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reflected ceiling plan, design, architect on demand, advice without strings

As DIY Ally, I’ve been asked to help with a design of a reflected ceiling plan (RCP). Nothing technical, just a drawing, which shows the lighting scheme of a space. A client’s email stated: “So we are adding a room to our house, it will be 16′ x 20′ with a single pitch ceiling from 12′ to 8.5′ high. We would like to get some input on ceiling and lighting design.”

reflected ceiling plan, design

At the construction site: a foundation is underway

Attached was a picture of construction in progress. The client wrote: “The roof will be a single pitch from just under the eave on the 3 window wall, essentially the windows you see will be arched openings into the new room.”

Before starting with the reflected ceiling plan design, I needed to get more information

In the follow-up email my client elaborated and I’ve compiled a list of bullet points to guide me:

  • The room faces south with a lot of windows so natural light will be abundant during the day.
  • It will be used as a playroom for kids to start with but will end up being living/great/maybe even dining area because it is so big.
  • First floor has 9′ ceiling heights.
  • “Our drywaller and carpenter are very talented, so wood or drywall art-type-things are solid choices.”
  • “My wife likes the idea of maybe the fake wood beams on the ceiling but that much stained pine might look cheap. Maybe a different species would look better.”
  • “The house has a pretty nice feel to it, craftsmanship is excellent on trim etc.”
reflected ceiling plan, design

Reflected ceiling plan: proposed concepts

Based on this information, I proposed a reflected ceiling plan design. It is referred to as a reflected ceiling plan since it is drawn to display a view of the ceiling as if it were reflected onto a mirror on the floor. This way the reflected ceiling plan has the same orientation as the floor plan associated with it. It is as if the ceiling were see-through and you could see right through it to the floor below.

I’ve laid out a grid of 3” architectural-grade recessed downlights and created a soffit that runs on both 20’ walls, parallel to the ridge — a very symmetrical composition.

Then, I used the same plan to do three variations in section.

reflected ceiling plan, design

Additional information changes everything

In response, the client sent a sketch! It blew my reflected ceiling plan design right out of the water. I am back to square one with this ceiling design!


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