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Home > Home Design Ideas > How To Decorate Rooms Designed With High Ceilings

One of the priorities for many people when decorating their homes is to create a feeling of space and airiness. This is not however something that people with high ceilings need to worry about. Living in a space that has well a lot of space creates its own challenges when decorating. There are several things you need to think about to create the kind of impact you want and rules that are suitable for regular spaces do not apply here. So if you are looking for tips and ideas on how to decorate rooms with high ceilings read on. The research you spend time doing now will be well worth it rather than spending time having to undo something that ended up looking awful!

Often high ceilings may be a main part of what drew people to make the purchase or build or renovation. That sense of amazing height can be awe inspiring. But then practicalities take over and you are faced wondering what you do with a room that has 17 inches or maybe even higher ceilings?

living-room-high-ceiling Living room with high ceiling


When hanging artwork in this kind of room this is a prime chance to get a really large piece of artwork to display. If money cannot yet stretch to this how about getting some interesting fabric hanging from a rod, or a large tapestry, or a large print or even a rug. Avoid having lots of tall artwork all around the walls that will loom over people in the room. It would be tempting to fill the wall space going all the way up to the ceiling but you need to remember people do not want cricked necks looking at it! Put some art work hung no more than 8 feet from the floor. This gives people something to look at other than the height above them.


Having this kind of height in the room means you can also splash out on something like a chandelier without it overtaking the room or looking tacky. Get one that is plenty large enough, a small one would get engulfed by the room and would not be effective as lighting. Choose a style that suits your décor and furnishings, if the rest of the room is simple there are chandeliers that are simpler and elegant too, if you have very decorative items in the room you can get something more intricate. Remember that you will at some point need to change the bulbs in it or have someone come in to do it for you! You can either have it hanging low enough so that a step ladder will be adequate or have it on a pulley so it can be lowered and cleaned on occasion too.

  chandelier Chandelier is ideal for room with high ceiling

Up lights are also a great choice. They will fill the upper space with a dramatic lighting effect and can be used at different levels in the room. Or use a combination of up lighting and down lighting with spot lights behind a vase or plant or other decorative item to add some interest. Lighting has a very direct impact on the mood or ambiance of a room so choose carefully. Also remember the kind of lighting you might have placed in a different room is not going to be effective here. A table lamp and a couple of ceiling lights are not enough and would look odd. Flood lights and sconces are something that would be more appropriate in the right places though make sure the sconces are larger and taller to be suitable for this kind of room.


Since you have a room with height your accessories should have height too. Look at tall vases rather round short ones, tall plants or sculptures that can handle being in the room without being dwarfed.  Decorating a room with a high ceiling is a chance to be bold in your choices, for example something like the fiddle leaf fig which starts narrow and then grows tall and at the top spreads out.

panel-detailing Panel detailing – great for high ceiling rooms

Horizontal lines

Create some balance in the room too, don’t make everything about tall lines and height. Have some horizontal lines created in the room like a low long couch, a long mantle piece over the fireplace, a bench perhaps.

The walls

The temptation or inclination is to fill up the space with stuff. But too much can ruin the effect just as too little can overwhelm. If you have opted for one large piece of art then that may be all you need in the room in terms of artwork. Remember when you look at color that light colors make a room feel larger and darker colors make a room feel smaller. When painting you could choose to have an accent wall in the room. Take the tallest wall and paint it a different color to the rest or cover it in an interesting wallpaper to create a very unique and bold focal point people will comment on. Use deep colors if you want to, in a room with so much space you do not need to avoid dark colors because of the fear of making a room seem small!

painting-ceiling Hang some paintings

The rule of thirds

One way interior designers deal with a large space is to split the room into three horizontal parts with each part being a place or chance for a different approach to design. This makes the space visually engaging and breaks it up into easier and more manageable sections when decorating. Each section should have something in common with each other still, for example possibly a color and the middle section should be paired with one of the other parts, either the top or the bottom. The section not paired with the middle can be something more bold or different to create contrast. Examples of this method include using wall paneling on the bottom section and then wallpaper or paint for the middle and top. Things like panel rails can help to keep the middle and bottom parts separate from each other.

The ceiling

Since people are naturally drawn to look up when in a room with a high ceiling you could choose to decorate your ceiling so they have something else other than the light fixtures to look at. Ceiling roses, domes and centers are one option that go very well if you have a grand lighting fixture like a chandelier. You can get roses in symmetrical, circular and floral patterns and domes can be either inverted or mounted depending on the effect you want to create and what you like better. Usually domes look better in a modern styled room and roses are more suited to something more traditional in style.

ceiling-tiles Ceiling tiles for textures

Another option for the ceiling is to use tiling. You can add great texture to the room this way and it can be a way to draw in some of that space so you can still feel cozy in it. If you like the look of ceiling tiling the walls should be kept in a more block and neutral color so they do not clash. If you have beams up there have them exposed. It is not only something to draw the eye it also helps to make the room feel warmer, and they are not just something that are suitable for rustic style décor, they can work wonderfully in a modern or contemporary style too.

The do nots when decorating rooms with high ceilings

  • Do not overcrowd the walls with pictures
  • Avoid cluttering with small items
  • Large pieces of furniture look better than small
  • Too much vertical decoration and not enough horizontal to create balance
  • Avoid small lamps

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Categories: Home Design Ideas

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