Resolving New Condominium Issues with Stretch Ceiling

The issues that annoyed the family in this condo are common to new condo units: Low ceilings covered with a popcorn (stucco) finish, small rooms, low light in the bedrooms and living room, and no ceiling light fixtures. Concrete ceilings are not only difficult to drill into to install fixtures, installing wiring behind them for such fixtures is impossible. There are often conduits for building services embedded in the concrete along with structural steel reinforcements, so drilling without x-raying or getting permission from your landlord or building manager first is dangerous.

Laqfoil Stretch Ceiling Solution

Laqfoil stretch ceiling provided a solution to all of these design challenges for this condo unit. A high gloss finish was chosen, as the reflections visually double the height of the space. We also added a small vector graphic, printed in each corner of the living room ceiling, for a unique aesthetic effect.

Installing a stretch ceiling also naturally conceals the popcorn ceiling behind it, but in this case, was also used to conceal the wiring necessary to add ceiling lights in every room. The wiring was simply attached to the existing popcorn ceiling. Laqfoil stretch ceiling is supported around the perimeter only, by tracks, or profiles which are only about 0.75″ thick. The ceiling membrane itself is less than one millimetre thick.

We constructed a suspended bulkhead above the island and covered it with red high gloss membrane, to visually separate the kitchen and living room while keeping the design’s open concept. This also provided a supporting structure for 3 mini chandelier pendant lights.

A red rose depicted on a black and white textured ground was chosen for the kitchen ceiling and applied using digital wide format printing technology, to tie the red, black and white colour scheme with the kitchen cabinets’ texture.

Speaking of roses, we did modernist and transitional variations on a classic interior design feature, the ceiling rose, as well. This circular feature is usually found in the centre of a room with lighting either affixed to or suspended from the centre of the circle.

Regarding ceiling roses, Wikipedia says:

“The rose has symbolized secrecy since Roman times, due to a confused association with the Egyptian god Horus. For its associations with ceilings and confidentiality, refer to the Scottish Government’s Sub Rosa initiative. Through its promise of secrecy, the rose, suspended above a meeting table, symbolizes the freedom to speak plainly without repercussion. The physical carving of a rose on a ceiling was used for this purpose during the rule of England’s Tudor King Henry VIII and has over the centuries evolved into a standard item of domestic vernacular architecture, to such an extent that it now constitutes a term for the aforementioned circular device that conceals and comprises the wiring box for an overhead light fitting.”

–Esther Yates-Abrams

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