As a primarily functional piece of the home, ceilings can often be overlooked. It’s not awful to leave them plain, of course—but it’s also not giving your home the chance to really shine. Take these rooms from the WL archives, for example. With an application of wood slats, panels and beams, their style went way, way up (and we mean that literally).

Photo: Tracey Ayton

Fir Sure

All the ceilings in this Nanoose Bay home were capped at eight feet, save for the double-vaulted ceiling in the main area—so Lindsay Steele decided to make the most of it with fir paneling. The principal of Motto Interior Design spent months selecting the right finish to achieve a perfectly bleached and warm look. “We wanted to ensure it wouldn’t be too pink-ish,” she says. Check out the rest of this Vancouver Island residence.

Photo: Ema Peter

Lighten Up

Love modern design, but hate stark white colour palettes? Take a page from Falken Reynolds’s book, and liven things up with natural materials. Oak flooring, ash millwork and a yellow cedar ceiling make this space feel bright and airy. Step inside former NHL player Dan Hamhuis’s Northern B.C. home.

Photo: Ema Peter

Floor to Ceiling

A bedroom may be pictured here, but every room in this spectacular ski chalet will convince you to embrace wood finishes… because pretty much all the ceilings (and floors! And walls!) are covered in white oak. “I don’t know if we have a piece of drywall in the whole house,” says architect Walker McKinley of McKinley Studios. Explore the rest of this Whistler vacation home.

kitchen with slat ceiling
Photo: Janis Nicolay

Gathering Space

This Vancouver residence may be large (4,595 square feet, to be exact), but it’s also warm and cozy—thanks in large part to the beautiful slat ceiling in the kitchen. Alexis MacKay-Dunn, founder of DesignLab Interiors, installed it to bring down the height, add visual interest and create a sense of intimacy. “It’s designed to allow the client to make memories with loved ones for years to come,” she says. Tour the rest of this multi-generational home.

Photo: Ema Peter

Mirror Image

For the renovation of this White Rock home, Andrea McLean devised an open-concept plan that would reflect the geography outside the windows. To achieve this, the designer used Douglas throughout (the millwork in the kitchen and bedroom, the ceiling in the living area). “Douglas fir is a B.C. wood that is being expressed structurally, becoming an interior aesthetic,” she says of the finished look. See more before and after photos.

Photo: Kyoko Fierro

Hawaiian Tropic

Without the vaulted wood ceilings it would be easy to assume this home is located somewhere in Canada. The panels, framed by rift-sawn American walnut, really contribute to designer Stephanie Brown’s modern interpretation of traditional Hawaiian architecture, and “definitely provide an ‘island’ feel,” she explains. Find out how to get this look at home.

Photo: Ema Peter

Simply Sophisticated

Wood ceiling finishes are often meant to stand out and make a statement—but that’s not the case in this Vancouver residence. These inset grey oak ceiling panels, which can be found in the kitchen, living area and bedroom, are more subtle than showy. “It’s the kind of house that informs while you’re there,” says designer Robert Bailey. “Initially, you may not see the level of detail, but when you’re in the space, things reveal themselves to you.” Peek inside this artfully crafted home.

Photo: Ema Peter

Catch My Drift

Is it possible for the look of an entire home to be inspired by a piece of driftwood? For designers Chad Falkenberg and Kelly Reynolds, it is! They chose concrete floors that match the shade of Pacific Northwest sand, a stainless-steel countertop that will patina with time (akin to the ocean’s smoothing and buffing of rocks) and light-stained hemlock ceiling panels to reference the tone of a sun-bleached log. See more of this oceanfront retreat.