Front porch, back porch, or leveled porch, we all need a space where we could get some air, sit down, relax, or maybe pour a couple of drinks.
Lounging in the porch compels you to look at the ceiling more than once and if you have friends coming over, the aesthetics of the porch ceiling can make a bold statement about what to expect inside.
In this post, we will cover some porch ceiling ideas that you can install. Along with these ideas are important pointers to master in helping you narrow down your choices to one.
30 cheap porch ceiling ideas
If you have time but with a tight budget, a cheap porch ceiling is a breath of fresh air in upgrading your home’s aesthetics. If you are looking for something to start from, here is a rundown of cheap porch ceiling ideas to get a head start.
1. Stained wood porch ceiling
Sometimes, you do not need to match the porch ceiling’s color to the rest of the trims and the exterior color of the house. Stained wood pallet porch ceilings are standouts as they exude elegance and dark contrast to other neutrals. With its natural grains showing, you are in for a traditional, elegant feel.
2. Rustic unfinished wood porch ceiling
If you have wood porch floors, rustic pieces, and seating sets and neutral beams, exterior trims, and railings, a rustic unfinished wood porch ceiling gives off an organic visual appeal. It is very homey too as you can just take off your slippers to feel the wood on your feet and having an unfinished wood porch ceiling harmoniously strings the feel.
3. Exposed beams
Exposing thick wooden beams painted in white or wood tones is another design fix that makes the porch ceiling a tropical look or a Latin American home. Match it with rattan seating, large brown ceiling fans, and large tropical plants and you are in for a tropical mix.
4. Pastel-colored porch ceiling
A variant of the exposed beam design would be the beach house vibe of a pastel-colored porch ceiling. It adds a trendy, playful tone to your home. Add in white and blue or other pastel-colored accent pieces to complete that beach house porch that you are aiming for.
5. Monochromatic exposed beams
For a more harmonious look and emphasis on the exposed beams, you can go with dark stained wood for a monochromatic semi-wrap around the porch ceiling. The exposed beams are more accentuated by concrete or stone pillars and arched trims.
6. Vinyl slab porch ceiling
The common PVC ceiling design is one that resembles wood panels but for a modern, polished design, reflecting the lights or surrounding water features, a vinyl slab porch ceiling is the right fit. Paint the porch ceiling with the same paint as the exteriors of the home for a cohesive look.
7. Open peak porch ceiling
If you are not a fan of enclosed porches, a free-flowing design completed by an open peak ceiling is the best choice for you. This design makes the porch an ideal space for power naps and reading books. Add in a hammock or a lounge chair and face a garden view for relaxation.
8. Beadboard porch ceiling
This one is basically vinyl and it is now a preferred porch ceiling choice because it is inexpensive and resistant to a lot of wear issues. It is perfect for an English cottage style home with lots of neutral accents. It has a regal, Victorian effect especially for modern enclosed porches like this one.
9. Tongue and groove porch ceiling
This design is one of the most traditional porch ceiling designs, but you can notch it up a bit by painting it with bolder colors and by using steel brackets to add dynamics to the columns and beams of the ceiling like this open porch.
10. Circular porch ceiling
Wherever you are, the dome or circular porch ceiling design gives you the feeling of a seaside or Mediterranean home. It could be made of wood, beadboard, or vinyl. It provides a lot of airflows and a full view of the outdoors. Add in wood or rattan seating and a coffee table to enjoy a breathtaking view.
11. Low-hung horizontal open porch ceiling
For a relaxing open porch, consider a low-hung horizontal porch ceiling made of vinyl or wood. It is a fine touch for flat, concrete floors. It is enhanced by water features and a lot of tropical greens.
12. Glass and metal porch ceiling
This combination is becoming a modern trend in Japanese inspired porches. It is a good insulating feature and a beautiful energy-saving design for large open porches. It also makes a good fit for indoor-outdoor transitions. Line in a row of metal beams and fiberglass for its columns.
13. Corrugated metal porch ceiling
This is perhaps one of the most cost-efficient porch ceiling designs out there. It could be made of repurposed corrugated metal with wood beams or metal on metal using stainless steel beams. It will stand out with good complements with the lights and seating.
14. Galvanized iron porch ceiling
If you are working for an indoor-outdoor transition for a studio type living space, a good fit would be galvanized iron for a porch ceiling. With this, you can get the vibe of being outdoors but at the same sheltered from elements. It is less expensive too.
15. Modern industrial
For a more industrial flair featuring plastic porch ceiling on wood beams, try this angled porch ceiling on a compact, makeshift porch designed for a home in Missouri.
16. Natural porch ceiling
You can make your porch into a Cabo, Mexico outdoor experience by indulging in nipa leaves for the porch ceiling. If you have a pool, the porch could extend up to the poolside to make the porch a visual display like no other.
17. Close-open transition ceiling
Wood ceilings need not be standard. You can go for more flashy designs like a close-open transition. This means that one side is made of farmhouse style ceiling and the other side could be an extended pergola or widely slatted wood beams with no columns like this back porch from this Pacific Northwest home.
Related: Pergola ideas and designs
18. Repurposed porch ceiling
If you are working on a smaller-sized porch, you could go for repurposed materials like good condition steel pipes and wood beams. Just add in some lounge chairs and lightwork to hang by the columns for a polished look.
19. Open tray porch ceiling
Incorporating an open tray porch ceiling for a transition porch is a modern design to look out for. It is beautiful in contrast to stone columns, concrete exterior, and tropical plants for the view. A modern, electric fireplace as the centerpiece makes the open tray porch ceiling a stylish fix.
20. Powder-coated aluminum porch ceiling
For an elevated or leveled porch, you can opt for a powder-coated aluminum porch ceiling. It is an effective sun filter ceiling for high porches. It goes well for acrylic and fiberglass railings.
21. Drywall porch ceiling
For homes with leveled living spaces featuring multi-leveled roofs, the most polished design would be a drywall porch ceiling. It provides a seamless transition for the indoors to outdoors because it matches with the flat design of the house’s roofs.
22. Oriental bamboo porch ceiling
For a Balinese vibe porch, you can also try bamboo porch ceilings. Again, this can work as an extended pergola, but you could also use this for farmhouse style porches. This one is perfect for tropical climates such as Southern California, Hawaii, or Florida.
Related: Florida backyard landscape ideas
23. Thatched porch ceiling
Extending the oriental feel would be using a thatched ceiling for your porch. This one works well in outdoor-indoor transition porches. It is cozy, casual, and tropical and it can be made DIY.
24. Shade sails
The best way to extend your living space is to just be casual about the porch. As such, you can put up wood or steel beams where shade sails can be mounted. They can be spaced out for more air and sun or overlapping when you want more light filters.
25. Pergola extension porch ceiling
Another retrofit that looks beautiful on any home would be a pergola extension. If the exteriors are wood, go with wood. If it is vinyl, go for vinyl. A pergola extension is good for semi-private porches. You can also add privacy sheer curtains for the enclosure.
26. Roman shade porch ceiling
If you are considering other options for a pergola extension porch, a Roman shade ceiling is a beautiful choice. Like the slatted design, it provides filtered light. It is perfect for open porches near water features.
27. Farmhouse style porch ceiling
Farmhouse style porches are high on the angled symmetry of thin yet long wood panels. Contrasting it with wood or stone porch pillars, a central fireplace and outdoor rattan seating make it an upscale farmhouse porch for everyone to love.
28. Slatted porch ceiling
It is also called a sunroof design and could act as a porch pergola where filtered light could seep in or for beautiful vines to creep in. If you do not have a back porch in your home, a sunroof is a good retrofit to have. It offers a shady space with minimum costs.
29. Fiber cement porch ceiling
Fiber cement is typical for ceilings but for a porch ceiling, you can notch it up a bit. You can use the material as the ceiling’s base and beneath it, add pieces of weatherboards to make the porch look like a modern shack.
30. Leafy porch ceiling
If you use fine slatted panels for your ceiling or arranged steel wires where the climbers could naturally grow themselves, you might have a leafy porch ceiling in no time. It is perfect for urban homes.
Porch ceiling materials
The four materials commonly used for porch ceilings are wood, plywood, beadboard, PVC, and composite materials. Each of these materials has its pros and cons.
Wood: This material is still a top choice because of its unwavering classic touch. Another variant would be the tongue and groove material which features a mixture of wood pieces. While it is durable, wood is still vulnerable to outdoor elements and it is also expensive.
Plywood: This one is the most common ceiling sheet for porches because it is way cheaper than wood. Compared to wood, it is more resistant to damage due to moisture. It can also be stained like wood or could be painted with any color.
Beadboard: This one is made of durable plastic and is considered a fusion of wood and composite materials. It is basically maintenance-free as it is corrosion and moist resistant. It is also easier to install.
PVC: For harsher climates or coastal locations, PVC is the outright choice. It comes with many designs, it is durable and like beadboard, it is maintenance-free. PVC is the most popular choice for any ceiling project nowadays.
Composite materials: If you do not like working on wood or plastic materials, use composite materials for your porch ceiling. It is soft, very workable, and is not vulnerable to moisture and molds. They can resemble wood too.
With all of these, there are still important things to consider before embarking on that porch ceiling project. To cap it all off, here are some frequently asked questions about porch ceilings.
What color should you paint your porch ceiling?
The safest colors to paint your porch ceiling would be white and other neutrals or blue. They go well with any home exterior style and they make integrating the accent decorations more seamless. However, while neutrals are safe colors, you still must consider the overall design of your home and the type of vibe your porch must-have. From there, choosing the best paint color would be a no-sweat decision.
Why are porch ceilings painted blue?
The tradition of painting ceilings with blue is more complex than one would think. Blue painted porch ceilings have a historical origin, specifically in the deep south. Architectural archives and historians documented that this practice came from coastal creole communities of Georgia and South Carolina.
This practice comes from the beliefs of a specific creole group called the Gullah Geechee. Bringing in their animistic tradition of their ancestors from the coastal regions of Seychelles and the Bahamas, they believed that blue, specifically ‘haint’ blue or the color of the sea and sky, wards off bad spirits.
The color haint blue was not just limited to porch ceilings but also to the shutters and exterior trims of the home.
Do porch ceilings keep bugs away?
Not necessarily. But strikingly, science and lore would establish that a blue-colored ceiling will, and here is why.
In connection with the blue porch ceiling tradition, it is said that bugs and other insects will not niche on a blue colored ceiling because they would mistake it for the sky or for water. So, they fear blue because they associate it with drowning.
Do porch ceilings need ventilation?
Since porches provide the indoor-outdoor transition, ventilation is mostly unnecessary. They are built for the circulation of fresh air inside the home more than just an added living space for the home. But in some instances where you are considering an enclosed porch, ventilation might be needed.
Porches might be considered as traditional architectural embellishments, but it is impossible to imagine a house without one. Whether it is the conventional open or wraparound porch to more modern leveled and elevated porches, porch designs must be given a lot of thought and a huge fixture to consider should be porch ceilings.