How to Use a High Ceiling

To start with, consider yourself lucky. Many homeowners would be thrilled to have a decorating problem like high ceilings. However, I get it. Rooms with sufficient headroom for an ogre require special attention (as if they didn’t already get sufficient).

Sure, monuments, cathedrals and statues work on a grand scale to make a sense of awe and respect. But in our houses, overly high ceilings may cause us to feel dwarfed. And when not treated correctly, they could make anything but a cozy feeling.

If you want your high-ceiling space to have a cozy sense, bring down some elements into the volume to divide the space. This strategy, together with additional focus on the walls, will help it better relate to human scale. Here’s the way to do it.

Gabriel Builders Inc..

Millwork adds significance. A grand room like this warrants detailed decorative trim on a grand scale. Hefty crown molding defines the intermediate ceiling level. Above that, boxed panel detailing breaks up the planes and adds texture.

Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design

Combine the dark side. We are frequently told that dark colors recede — and for walls, I concur. But when the dark color is about the ceiling, like from the area here, it reduces the perceived space. Gravity is at play here, also. The dark color works well because the substantial rock fireplace appears as though it might bear the weight.

Giambastiani Design

Break this up. For those who get a tall wall like this, add a paint line or flat material to definewhere the ceiling typically would be. A subtle change of management in wall paneling would also help increase the effect.

Mark Hickman Homes

Insert structure. Exposed trusses are not just for barns and cathedrals. They produce architectural significance. Consider arches, flat beams and anything else that will relate well to the arrangement you have.


Change the window shape. If you’re working on a new build or an addition and doubling up on windows, then use curved shapes close to the ceiling to help pull down everything visually.

Johnston Design Group

Change the window details. If you’re filling a wall with windows, use various structures of muntins and mullionsfor variety.

FORMA Design

Add sculpture. Occasionally a cove ceiling may just feel cavernous.It’s a fantastic location for three-dimensional art, like this ceiling-mounted piece. Bounce light off it and you have instant drama.

International Custom Designs

Add interest. A distinctive combination of art components breaks up the wall on the left. Inset paintings hang over glass panels together with trickling water. A fundamental organic bit links the two levels visually.

Too many rectangles here would have been, well, also many rectangles, which might have made the wall feel like it went on forever. The blend of natural shapes helps relate the top part into the reduced, bringing everything down a notch.

DKOR Interiors Inc.- Interior Designers Miami, FL

Make a material change. The juxtaposition of wood paneling (flat to keep it modern) and rock breaks up the wall on the left side.

Select a material to replicate and use it to divide an expansive wall. It’s beautiful the way the wood tones onto the wall echo the wood tones of the flooring.

Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, PLLC

Create a zone. A cooktop hood with exhaust fan and light hovers within the cooking station, creating a more romantic zone. It’s possible to bring components down into a space to define function or work locations.

DKOR Interiors Inc.- Interior Designers Miami, FL

Add art. But keep it big scale. Select pieces with daring subject matter that are best admired from throughout the room. They’ll work beautifully within this unexpected placement.

I simply love the way the cobalt blue at the paintings here complements the yellow-orange from the paintings below. This sense of connection creates the towering region feel more romantic.


Light it up. I could just picture this chamber will appear at night — it will have feel and intrigue rather than being a dark void. In case you have subjected structural or textural components, play them off with dramatic lighting.

Beckwith Interiors

Scale it directly. Correct scale is essential. This isn’t the time to pick a little lighting fixture, unless you’re going to install multiples of it. This delicate piece is ideal — outsized but not obese.

To determine what size lighting fixture you’ll need, start by measuring the space. Insert the length and the width of the space; this is going to provide you an approximate diameter to the light fixture in inches. By way of example, if your area is 8 feet by 10 feet, then 18 inches would be ideal.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

When more is more. A graceful swath of fabric on its own would not be sufficient to make balance within this room. The eyebrow is the missing bit.

Jan Gleysteen Architects, Inc

Use several techniques. Arches, big pendants and a colour change combined help control this distance. In case you have a stately rock fireplace that goes to the ceiling, then paint the top half of the wall a warm color to tone it down.

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