When most people think about porch ceiling ideas they think of the classic French and American barn designs. Barn style ceilings are created by looping metal beams between joists, creating a roof structure that sits upon a frame. Most people use metal for this type of construction and you will find it offered in both antique and modern patterns and colors. Barn style ceilings look great when painted or stained with a rustic motif. For a more modern look you can try using shingles or metal.
A beautiful addition to any porch is a cedar ceiling. While a cedar ceiling will not match the charm of a barn it will compliment it very nicely. A cedar ceiling also lends itself very easily to outdoor uses since it is weather resistant and naturally insulating. If you decide to stain or paint your porch ceiling, you should take special care not to choose a design that is too complicated or geometric for a casual home.
Some other great ideas for a rustic style ceiling include exposed beams and spiral staircases. Exposing beams to natural light is a great way to provide light and a natural feel to your porch ceiling. You can do this by placing windows near the exposed beams or you can add skylights. If your existing ceiling has windows then why not make use of them instead of installing new windows which will require more construction and cost.