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In this series, “Ask Kimberly” I take questions from you and share my honest opinions and thoughts. I would LOVE to receive more design questions!  Please leave me a comment below and your question could be featured on “It’s So Fabulous!”

Q – I live in a beautiful historic home in Charleston, SC and we have several rooms with popcorn ceilings. My daughter keeps telling me that they have to go – and I am a little attached to the history of the space.  Is this technique a part of keeping the integrity of the home?

Are popcorn ceilings a part of southern design or does popcorn only belong at the movies?

A – Take it off! You are right, many homes in Charleston and other places in the old south have the popcorn ceiling and it is indicitive of the times, but not of the history. 

A popcorn ceiling, also known as cottage cheese ceiling or more accurately a Stucco ceiling, is a term for a spray-on or paint-on ceiling treatment used from the late 1950s into the 1980s in American residential construction. It was the standard for bedroom and residential hallway ceilings for its bright, white appearance, noise reduction qualities and ability to hide imperfections. (via wikipedia)

Q – Is this something I can remove myself?

A – I would definitely recommend hiring someone. A good painter can take it off and smooth it out well – and it is not that expensive.  

Q – What types of technique would you recommend using on my ceiling after we remove the popcorn?

A – I thought you would never ask!  I absolutely LOVE incorporating the ceiling into a room design, an area can that be left out or forgotten! There are so many wonderful techniques I use on ceilings such as painting, wallpaper and upholstering.  I do, however, have one rule if you opt to paint your ceiling – do not paint the ceiling darker than the walls.  Below are some examples of my designs for truly celebrated ceilings.

Hand painted custom ceiling in my personal kitchen. Just love looking up in here!
Design – Kimberly Grigg for Knotting Hill Interiors Great way to add texture by creating custom molding for the ceiling and then wallpapering the separate blocks!
Design – Kimberly Grigg for Knotting Hill Interiors Another wallpaper look for the ceiling of this beautiful bedroom. I love how we created an ethereal look with the high glossy paper and the way the light from the chandelier hits it. It is very dramatic, especially with the ceiling being cut out.
Design – Kimberly Grigg for Knotting Hill Interiors Maybe it is not popcorn you are dealing with, but rather wood paneling? No problem! A beautiful coat of paint does the trick! You see a lot of wood paneling as well in homes built in the 50’s and 60’s.
Design – Kimberly Grigg for Knotting Hill Interiors A gorgeous sky blue layer of paint on the ceiling – simple yet brings a completeness to the whole look and color palate of the room
Design – Kimberly Grigg for Knotting Hill Interiors To truly make a statement with your ceiling, try upholstering an amazing fabric to create drama and lots of looking up during your dinner parties!
Design – Kimberly Grigg for Knotting Hill Interiors

Do you have a question for me? Post in a comment below and I would LOVE to answer you! Your questions keeps me on my toes and connected to what you really want to know about southern design! 

For help with your home or room design please contact us at and visit our website.  Follow Knotting Hill on Pinterest and Facebook.

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