Artistic Drywall Styles & Elements

panel ceiling

If your walls and ceilings could talk, you might hear a cry for help. They would probably begin with a heart-to-heart conversation about the bumps, dings, and scrapes they've suffered at the hands of an active family. But then the discussion would probably turn to the fact that they long to be treated as more than merely utilitarian surfaces, that they can be decorative and expressive.

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Consider an average room as a six-sided geometrical figure and then count the number of surfaces covered by drywall: four walls and the ceiling. In fact, if your home is like most built during the past 40 years, drywall is the predominant visible interior surface.

An artist or sculptor would consider these extensive surfaces of your home as opportunities for creative expression and decorative treatment.

But economic realities dictate that contractors produce affordable housing, not works of art. That usually means choosing construction methods that promote speed at the expense of style.

As a homeowner with a do-it-yourself inclination, you can invest the extra time and effort that makes drywall a medium of self-expression -- not merely a surface that covers the framing. So instead of hanging pictures to convey personality, use the walls and ceilings themselves to express your style.

When you consider drywall this way, you'll see that raised panels can be part of a real character-building program for your home. A generic wall can become a decorative wainscot, or a popcorn ceiling will give way to a raised-panel treatment or even undergo a sculptural makeover.

Curved walls can give old rooms a new vitality. And a curved soffit can define functional areas within an open floor plan, eliminating the need to chop up the space by constricting walls.

You can continue the curves with drywall arches. Though they require more initial effort than a ho-hum rectangular doorway, arches eliminate the need for expensive trimwork, not to mention the miter-cutting hassles, messy staining, and tedious finishing required for moldings.

Listen to your walls and ceilings, and answer their call for help. When you're finished, they will speak eloquently of your good taste.


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