Ceiling roses are ornamentations traditionally made of plaster that are used to decorate the area surrounding a central ceiling light. They were standard fashion items throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras, particularly among the upper classes where they were often used to complement a chandelier in a room with a high ceiling. Today, ceiling roses are made from a variety of materials including polymer-based products. This makes them much lighter than traditional plaster ceiling roses and therefore easier to install. Making ceiling roses from modern materials also gives a higher level of definition for those ceiling roses that are ornately decorated. Ceiling roses offer a focal point to a room and can be used to complement its contents. However, before you buy one there are a few things that you ought to consider that might influence your choice.
Firstly, you should consider the question – why you want to install a ceiling rose? Is it for entirely aesthetic reasons or is there a practical factor involved? Aesthetically, ceiling roses can add character to a room and help recapture the ‘period feel' that a building can have. They may be used to accentuate the beauty of a chandelier and to highlight the lines of light it throws out. Alternatively, it may just be used to cover cracks in the ceiling! Ideally, you should install your rose in the centre of the ceiling and this will have some bearing on your choice as in the case of ceiling roses, size really does matter.
Initially, there is the size of the ceiling to take into account. If the rose is too large, it will simply dominate the room and serve to make it feel more ‘closed in', rather than acting as a centrepiece. On the other hand if it is too small it will be a pointless exercise and the rose will become ‘lost' in the expanse of ceiling. There is also the height of the ceiling to consider. A high ceiling will cheerfully show off a larger ceiling rose, whereas on a lower ceiling it will tend to dominate the room. The room's height may also affect the level of decoration you wish your ceiling rose to have. The higher the ceiling, the bigger and bolder the design you can expect to accommodate. The lower the ceiling, the finer the detail you can sport, although in modern houses it is generally better to opt for something plain as installing an ornate rose can often be a case of ‘over-egging the pudding'.
There is also the question of existing decoration. Unless the room is being entirely redecorated, you may have to choose something that is sympathetic to its existing style. If you have intricately-patterned wallpaper you might want to minimise the amount of embellishment on your rose so that the overall design of the room does not become too ‘fussy'. If there are existing cornices and coving then it is far better to select a design that blends in than one that will confuse the focus of the room. Detail is also a concern should you be planning to adorn the area surrounding a chandelier; the more ornate your chandelier is, the less your ceiling rose should be. In these instances ceiling roses are there to offset the lighting, not the other way round.