Cathedral ceiling, also known as a vaulted ceiling, is a high type of ceiling made of two sides that slant upwards to a pointed top. It gives an open, spacious look that makes a room look bigger than they really are. It also creates an impression of sophistication and grandeur, as the high ceilings create a dramatic effect.
Some people love cathedral ceilings, but some people don’t. While it makes your house feel gloriously large, it sometimes makes comfort a problem. Its spaciousness can make the room less cozy, and matching furnishings, accessories, and fixtures to a big space can be a bit of a challenge. So, here’s how to properly decorate a room with a cathedral ceiling to make it feel more like home:
1. Decide on the paint colors
Your first priority in decorating a room with a cathedral ceiling would be the colors of the ceiling and the surrounding walls. The ceiling is already high enough; don’t make it look like a separate and forgotten part of your room.
Choose a color for the ceiling that will blend well with the theme and design style of your room. Open up the space by painting the walls a dark color and the ceiling with a lighter color for contrast. You may also make the room appear smaller and more intimate by painting your walls with a light color and your ceiling with a darker hue. For a simple and more connected effect, color the main walls with a color that is almost the same as the ceiling, but color the trims, moldings or beams with a contrasting color. To bring a dramatic effect, paint a single wall with bold color and make it an accent wall, while painting the other walls and the ceiling with the same hue. This will give the space a bit of personality and a fresh new look.
2. Choose lighting fixtures wisely
Cathedral ceilings make room for stylish and huge light fixtures. Take advantage of the space and don’t waste the opportunity to buy your home some magical and gorgeous chandeliers. Chandeliers don’t always have to be ornately grand, which suits more traditional interiors – there are a lot of choices available that can suit any type of style, even minimalist, contemporary and rustic styles. An attractive hanging light fixture can make the ceiling look more connected to space below, plus it really makes a great focal point that would attract the eyes to wander above. You may also use recessed canned lighting for a dramatic effect. Floor stand lights and table lamps also help emphasize space, as well as the decorations on the walls.
3. Add accessories and decorations
One of the great things about having a cathedral ceiling is that you have plenty of space for decorations. Accessories with significant size and height will surely find a place in a space with high ceilings. Try hanging artwork with large canvases, family portraits, tapestries, framed print collections, and murals. It would be best to highlight the space you have with art to add a sense of elegance and life to your space. To add a modern flair to your room, make your wall décor follow along with the slant of the ceiling.
You can also display tall sculptural pieces, tall floral arrangements or large plants. These items add height and dimension to the room, making use of the tall space available while creating a lush environment. The key to accessorizing a room with a cathedral ceiling is to go big – choosing too many small items will just look like clutter.
4. Place draperies to high windows
High ceilings = high walls = higher than normal windows. Windows close to your cathedral ceiling will look more fabulous with long draperies hanging. They will draw attention upward to the ceiling. It also adds that homier feel that a tall and big space needed. For a breezy and fresh look, pick white curtains. To make the room shrink visually and add a dramatic flair, choose dark draperies. To make it look cohesive, repeat the color of your curtain somewhere else in the room, like for instance, through a cushion or a tabletop decoration.
5. Add patterns to the ceiling
Show your creativity by adding patterns to the ceiling. Or perhaps you can hire a painter to create your desired patterns to it. Fine Victorian patterns are common in formal and elegant houses with a cathedral ceiling. But if you want something unique and less formal, you may have a scenery, like clouds, a starry sky or a sunset. You may also paint a mural or a doodle painted in your ceiling. These will certainly be a showstopper in your home.
6. Let furniture blend in
Let your furniture colors fuse with the color of your cathedral ceilings, walls, and floors. A white ceiling paired with white walls always brightens up a room, creating feelings of clarity, purity, and serenity to the room. Complete the look with black furniture and metallic accents for an elegant look. It’s your choice if you want to pick contrasting, complementary or same colors for your space, or pick a color palette and work with those colors all throughout the space.
Now, to tame the height of your walls, try adding overstuffed and huge pieces of furniture. In a living room, use large comfy couches, oversized floor cushions, a tall entertainment system, and a big coffee table. In a bedroom, pick a towering wardrobe or a huge canopy bed. Move your furniture away from walls to make the room more intimate, or place them along the walls to open the space up.
7. Put visible beams in the ceiling
Exposed wooden beams bring personality to an otherwise plain cathedral ceiling. They can be plain and functional, or ornate and decorative, or anywhere in between. Wooden beams add warmth, character, beauty, interest and natural elegance to the room. It makes the ceiling feel closer. Plus, it suits almost all decorating schemes, like traditional styles, rustic, cottage, Scandinavian, and contemporary. Just adjust with the treatment, color, size, and forms of your wooden beams to suit your preferred style.
8. Install skylights to your ceiling
Nothing beats natural light. Bring more of it inside your house by installing skylights to your cathedral ceiling. It will help provide daylight and ventilation for the indoors. It makes the room feel even bigger and more open. It attracts the eyes and makes an instant accent. Also, if you live in an area with a cool climate most of the year, skylights can help you keep warm during the winter.
9. Install crown molding
Crown molding creates the ultimate look of a finishing touch that no other materials can create. It’s a classic, it’s timeless, and it always looks great. You may hire a pro to do it, but you can also install it yourself. Put crown moldings on the slants of your ceiling and on the pointed top. You may also add moldings in the spaces on the ceiling to visually divide areas, especially in an open floor area wherein, for instance, the living room and dining room shares space.