Decorating Ideas For High Ceilings

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I'm often asked what to do in the case of high ceilings.  While high ceilings can pose certain challenges, I don't think they need to be "over thought".  And I certainly don't think inch of wall needs something on it. Let's take a look at a few examples.

1.  Careful art placement.
I suspect we've all been in a home with high ceilings and seen the random piece of art floating up high all by itself.  I usually err on the "less is more side".  However, if there is a need for art, and often there is, I would recommend something like this vertical grouping that runs from floor to ceiling (almost).  The visual impact of a grouping is much better than one piece floating all alone, way up high.  There really is strength in numbers.

2.  Think horizontally.
The image below is a good example of minimal decor with lots of texture.  The horizontal planking brings down the visual height and leaves little need for art on the walls.

3.  Focal wall if you must.
I'll be honest.  I've never been a fan of the focal (please don't hate), but I do see the need (or appropriate place) for one from time to time.  This is the perfect example of a well placed focal wall.  In the absence of window treatments, the contrasting color behind the mantel gives this room the visual punch it needs.

4.  Connect the windows with paneling.
Window treatments can be very challenging in two story living rooms.  You have two options. Either ignore them or embrace them.  If you plan to ignore them and only place curtains on the lower windows, I like the idea of adding detail between the top and bottom windows as shown below.


5.  Hang em high.
Nothing makes a statement like hanging curtains high in a two story living room!  This can be a real stunner if custom drapery is in the budget.  I love Lori's design here.

6.  Add moulding.
Another solution is to add moulding (and in this case planking) to break up the wall.  

7.  Add moulding and color.
The addition of the contrasting color at the top of this room creates a cozy feel down below.


I'm curious, is there anything you would add to this?


  1. GREAT post and so many wonderful ideas; I'm pinning them all. Have a great day Rene. xo Nancy

  2. These are super ideas. Not everyone has a cottage style home and these ideas can make a bigger and newer home feel more elegant and cozy. I especially love the last one.

  3. Love the idea to connect the windows with paneling, very clever! I did a similar post not long ago and remember talking about the scale of artwork and other pieces of furniture.

    1. Scale is very important! Thanks for that reminder Pam!

  4. I like the last one. It's amazing what paint can do to a space! Great ideas!

  5. I'm currently working on a client's living room and the ceilings are low...of course these provide challenges as well! But you've provided some great ideas for making high-ceiling rooms look cozier and warmer, and not so cavernous. The photo in #2 I used in my post on Monday, talking about choosing a white wall paint- I love that room! Elle


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