There's certainly something inviting about a low-slung interior: a platform bed spilling its duvet onto hardwood, poufs and floor pillows in beckoning piles, stone slabs as coffee tables. Your shoes can come off; your body can puddle. It's very undeniably cozy, a room that clings to the floor.
But what about looking up? It's easy to forget that your airspace—in addition to your floors and your walls—is a canvas to decorate. And all the easy ways to do it (think: single dangling pendant bulb, a glinting mobile, a little planter dangling from twine) have one thing in common: They require that you put a hook in the ceiling.
Experienced home renovators will want me to scream this next part: To hang anything remotely heavy—a ceiling fan, a chandelier, a bike rack, a Calder (you've got one, no?)—from the ceiling, you'll want to mount it directly into a joist (that is, the wooden structure of the house itself).
But if what you'd like to hang is more of a delicate flourish (and well under ten pounds) and it can simply be looped over a hook, you can actually suspend it from your a drywall ceiling.
Here's how to mount a small hook (a "swag hook") to your drywall ceiling using a butterfly clip—and ten ideas for decorations to sling from it.
A swag hook and fitting butterfly clip (they come together in a nifty kit—more on that below), plus an electric drill with a bit that's just larger than the butterfly clip itself.
A butterfly clip (or a "toggle bolt," a "snap toggle," or a "molly bolt") is a type of hollow-wall anchor: You actually drive the clip part of it through a relatively wide hole in the wall, at which point it springs open on the other side of the hole and can be screwed to fit like a clamp, hugging the inside of your ceiling.
A note on max capacity: Beyond the weight of the object you're hanging, there are other factors that affect how much your ceiling can bear: The age and quality of your drywall, its thickness, the direction of the force you're affixing to it, and, of course, the size of the butterfly clip-swag hook set you choose. Even if your bolt can bear 30 pounds, your drywall might not! Here's a helpful chart that can help you make an educated guess at the weight limit of your ceiling—aim below it!
Have you ever hung accents from your ceiling? Share your tips in the comments!