Transform your living room into a breathtaking space. Learn how to decorate a living room with vaulted ceilings. Get inspired and elevate your home decor game now.

Who doesn’t love a vaulted ceiling? No architectural feature contributes that much to an airy and open living room. Better yet, vaulted ceilings trick the eye into believing there is more space. As if this was not enough, they look sophisticated and gracious.

Yes, valued ceilings are magnificent!

But how to decorate a living room with vaulted ceilings? Segmented ceilings are challenging by default, but there are still many ideas and tricks that can help you. Let the ceiling guide you – preserve its dominance by choosing large and elegant pieces, and make sure your decor looks intentional.

How to decorate a living room with vaulted ceilings?

There are many reasons to give a vaulted ceiling the respect it deserves. For starters, if you don’t address it properly, the room may end up looking terrible.

But don’t get discouraged – many designer tricks can help you blend the upper areas with the lower ones. Let us help you with our guide.

Why are vaulted ceilings so popular?

1-8-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: Mark P. Finlay Architects, AIA

A vaulted ceiling has many upsides, both aesthetical and functional. For example, they visually extend the room and make use of vertical space. High ceilings are also the masters of visual impact in any room, even where floor space is fairly limited.

When it comes to vaults and a vaulted ceiling, you can choose between barrel vaults, rib vaults, groin vaults, or fan vaults. Research them online to see how each of them would look in your room.

Before you begin, keep in mind that a vaulted ceiling costs more than a regular one, as it is more difficult to build. You will need more time and material and probably do some work on the roofline to be able to accommodate it. This is why not that many ceilings come with vaults and fancy exposed additions.

Why should you consider a vaulted ceiling?

  • Your room will look spacious and long, even if it is not
  • The room will benefit from extra brightness and airiness
  • You will get a decorative accent piece that adds visual interest to the smallest and most boring rooms.

Let us share the best tips for a vaulted ceiling

Combining furniture with a vaulted ceiling

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A bold and high ceiling looks amazing when paired with large and bulky furniture. The room will have a wrapped-up, intentional look without being crowded with furniture, and air will move freely. Look at pieces that are tall and wide, such as shelving units or floor-to-ceiling curtains.

Keep the furniture close to the wall, to give the room an enhanced sense of openness. You will still preserve a cozy and romantic setting for an evening dinner with your partner.

Painting a vaulted ceiling

1-10-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source:L Marie Interior Design

Once you’ve established the synchrony between the vaulted ceiling and the furniture, give colors a look. The chosen color should blend easily with the living room theme so that the ceiling doesn’t strike viewers as a separate and forgotten area.

Colors can also create illusions – a darker tone will bring the ceiling closer to the room, and make it appear more massive. You should consider it for tall rooms with pale blue or beige walls.

1-11-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: Echelon Custom Homes/a>

A purely white vaulted ceiling, on the other hand, stands for true beauty and timeless elegance. You won’t adore the maintenance, but a white ceiling reflects light and makes everything look bigger than it is. Rooms with white walls and ceilings are perceived as clean and serene, and this may just be what your home needs.

The rule of thirds and why it is important

1-12-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source:Jeri Koegel Photography

It is easy to get distracted when you have plenty of wall space to work with. Therefore, divide the area into pieces, and ideally follow the thirds rule. This means breaking the space up into thirds and placing furniture appropriately. For instance, you can decorate the bottom third and the middle third, and leave the top one empty.

We recommend you add sculptures, plants, lamps, and other floor items in the bottom third of the wall. Mirrors, tapestries, or art would look the best in the middle third. Leave the top third empty, and you will be surprised by how clean and elegant the room looks.

The ideal light fixture for a vaulted ceiling

1-13-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: Salt Shed Design Build

Think of a cathedral ceiling and its lighting techniques. With the appropriate light fixture, you can replicate the very same look in your elegant living room. The light fixture you choose for your vaulted ceiling must play along. It should highlight its beautiful features rather than contradict them.

Keep away from classic solutions that distribute the spotlight downward. instead, you can choose a more stylish chandelier.

1-14-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: Mark P. Finlay Architects, AIA

This way, the light will be equally distributed across the entire room.

The rule of thumb says, to go for the most decorative pendant you can find or even a giant chandelier with multiple different parts. Choose a build and sculptural model and don’t worry – high ceilings can handle this type of fixture. Your guests will be fascinated!

Pair the vaulted ceiling with a large rug

1-15-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: Moss Building & Design

The contrast between the floor and the vaulted ceiling is also very important. A high ceiling with plenty of architectural details looks even better with a lively and bold floor. You can easily achieve this effect with a large pop-color rug as its visual counterpart.

The rug also softens the room and helps visually divide different areas, such as the kitchen and the living room. It is a much preferred interior design trick for absorbing noise and minimizing the scale of large furniture items, so give it a try.

As for the color, go for strong, memorable palettes and bold patterns that contribute to the living room’s height.

Add depth with large plants

1-16-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: Jennifer Tulley Architects

Plants invite nature inside and draw attention almost immediately. In modern home decor, greenery of all kinds is more than welcome, but it is tall plants and trees that work the best with a high ceiling.

Why is that so? For starters, a tree can accentuate the high ceiling of a living room, and act as a connector between the ceiling and the floor space. With tall plants, you can use up the vertical space you have available, and you can add just enough fresh colors and textures to any living room.

1-17-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: Coddington Design

Plants are indeed on-budget interior design additions, but they require time and maintenance. Keep this in mind before you turn the living room into a private garden.

Last but not least, if you don’t have extra space on the floor to display plants, consider hanging plants on recessed shelving or a tall ladder. This excellent open floor plan idea can help you distinguish between the zones in the room. At the same time, it represents an evergreen statement piece for every home style.

Aged and exposed beams

1-18-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: J. Grant Design Studio

Are you lucky enough to have exposed wood beams in the living room? The impeccable rustic charm of this ceiling solution can do miracles for a modern home.Just imagine the dark color of the beams in contrast to your white walls. There is hardly any better solution for the ceiling than this one.

The darker the wood beams, the more defined the living room. You will no longer have a simple vaulted ceiling, but architectural decor that is special and memorable.

Using vertical space for artwork

1-25-2 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: BRADSHAW DESIGNS LLC

A common mistake homeowners make in a high living room is to leave the high parts of the wall empty. The inability to decorate vertical space often results in cramped living rooms and a lack of intentional decor. In rooms like these, the ceiling looks distant and not connected to the setting at all.

To avoid this, optimize the use of tall wall space and hang decorative items. This can be the perfect area for well-selected paintings and expensive oriental rugs or even a cute gallery of family photos. Since the ceiling is high, you can charge the items as high as you want them, and have an increased volume of accessories than the originally planned.

Of course, the artwork you choose should work well with the rest of the room, be that a single statement piece or a collection. The effect you want to achieve is that the eye is automatically drawn upwards. This way, you can also make living rooms more personal and adjusted to your style.

A bright room is a beautiful room

1-21-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: South County Post & Beam, Inc.

In most cases, a high ceiling living room is paired with gorgeous tall windows, and plenty of natural light comes inside. Cathedral ceilings are a great example.

Large windows make any room appear bigger and brighter, and this is something you want to use to your advantage. If there is not enough light on account of the room location, consider installing a skylight, or hanging mirrors to reflect the light inside. You will not only have more light but also a modern dining room or living room your guests will enjoy.

1-79 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: Marla Sher Design

there is always the option to replace current windows with taller ones. If you embark on this home improvement idea, make sure you place the windows as high and as close to the ceiling as possible. This way, you will also draw attention to your gorgeous chandelier.

Ceiling-to-floor draperies and window treatments

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This is probably something you never consider, but we recommend you to give this idea a try. regardless of how tall and large your windows are, the draperies should be higher. Anything else may result in a divided wall and a cold and isolated living room.

1-23-2 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source: Sophie Metz Design

True, you will need much more fabric than you originally thought, but make this work to your advantage. Enhance the drama effect of the windows and add some fantastic colors and patterns to the living room. Imagine how these draperies would look hanging on both sides of your stone fireplace.

A stone fireplace

1-19-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source:KBG Design

When speaking of a stone fireplace, did you ever consider building one? As a rule, traditional and Victorian homes come with vaulted ceilings and built-in fireplaces. What you perhaps don’t know is that this solution would work just as well in any other setting.

1-20-3 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source:Sierra Pacific Windows

Get a fireplace to refresh the style of the living room, and to make it warmer and more inviting. Guest will certainly be impressed by this focal point, and your family will enjoy playing games around the fire pit on chilly winter nights.

The fireplace should support and further enhance the theme of the room, so make the appropriate choices. Fireplaces are not always subdued and vintage – you can even get a nautical-themed fire pit for a tropical area home.

An accent wall for differentiation

1-24-2 How to Decorate a Living Room with Vaulted CeilingsImage source:J & V Painting

If the goal is for high ceilings to stand out without the rest of the room being neglected, consider an accent wall. You can paint this wall in a warmer color, and make sure it is the first thing guests notice as they come inside. There is no rule to as which wall you should choose – follow your instincts.

A pop of bright color adds visual interest to the living room. It has the same effect as more expensive architectural features, such as molding or a fireplace. Walls in brick red or subtle green break the room up into separate zones, and make sure every single accessory stands out.

If this sounds too brave, try working with a wood-inspired palette, and stick to the earthy tones. You can then enhance the living room without overwhelming it, and preserve a more serene setting for your family. If painting is out of the question, consider a lively wallpaper instead. You can replace it easily once the room needs a refreshing touch,

Final thoughts

Now that you learned more about how to decorate a living room with vaulted ceilings, it is time to get creative. As you saw, a vaulted ceiling is not necessarily a disadvantage in living rooms, as long as you know how to make it work in your favor.

If you liked this article on how to decorate a living room with vaulted ceilings, you should check out this article on arranging a narrow living room.

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