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Decorating with Vaulted Ceilings

Opinions on vaulted ceilings are polarizing, right there with the black coffee vs. cream debate or how to mount the toilet paper roll so the sheets fall either over or under when you pull them off. (Except there’s no debate, the sheets go over the roll because that is the right way to live.)

Why do vaulted ceilings cause such debate? For starters, they make it very tough to heat a room efficiently. We live in a ski town where most of the condos were built with little square footage and a vaulted ceiling. True, the added height gives the allusion of a bigger room but in order to ski there must first be snow. And in order for there to be snow, it must first be frigid cold. And who wants to heat a 20 ft. tall room in the winter?

Secondly, I think people equate vaulted ceilings with the 80’s-90’s lofty look that was hot then but not after the millennium. The goal to provide a feeling of luxury and grandeur sometimes backfired because the homes just ended up feeling vacant and sparse. But, in my opinion, vaulted ceilings definitely have a place. I really like them because they DO give a feeling of a larger, airier space. Higher ceilings mean higher wall space, which allows room for more windows and natural light. The new build I’ve been working on has 9 ft. ceilings throughout the house with 20 ft. peaks in the kitchen and great room. The overall square footage is just over 1700 sq. ft. but with the raised ceilings, the house feel so much bigger.

At the same time, decorating around vaulted ceilings can be tricky. Here’s some insight on how to go about doing it the right way. Rule #1: respect the ceiling. It’s there, it’s tall, it’s dominating – so decorate in the same fashion: go large with your decor to emphasize the space and make it seem cohesive and intentional. Here are some design tricks that will make your friends want to hang at your house all day long.

Floor to ceiling drapery. Expensive? Yes. But just look at how insane this room is??


Picture ledges full of photos and art.


Hanging pendant lighting all the way from the ceiling to the dining or kitchen island area.


Or, just get a big a** chandelier.

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You can also visually drop the ceiling by adding horizontal lighting.


One pendant light is good, but three is great!


When in doubt, shiplap it out.


Have a great day!


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