Well, I haven't had this problem before as this is the first house we get to choose paint in. We rented while dh was in the service, so we didn't do the painting. And this house actually has acoustic on all the ceilings (except bathrooms). The kitchen half had it but not the dining (yes, there was a line down part of the middle)
but now we opened it up more by taking out a cabinet "wall" that ran floor to ceiling (divided all but walkway). So we scraped off the acoustic and had the ceiling retextured totally flat, from kitchen to dining nook.
So, this is all a bit much for me right now. I have some ideas but I don't want to screw it up! And dh is basically pretty colorblind so he's no help in this.
The true neutral idea sounds nice.