Is Your Tray Ceiling Giving Away Your Age?

There are few things that can give away the age of your home, or the date of your decorating, like how you paint out that trey ceiling.  I recently did a Staging Consultation for a Nashville Realtor who was about to list a home to sell.  This was the first thing you saw upon entry into the home:

painted trey ceiling

Dining Room Before

I recognized that several things were working against this listing, making it look dated.  The tray ceiling featured the appearance of three visible racing stripes, the entire room was painted in a strong gold color, and the side wall was all mirror.   Working on a small budget, what could be done to update this space on a dime?  Just the right color, and just the right color placement, of course!

gray dining room trey tray ceiling

Dining Room After

The on-trend wall color, tamed tray ceiling, and trim paint beneath the chair rail visually expands the size of this room that previously bombarded the senses in an almost-oppressive manner.  All I did was tell them what color to paint and where to apply it.  The consultation continued into the living room, which was connected to this room by a fairly-open hallway space.  Here it was “before”:

DSC_3581

Living Room Before

Again, a new updated paint color was essential.  Removing the colorful window treatments served to remove the choppy effect of the strong contrast of red on gold.  In this case, it was better for staging purposes to have no treatment at all.  Removing the rug also made the room appear larger than it did previously, which is one of the most important goals in home staging.

staged living room

Living Room After

As I’m sure you’ve heard me say, staging is quite different than decorating.  While I’ve been on vacation this week, I’ve also been working on editing my upcoming book, Psychological Staging – The Home Staging Secrets of The Decorologist.  I’m going to run now, as my family is putting on sunscreen to head to the beach – I don’t want to be left behind!  Have a great day!

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Betty
Betty
7 years ago

WOW! WHAT A It’s like a whole new house! BRAVO!!!!!! The owners probably now want to STAY!!! 🙂

Betty
Betty
7 years ago

I meant, “WHAT A DIFFERENCE”!

LibbyP
LibbyP
7 years ago

All of your changes make an amazing difference and didn’t cost much at all!! Removing the rug also allows more of the hardwood to show, thus making sure that potential buyers appreciate the flooring!!

We’ve moved a lot – I know staging and decorating are different – but now I tend to stage instead of decorate – usually it is the other way around!

Thanks for great design, great photos!

Cherie
Cherie
7 years ago

It looks so much better! To me, it seems you have turned an eyesore into an architectural detail. I am confused by the spelling of “trey” ceiling, however. I thought it was “tray” because it makes the ceiling look like an inverted tray.
Enjoy your time at the beach. Lucky you!

Pam
Pam
7 years ago

I was just getting ready to paint my living room walls the color in this “before” living room shot. I must not be paying attention. My house has stained woodwork throughout and everything is earthy colors. I don’t like grays or blues in any form or fashion. I’m confused. But don’t think about that while you’re at the beach.

Maria
7 years ago

Love the transformation!

Kristie, I’d like to know how much you charge for a virtual consultation. I live in south Florida and need advice on my foyer. It would not be “staging” it since we have no plans to move but I do need advice!
Thanks!
Maria

Beth
Beth
7 years ago

Love, love, love that new dining room!

Patricia
Patricia
7 years ago

Personally I never cared for the ketchup mustard combination in decorating. As a rospective buyer, I would have cringed upon entering and had a horrible experience. Plus the mirror magnified it 10x. Prob would have referred to it as the condiment house. LOVE what you recommended! The new color even makes the mirror issue disappear. You are a miracle worker!

Carol Frampton
Carol Frampton
7 years ago

When you use the trim paint color to paint below the chair rail, do you use the same semi-gloss paint that you use to paint the trim?

Colleen
Colleen
7 years ago

Wow, the room looks a lot bigger now, and looks much better with the gold and red gone! Great work Kristie!

iclectblue
iclectblue
7 years ago

It’s tray ceiling, like a serving tray.

iclectblue
iclectblue
7 years ago

OK, then what does it mean? Sounds like somebody tried to embellish and make it sound more fancy. Pretentious.

iclectblue
iclectblue
7 years ago

Don’t mean to belabor the point, but if you would research more thoroughly, (like more than several years ago) the original term is tray because it resembles a tray. The term trey is a relatively recent trend, most likely a misspelling adopted by those ignorant of the actual terms.

Karen Nelson
7 years ago

Love the way you transformed the room with color! Looks fantastic!!!!

Apple Blue
Apple Blue
7 years ago

Decorating is hard for me because of all of my moves and now I live in Germany. I’m still waiting for my furniture to arrive! Some day, when I have my forever home, I will be able to apply what I am learning from your posts. For now, I make the best of trying to fit my furniture in many different size and style homes.
Also interesting about the trey/tray ceiling spelling. I wonder if the owners of my first home love the trey ceiling I painted Williamsburg Blue to match the walls!

Lauren
Lauren
7 years ago

Wow! The rooms don’t even look like the same spaces!! Great job as always Kristie!

Lori Carroll
Lori Carroll
7 years ago

What color paints are on the “after” rooms? Wow, such a difference for te better!

shannon hickman
shannon hickman
7 years ago
Reply to  Lori Carroll

I would love to know the colors of the room and the trey ceiling too.

Erica
Erica
7 years ago

I just painted the double trey ceiling of our new home all white last week thanks to this post and everyone who has seen it talks about how great it looks compared to the old stair step look. Thanks for the inspiration!

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[…] tray ceiling (a ceiling with series of steps or layers) can be a special architectural feature in a home. […]

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
6 years ago

Hi Kristie, when you paint below the chair rail the same color and finish as the trim, is it ok if the wall is textured or does that look funny and texture need to be removed?

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[…] color was wrapped onto the ceiling here, too. With such little wall space painted yellow, it just reads like a stripe of color.  In fact, that stripe draws your attention to the intersection of white and yellow, which makes […]

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