A ceiling medallion, originally called a ceiling rose, comes from the early 1500s when King Henry the VIII ruled. The ceiling rose acted as a symbol of secrecy, and would be carved over a meeting table – meaning you could speak freely.
These days they act as decorative design elements in a room.
Where To Put Them
Decorative ceiling medallions are usually found framing a chandelier. But you can also use them to frame modern recessed lights – just like in picture (4), they can also be used to frame fans.
You can even repurpose a ceiling medallion, and use it in a creative DIY project. – Like decorating a closet door (DIY Challenge: Give Your Closet Doors A Makeover – Ideas and Design Tips)
Or create a decorative gallery wall of ceiling medallions. Stick a few different ones to a wall, and paint over them the same color as the wall
Different Shapes and Styles
When it comes to shapes, you have the standard circle. But you can also get oval, octagon and then there are more elaborate and decorative shapes, like the large ceiling medallion in picture (3)
The classic style is white. A white medallion on a white ceiling, will always look good. But you can see from pictures (6) (7) and (8) that the ceiling medallions can be painted over to add pops of color to the room (or painted black for a more modern look).
Check out the 2 piece ceiling medallion in picture (5), as an example of a unique design option.
For other ideas on how to decorate your ceiling, have look at this post: 3 Unique Vintage Ceiling Design Ideas. It goes over ideas including ceiling medallions, using Anaglypta wallpaper, and decorative crown molding.
For more decorative decor posts, search through the ideas on my page here.