Some designs have a very deep beam that is very ugly and plaster ceiling can hide them. With plaster ceiling you have the advantage of installing recessed lights or down lights and eliminate harsh lighting.
Plaster ceiling design can be very elaborate or can be a simple design. An elaborate design will suit a larger homes.
For smaller homes, a simple design is much better since it will not lower your ceiling too much. Bungalows and semi detached homes in Malaysia are designed to have higher ceilings to give an airy feel to the house. Thus a 6 to 8 inch drop will not be too much. For a smaller house, normally the concrete ceiling is already low. Adding an elaborate plaster ceiling will make your house feels cramped.
If you house has a low ceiling, then it would be better to just install cornices at the corners. This will ensure that your ceiling is still looks good without reducing the air space.
In the past, many people like to have plaster ceiling with a L shaped ledge to hide fluorescent light tubes. The advantage of this type of design is that you can use hidden florescent tubes that will give soft even lighting. On the other hand, some owners realized that this type of design tend to trap dead insects and lizard droppings after a while.
Another point for you to consider is that even though the lighting is even with this type of design, you have to install quite a number of light tubes thus your electric bill could be higher. Installing down lights is the other option. There are two types of down lights, those where the bulb is position is horizontal and those that are vertical. The choice of recessed lights will determine how much your ceiling needs to be lowered to accommodate the lights. Bear in mind that with LED lights becoming more popular, the reduction in ceiling height can be minimized today.
When you want to install your plaster ceiling, please ensure that you have install wiring for your home security or home entertainment system. Although you can install such wiring later, most of the time it will involve cutting a hole in your new ceiling and that is something you’ll want to avoid.
Here is an example of a simple plaster ceiling design. It allows lights to be hidden and recessed and yet, it does not lower the center portion of the ceiling thus allowing a fan to be installed there.
Below is an elaborate plaster ceiling design at a commercial premises. I’ve included it here just to give you an idea what is possible. You don’t have to stick with the usual design however it will be more difficult and expensive to install and maintain such ceilings.
When you are considering an elaborate design, I suggest you consult with an interior designer. The reason is you need to think about the size of your ceiling and what you want to achieve. With a design that is too eye catching, it becomes the center of attraction. All your guest will be spending their time looking at your ceiling alone rather than your home as a whole.