tall ceiling look for less collage

Friends who have two story rooms in their homes tell me that those high ceilings can make decorating tricky.  It’s a bit of a balancing act to keep the room from seeming cavernous when you are arranging furniture, draperies, and accessories.  I spotted this lovely living room at Better Homes & Gardens, and it actually took me a minute to realize that this cozy room had a very high ceiling.  This is how to decorate with high ceilings.


Things that–in my opinion–really bring this room together include the placement of wall art, lovely curtains on those show-stopping windows, and layers of pretty accessories and furnishings.  In a room with a lower ceiling, the amount of furniture and accessories might make this room look too busy, but with all the white space the tall walls of this room provide, you can get away with lots of layers.


I looked around until I found some DIY projects that are similar to some of the elements of this room that I loved.  Take a look at them if you are interested in getting a similar look without breaking the bank.

How To Decorate With High Ceilings


1.  Long Curtains


Fussy, voluminous draperies would be a little much in these proportions, that’s why curtains with a simple design and a light weight are perfect for tall rooms.  Grace Lee Cottage offers a tutorial for adding length to inexpensive curtain panels.

2.  Typography Art


The large scale of the typography art in my inspiration photo is the perfect for covering up some of that empty wall space up there.  Typography works well in such a place, because it’s simple and doesn’t take a lot of effort to view from down below.  I found some personalized type art at Inspire Co., and thought it would be fun to do something with special family dates like this, in a group of three or more.

3.  Glass Bottle Lamp


I love the size and color of the green glass bottle lamp in my inspiration photo.  Did you know that if you find a bottle that you like, you can make one of these for yourself?  Find out how at The Inspired Room.

4.  Simple Coffee Table


It’s not hard to find coffee tables at thrift shops and garage sales that just need a little TLC to look amazing.  But if you can’t find one you like in the shape or size that you need, there are some great tutorials out there for building your own.  I happen to like this one that Shanty 2 Chic made using plans by Ana White.

5.  Rustic Sign


The mantel in my inspiration photo makes use of a large mirror to add to it’s vertical presence.  That big mirror would be a little overwhelming if it weren’t for the way accessories, like that rustic garden sign, are layered around it.  Lil Blue Boo offers a tutorial for making rustic signs of your own out of pallet wood.

6. Be Creative in Your Furniture Arrangement

When it comes to arranging furniture in a tall living room, creating a balanced and visually pleasing layout is key.

To make the most of the vertical space, it’s important to create different seating areas. Place sofas and chairs in conversation groupings to encourage intimate conversations.

Additionally, consider using taller furniture pieces like bookshelves or floor-to-ceiling cabinets to fill the vertical space. These pieces not only provide storage but also draw the eye upward, making the room feel cozier and more cohesive.

7. Add Lighting Solutions

To enhance the ambiance and functionality of high-ceiling living spaces, incorporating the right lighting is crucial.

Consider adding statement chandeliers, pendant lights, or living room statement lighting that hang down and help to visually lower the ceiling, making the space feel more intimate. Floor lamps are also great for adding focused lighting in specific areas, such as reading nooks or cozy corners.

By combining different lighting sources, you can create a layered and cozy atmosphere that complements the high ceiling weight.

8. Accentuate Architectural Features

Highlighting the architectural features of a high-ceiling living room can bring out its true beauty. Exposed beams, crown molding, or unique ceiling designs can be emphasized through lighting, paint, or other decorative elements.

Consider installing recessed lighting to draw attention to the beams or use accent lighting to showcase crown molding. If the ceiling has an interesting design, paint it in a contrasting color to make it a focal point.

These techniques on how to decorate with high ceilings will not only make the architectural features stand out but also add character and charm to the room.

9. Add Area Rugs

In a high-ceiling living room, area rugs play a vital role in defining different zones and adding warmth to the space.

Select rugs that are large enough to anchor furniture groupings, ensuring that at least the front legs of the furniture rest on the rug. Patterns and textures can help to visually break up the expanse of the floor, adding depth and interest.

10. Choose the Right Flooring

When it comes to flooring options, hardwood, tile, or polished concrete are excellent choices that complement tall ceilings. These materials provide a sleek and timeless look that pairs well with the overall aesthetic of a high-ceiling living room.

Embrace the Height

Decorating a high-ceiling living room may seem challenging, but it can become an exciting DIY project with the right tips and ideas.

By arranging furniture strategically, incorporating appropriate lighting solutions, accentuating architectural features, and selecting the right rugs and flooring, you can transform the space into a balanced and visually appealing environment.

Remember to create different seating areas, experiment with various lighting sources, enhance architectural details, and utilize rugs and flooring to define zones and add warmth. With these simple yet effective techniques on how to decorate with high ceilings, you’ll be able to make the most of your living space and create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Do you have any rooms that pose big decorating challenges because of size or other things you can’t change, like window placement or traffic flow?  What are some of the things you’ve done to overcome those challenges?

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