Matthew Williamson reveals the common mistake to avoid when painting ceilings

The designer shares the one thing you're probably doing wrong when it comes to painting the ceiling

Matthew Williamson has shared the mistake you're most likely making when painting ceilings in your home. Speaking exclusively to Ideal Home, the Award winning interior designer, explains why you should never leave your ceilings white.

So whether you like to keep your interiors calm, or are crazy for pattern, here's what Matthew says you should be doing with your ceilings.

living room with pink wall and wooden beams

(Image credit: Future PLC/Benedicte Drummond)

Matthew Williamson painted ceiling mistake

'One of my bugbears is white ceilings in coloured rooms,' says Matthew. 'I think people do the walls with paint or wallpaper, they go up to the top of the wall and that’s it.'

The designer, known for his love of bright colours and bold prints, says that stopping with just the walls is a mistake. 'Invariably you’re left with a big white plain of a ceiling and I just don’t get it! It’s like putting an outfit on and forgetting to put your shoes on, you just need to do the ceiling as well.'

So what shade should we be painting our ceilings in then? 'Leaving it white isn't the best solution,' says Matthew. 'I prefer to paint my ceilings in the same colour as the walls, or certainly a complementary tone.'

If you have a small room, Matthew suggests painting the ceiling with size in mind. 'Stay paler side of things for a ceiling in a small room. Perhaps a soft putty colour or eau de nil green.' A fine example is this green living room idea with a saturation of the same colour on all walls - including the fifth wall, the ceiling,

green living room with pink couch and cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

If you've opted for wallpaper instead of painted walls, you still have to keep the ceiling in mind. Matthew suggests taking the tone most prominent in that wallpaper and painting the ceiling in that shade.

Another option is to have one wallpaper feature wall, and paint the three remaining walls and ceilings in one tone you love from the print.

grey bathroom with red ceiling

(Image credit: Future PLC/Robert Sanderson)

With the colour drenching trend on everyone's lips, Matthew is fully on board with going tip to toe colour. 'This is all a long winded way of saying I’m into colour drenching. I say drench away!'

Explore Matthew's work at

So there you have it, from a top interior designer – ceilings shouldn't be left white when the room is drenched in colour.

Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.