire design of the room was reduced to complicated circular or broken multi-layer ceilings. Such effects replaced the development of the author’s interior design concept. For example, on the ceiling of one apartment, configurations resembling the pyramids of Cheops, the Great Wall of China, the Golden Bridge in San Francisco and other miracles could simultaneously coexist. The unjustified, eccentric ideas of the authors of such ceilings lead so far that it is possible not to return…
Today, the hobby for multi-level ceilings, which gripped all architects and designers who decorate apartments a few years ago, is, fortunately, behind. By itself, this technique cannot be regarded as a sign of bad taste. On the contrary, it helps to solve many aesthetic and technical problems. The designs were compromised only by excessive enthusiasm for them. Today the opposite trend has prevailed: the most stylish interiors are solved without the use of levels above. And if they are used, then with a careful study of the drawing in the plan and accurate calculations of the height of the structure. Multilevel ceilings have always been more of an element of public premises than of private housing. The appearance on the market of stretch ceilings and drywall made them widely available and widespread. These “flexible” technologies are relatively cheap and have virtually no configuration restrictions..
Irregularities and defects in the base ceiling can become a reason for the application of several levels. Sometimes the differences are so great that it is impossible to hide them in other ways. For example, the condition of old floors between floors is very bad. After dismantling the old partitions, inappropriate beams and crossbars are found. Aligning such dilapidated ceilings is more difficult than camouflaging them with some additional
Sometimes it is necessary to hide air conditioning systems, electrical wiring, air ducts, freon lines, water supply pipes, heating systems within the apartment. Multilevel ceiling can become a “casing” for covering technological elements.
Such a ceiling successfully solves problems with the volume of space. When reforming a home, it is often necessary to at least visually “raise” the ceiling. It may seem strange, but experts are well aware of the following technique: in a modern interior, the feeling of adding space is created by tightening individual areas. So, if in the hallway the ceiling level was lowered, and in the dining room they kept the basic level, then when you enter it from the hallway it will seem to you that you have entered, as it were, a straightened space. At the same time, the base level is highlighted with lighting, color or texture. In one place they lowered, in another they raised, as if they had paused.
Zoning. In the context of a modern home, such a question as the allocation of separate zones is also important. This is especially true for dwellings of a new type, equipped according to the type of open flowing spaces that make up a single plastic structure. We know that instead of the old square-nesting system with narrow corridors, designers and architects have introduced a new one. It has two main areas: public and private. They can combine mini-zones – places for eating, resting, working. This requires greater consistency in the organization of space, greater isolation of each mini-zone. In a room where there are practically no walls, the functional areas began to be emphasized by the finishing of the floor, walls, and lighting. And, of course, the levels of the ceiling. For example, looking up, we can see an oval that repeats the oval of the dining table in the dining area. Or a separate bathtub, bed, winter garden, bar counter, even a “road” from one zone to another. Typically, split-level ceilings are “supported” by the floor. This can be a podium, the use of different materials for the flooring or the same material, but different colors (for example, parquet and tiles, parquet in two shades).
Even if there is nothing to hide behind a multi-level ceiling, they turn to it as an interior decoration. The forms of such structures are very diverse: classical geometry, bent, fantastic shapes, combinations of a curved line and a triangle, level differences relative to the base – three, four, five. It can be stucco molding, cornice systems, just abstract compositions. Imitation of structural elements in a classic interior is one of the varieties of a multi-level articulated ceiling. It is important that this plastic is dictated by something. Sometimes levels are highlighted with color or imitation of some kind of texture, for example, old ceramics. Fill the middle of the ceiling with color, get one effect, darken it a little – another, even color gives the third. This movement of halftones changes the plane.
Speaking of a multi-level ceiling, we simply cannot but say how it greatly expands the possibilities of light. In this case, it is more than light: it “paints” the interior, gives it intrigue and effect. This is generally a topic worthy of a separate discussion. The soft light that floods the base ceiling reflects on the entire interior. Spot – highlights something below. Lowered lamps emphasize the intimacy of the area. Positioning the light sources correctly is not a simple matter: they need to be hidden, but they cannot be too deep, otherwise there will be insufficient light. Light should be soft, diffused, luminous contour.
Different levels of the ceiling plane are often used to create artistic ceilings (with a pattern, stucco, various “natural” and “atmospheric” effects). However, this is a separate topic of conversation. In the future, we will definitely tell you about the possibilities of artistic ceilings.
Nothing is accidental in the interior, and one follows from the other. Just as it is impossible to tear a page out of a book, so it is impossible to snatch one zone out of the context of the house. That is why, when working with multilevel ceilings, designers do not work in a single room. Consider your ceiling as an integral part of your living space, combined with furniture, walls, floor. Professionals will help you with this.