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Easy & Affordable Ways to Add Character to A Builder Grade Home- Part 2: Ceilings & Light Fixtures

Updated on October 27, 2015


When adding character in your home, the top is a great place to start. Getting rid of popcorn or textured ceilings is a tedious project but, in the end, will make a huge difference.

Not only are popcorn ceilings dated and distracting, they are hard to maintain, and can potentially be dangerous.

  • If there is ceiling damage, repairs can be very difficult.
  • Popcorn ceilings are extremely hard to paint.
  • Many times popcorn ceilings contain asbestos.

Textured Ceilings
Textured Ceilings | Source

Beadboard or Plank Ceilings

Plank ceilings, beadboard, tongue and groove... OH MY! There are a few different choices when creating this look. Some are easier than others, some are more expensive, but all add instant character. With this technique you can also kill two birds with one stone. Rather than scrape the texture from ceiling, cover it up.

Research all three to find out what will work best for you and your budget.

Tongue & Groove

Tongue & Groove Ceiling
Tongue & Groove Ceiling | Source

Plank Ceilings

Plank Ceilings
Plank Ceilings | Source


Beadboard Ceiling
Beadboard Ceiling | Source

Coffered Ceilings

Coffered ceilings are another elegant way to create some character detail in an otherwise non-descript home. While the DIY version may not be easy, it is certainly effective, and in the end will be well worth the work.

Coffered Ceilings
Coffered Ceilings | Source

Installing Wood Beams

Woods beams add a sense of coziness and comfort to a home. Faux beams are fairly simple to install and can be found for decent prices at many big box home stores.

Light Fixtures

Replacing light fixtures is another quick and inexpensive fix that will add a lot of drama to builder grade ceilings. The cheap ones that builders install are often boring and lack character.

For a few bucks more, nice fixtures can be found that won't break the bank.

Sometimes a quick facelift can make a world of difference!

Ceiling light for under $40.00
Ceiling light for under $40.00 | Source
Inexpensive pendent lights for any where in the home
Inexpensive pendent lights for any where in the home | Source
Chandelier for under $100
Chandelier for under $100 | Source

If new light fixtures are just not in the budget, then look into giving current lighting a makeover. A coat of spray paint and new Edison bulbs can turn an outdated fixture into a modern statement piece.

Spray Paint Chandelier Makeover
Spray Paint Chandelier Makeover | Source
Edison Bulbs
Edison Bulbs | Source

Ceiling Quiz

What DIY Ceiling Treatment Would You Try

See results


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    Post Comment

    • Clearissa profile image

      Clearissa Coward's Command Center 

      2 years ago from Cary,NC

      Great Lynn!!! Let me know how it comes out. :) Congratulations on the new home.

    • Lynn Clark profile imageAUTHOR

      Lynn Clark 

      2 years ago from Wilmington, NC

      I love ALL these looks, we are going to try the plank ceilings or tongue and groove in our new home.

    • Clearissa profile image

      Clearissa Coward's Command Center 

      2 years ago from Cary,NC

      Loved the article. We are considering covering our textured ceilings throughout the house. I think we will begin downstairs and the beadboard technique is exactly the cottagey look I am going for.

    • RTalloni profile image


      2 years ago from the short journey

      The bead board with beams is a really nice look I could use to combine a simple American/French country look to our addition.


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