6 Tips for Decorating Rooms With High Ceilings

Make the most of your soaring ceilings

Living space with white walls and high ceilings

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

If you crave extra space but what you have is vertical, it can pose some unique decorating challenges.

Having high ceilings means having a fair amount of unused space over the 8-foot-high mark. It can make a room feel grand and luxurious, but it can also make a room feel cold and empty. In fact, a room with high ceilings can look quite terrible if not properly addressed. In order to avoid this, you need to blend the upper and lower areas by drawing the eye upwards.

Here are six ways to decorate a tall room and make the most of your soaring ceilings.

Hang Artwork Up High

Make use of the empty space on the high parts of the wall by hanging art and other decorative items there. This could be by way of a gallery-style wall that runs the entire height, or you could hang something large high up the wall. Whatever you hang should obviously tie in with the rest of the room, but whether it’s one large item or several small ones, a decorated wall will help draw the eye upwards.

Take Window Treatments to the Ceiling

This is a tough one for some people to wrap their heads around, but no matter how tall the windows are, hang your draperies at ceiling height. If you bring them any lower, you will create a division in the wall and make the upper area feel cold and isolated. This will require a lot of fabric, but it will create a very dramatic effect and make your room look fantastic. Your best bet is to use a solid color for this. A pattern can be overwhelming when used at this scale.

Use Architectural Details

Many homes with high ceilings already have architectural details such as exposed beams or beadboard. If yours does not, consider adding some. Granted, it can be costly, but adding details to the ceiling will help it feel more connected to the rest of the space. Architectural details also add depth and character to otherwise plain spaces.

Hang a Statement Light Fixture

A large statement fixture hanging in a prominent spot is an ideal way to connect the upper and lower portions of a room. Where you hang it will depend on the room, but centered in the middle of the room or over the coffee table is always a good bet. Look for something that is large but not necessarily heavy in scale. For instance, a crystal chandelier can be a striking and elegant option.

Create a Feature Wall

A feature wall from floor to ceiling can help unite the two parts of the room. It can be achieved inexpensively with a can of paint, or you can do something more elaborate. If you have a fireplace, consider extending it upwards with more tile, brick, or stone. A wood pallet wall is another unique option that will enhance and not overwhelm the space. Wallpaper can work for this type of feature wall. Just be sure to hire a professional to hang it, since doing any work at cathedral-ceiling heights is too dangerous for a do-it-yourself project.

Use Shelving Creatively

Shelving is a great way to make use of otherwise empty wall space, and when it comes to tall rooms, there are a lot of options. Tall bookcases can work, but if the room is particularly tall, you may have to think outside the box. Book lovers may appreciate an entire feature wall made of shelving, but also consider hanging some floating shelves in different spots on the wall. Styling them will require a tall ladder, but it can definitely be worth it.