How to Decorate Rooms With Vaulted Ceilings


Rooms with vaulted ceilings tend to seem larger, even feeling grand when you walk into them. Decorating rooms with vaulted ceilings, particularly larger rooms, can be tricky because of the room's size and scale. The best way to decorate a room with vaulted ceilings is to make the ceiling a part of the decor. Treat it like a fifth wall -- the finishing touch to your room.

  • Paint the walls in a warm color to make the room feel more intimate. Carry the same color onto the ceiling, or choose a darker shade of the color to visually bring the ceiling down a bit. If you'd rather go with patterns, consider large-patterned wallpaper on the expansive walls, with a complementary warm color on the ceiling.

  • Place large furniture in the room. Small, dainty furniture would be overshadowed and appear awkward in a room with vaulted ceilings. Instead, opt for heavy, substantial furniture such as large bookshelves, overstuffed sofas or large tables. If the room is extremely large, consider breaking it into separate spaces by grouping your furniture in different arrangements. For example, a reading nook, conversation area and media center would work in a large family room or great room.

  • Use lights, lamps or chandeliers that are proportioned to the room. For example, a grand chandelier or large row of hanging lights could work. Hanging lights that are too small for the room will look out of place.

  • Hang pictures, mirrors, artwork or even large decorative rugs on the walls. Anything you hang on the wall should be proportioned to that wall's height and width so it is noticeable. For example, an 8-by-10-inch picture would look silly on a 20-foot wall. If the wall space is too high to hang artwork, use a rug or mirror that still can be appreciated from floor level.

  • Fill the room with accessories to pull the color scheme and theme together. Place houseplants and potted trees in the room that have the same scale as the room and ceiling. Large rugs, throws, pillows, candles, vases and flower arrangements are some of the things you can use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Beams or trim can be used to make the ceiling appear lower or more ornate. For example, if you hang beams that go across the room where the walls meet the lower part of the ceiling, it will give the illusion of a lower ceiling.
  • Hang lights or ceiling fans so they fall where they would with a typical ceiling, to make the space feel cozier.
  • Use large bookshelves back-to-back to break up the space in a room if you want to divide it. Top the shelves with decorative jars, vases or houseplants.
  • Decorative rugs, drapes and furniture in heavier fabrics or fun patterns can help keep the focus down on your room rather than up on the ceiling.
  • Vaulted ceilings can cause acoustic problems. Avoid echoes by filling the room. Place carpets on the floor, artwork on the walls and use heavy fabric drapes.

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  • Photo Credit ceiling fan image by Adrian Hillman from
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