Decorating with Vaulted or Cathedral Ceilings
While a Vaulted or Cathedral Ceiling is certainly a great architectural feature, it can pose some challenges when it comes time to decorate the oversized wall spaces.
The first thing you need to do is figure out whether you have a Vaulted Ceiling or a Cathedral Ceiling as the 2 terms are often misused (and it matters…says me).
Source – Urrutia Design
- Does not have equal sloping sides
- It can have 2 unequal sloping sides or just 1 sloping side
Not necessarily equal to the pitch of the roof
Source – Ally Whalen Design
(just think of a church steeple and get ready for confession you dirty bird…)
Has 2 equal sloping sides that meet at a center point
These sloping sides are usually equal to the pitch of the roof
The Pros of Cathedral and Vaulted Ceilings
- Make a small room feel larger
- Make a dark room feel brighter
- Make a standard room look more interesting
The Cons of Cathedral and Vaulted Ceilings
- Can be challenging to achieve a cozy and intimate feeling
- Hard to know where to place artwork
- Hard to know what ‘scale’ of pieces to use that will be proportional to the space
So, while Vaulted and Cathedral Ceilings do pose a few challenges, they are easily conquered with these great ideas that wouldn’t even be POSSIBLE in a standard height room…
How to Accessorize a Vaulted or Cathedral Ceiling
When accessorizing your room you’ll want to pay homage to your Vaulted or Cathedral Ceiling by mimicking the shape of it with your use of accessories.
Source – House Beautiful
Vaulted Ceiling. Notice how your sightline travels from the decorative plate on the left shelf, up to the mirror in the middle and then to the plate in the top right corner. The owners could have left that top shelf empty, but by accessorizing it they’ve encouraged your eye to follow the shape of the ceiling. Really, they could have done something just a weee bit more substantial, but whatever floats ‘yer boat I guess.
Source – House of Turquoise (via Amy Tyndall Design)
Cathedral Ceiling. In this Living Room, notice how the accessories on the top of the 2 built-in units are placed from shortest to tallest – mimicking the ceiling shape. The height of the clock is the peak, creating a decorative triangle similar to the shape of the ceiling line.
And remember, sometimes NOTHING is better than the WRONG thing. That poor little horse is lost on this glorious beastie of a fireplace.
Where to Hang Artwork With a Vaulted or Cathedral Ceiling
Well placed artwork is also a great way to complement your Cathedral or Vaulted Ceiling. Again, by mimicking the shape of your ceiling line you are ‘complementing‘ it – rather than ignoring or fighting against it.
Courtesy of Lonny.com
Vaulted Ceiling. This is a great example of artwork that follows the ceiling line. While you don’t need to be ‘literal’ with your line, you do need to show a definite slope….and it can be a slippery one, let me tell you…
Source – Eat, Sleep, Decorate
Vaulted Ceiling. Choosing vertical artwork, rather than horizontal is a great way to complement a room with a vaulted ceiling.
Going vertical with a series of prints is another great way to use the proportions of the wall space that you have.
Think outside…or rather ‘above’ the box
If you have a uniquely shaped room with Vaulted, Cathedral or high ceilings, don’t be afraid to hang artwork that is above eye-level or ‘over-sized’ to encourage viewers to take the room in as ‘a whole’.
Courtesy of Good Housekeeping
It doesn’t always have to be artwork that is hung, you can also use decorative wall hangings.
Read more: How High to Hang Artwork and Mirrors
Courtesy of Vintage Revivals (you HAVE to check her out…)
I looove this. When you’ve got a great big whack o’ wall – don’t be afraid to throw a great big honkin’ piece on it – LOVE this Mandi!
And are your ready for it? Brace yourself…
How NOT to Decorate with a Vaulted or Cathedral Ceiling…
You know, it’s not the mounted heads that I have a problem with (okay, I might have a ‘little’ problem with them), it’s the fact that the center set of antlers drops down, totally KILLING the sightline. The antlers should progressively go upwards, mimicking the ceiling line.
Don’t fight with your ceiling line. Your eyes invert when looking at this mantel display – spankin’ with a wet noodle for this homeowner!
And last but not least, if you’re going to hang artwork/photos above eye level, make sure the images are big enough to see…without a telescope.
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Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and as always…
www.kylieminteriors.ca 250 618 4535 Interior Decorating, Design, Home Staging and Online Color Consultations and E-Design. Nanaimo and Vancouver Island
Here's some other ideas for you!