Guide to planning plaster ceiling roses for your period home


Decorative plaster ceiling rose not centeredLeaving the purchase of decorative plaster ceiling roses until the last stages of your period property renovation can be problematic and a little planning before hand can save time and ensure you get the best job possible.

Although the installation of a decorative plaster ceiling rose is fairly straightforward for a skilled person, or even a good DIYer, there are other issues including the placement, style, delivery times and light fittings that need to be considered in advance otherwise you may risk expensive alterations, extra costs, or disappointing compromises on your original interior design project.

In this quick guide to planning and installing your decorative plaster ceiling roses we give you some advice and heads up on some common issues we see people have when buying their ceiling roses. We will walk you through the process of buying and installing these beautiful additions to your home. When we are done we hope you will know exactly what is involved and how to avoid common mistakes, which include:

  • Positioning – Not being able to have your decorative rose where you would like it
  • Size & Style – Mismatch of size and style between rose and other features
  • Escalating cost – Having to pay extra to install the rose due to unexpected lead times

Planning and installing your decorative plaster ceiling rose

Inform your workforce early of your intentions

Decorative ceiling roses often get left to the last minute during a  property renovation. As with any renovation or project in general, it’s good to let everyone who is involved know exactly what you are trying to accomplish, so they can visualise your end goal. By keeping people in the loop, it helps to get conversations going about issues that may pop up during your project.

Decide on placement and style before its to late

Traditionally ornate decorative ceiling roses where placed in the centre of the room and inline with the centre of the fireplace, this ensures the most aesthetically pleasing placement. That said, you can of course, place it where ever you choose. Either way, there are several structural items you need in place to allow you to do this. Firstly you need to have the electrical lighting cabling exactly where you need the plaster ceiling rose. Notifying your contractor early will allow him to coordinate the electrician to move the existing cabling to the new position before any decorating starts.

Secondly if your sticking to the traditional style and are having a heavy chandelier, you need to ensure that you have enough support for it to hang from, it is rare that a beam from the floor above will be directly inline with the center of your ideal plaster rose location so a supporting brace of wood will need to be added between to existing beams. letting your contractor know early when an where you would like your plaster rose enables a fairly low cost relocation of wires and installation of any supporting woodwork.

Factor in workshop lead times to reduce extra cost

Traditional decorative plaster ceiling roses generally need to be made on demand in a work shop. Lead times can range from a few days to a few weeks depending on customisation, and on how elaborate they are. You need to bear this in mind when coordinating the different trades during your renovation, if you want to minimise  labour costs. Your contractor will probably have given you a fixed price for doing renovation or decorating work, but if you do not have the materials ready when he needs them, then he can charge extra for any delays. You need to have the plaster ceiling rose onsite for when the decorator is there and its best to ensure its in place for when the electrician is doing his second fix, otherwise it could mean an extra callout and half a days labour from both of these trades if they need to come back at a later date. Failing to factor in lead times may also force you into buying an inferior ceiling rose just because you could get it quicker than the on you really wanted.

Key takeaways

  • Decide on your style and the placement early on and inform the contractor of your intentions
  • Factor in lead times to keep costs down and ensure you get your preferred decorative plaster rose

Top tips

Choose the right ceiling rose for the era of your home

Many decorative elements where repeated throughout the history of the ceiling rose, such as classical Roman and Greek dentils and regal swags and drops, but certain eras did differ in terms of styles and elaboration (see this post on the Victorian Ceiling Rose as an example) so a subtle nod to the correct era will make for a more satisfying job.

Consider the size and shape of your ceiling rose

Just as the style of your decorative ceiling rose is important, make sure you get the right size and shape for your room and your light fittings, an huge thick ceiling rose will look out of place in a small room, similarly a small thin ceiling rose will look odd with a grand chandelier hanging below it.

Avoid breakages when storing plaster ceiling roses in your home

Plaster mouldings are a specialist trade product and not all builders use them on a regular basis, decorative plaster ceiling roses are delicate and brittle and can be easily cracked or chipped if left in the path of contractors who are used to moving less breakable items around as they work. Try to keep them in a place where they will be left alone until they are installed.


Posted in Ceiling Rose, Georgian, Restoration, Victorian

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