We’ve talked about dealing with low ceilings and sloping ceilings, but what if you design dilemma is exactly the opposite? Those lofty ceilings may be fabulous, but they can require a bit of special attention to keep the space from feeling cavernous. How can you maintain all the drama and still have a cozy, welcoming room? The secret is in using scale and structure; here’s how.
Tall ceilings are the perfect place for crown molding. Got really, really tall ceilings? Consider placing the molding at an intermediate ceiling level and adding a different color paint above to break up the vertical space.
If you don’t want to add molding, or it just doesn’t suit your style, you can still create a break in the vertical line with a horizontal border or paint trim. It doesn’t have to be bold, it can be even a subtle texture change and still have big impact.
Darker colors can work beautifully to bring a lofty ceiling in. We’ve been saying all along that a dark ceiling can actually make a room feel larger, but paired with lighter colored walls, a dark ceiling will add a sense of coziness and high drama to your space.
Trusses, beams and other architectural details like arches all work to break up the vast visual vertical. They’ll lend interest and weight to the space, making it feel more homey.
If you’re making big changes, consider adding curved windows above your standard windows. They’ll help bring everything down a bit. Another alternative would be to create a wall of varied windows, using smaller, busier window styles on top and larger, more open ones below.
Think about zones and create them. You can isolate living areas and work areas in pools of light, leaving the rest darker. For some, that works; for others, it makes them feel as if they’re in a void. If that’s you, opt for soft lighting that highlights the ceiling and architectural details to create a sense of space, and interest.
Pick large pieces of sculpture or painting, wall-mounted wood carvings, or other large, dramatic art pieces. Make sure to light them well for instant drama, and to make your space feel more accessible. Pick pieces that are large and look good from across the room.
A room with a grand ceiling is not the place for diminutive accessories and fixtures, but don’t confuse large-scale with bulky. From furniture to light fixtures, opt for pieces that have visual presence, no matter their style.
Less isn’t always more
In a large room with high ceilings you may need to use several techniques, or even several of the same thing (multiple pieces of art, or light fixtures) to create the look and feel you want. Don’t just paint the ceiling a dark color, add architectural interest as well, and some art work, and lighting, and… this is not a time to be restrained.
With just a little effort and the right accents, your high-ceilinged room can hold onto all its drama, but still feel like home sweet home.