No matter the size and shape of the space, every living room has its own unique decorating challenges. Small living rooms struggle with space, living rooms with no overhead lighting need other light sources, and long-living rooms have to minimize tunnel vision.
The same goes for tall living rooms. The vertical space is great, but if you don’t fill that space, then you’ve essentially created an echo chamber. To help enhance your large living space, enjoy these tips for decorating living rooms with high ceilings.
- Enrich Your Ceiling
- Furnish to Scale
- Outfit With Curtains
- Lighting Your Living Room
- How To Decorate Your Living Room Walls
Enrich Your Ceiling
While the walls in your living room are quite large, they’re not the only surface you can decorate. (Don’t worry, we’ll get to your walls in a bit.) Your ceiling has quite a few ways it can contribute to the decor of your living room.
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A popular design element for living rooms with high ceilings, beams help connect your ceiling to the rest of your space. They’re adept at reducing the overall scale and reining in the room’s proportions. Exposed and painted wooden beams work well with both modern and rustic designs.
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Beadboard is another common ceiling decoration technique that can help make your ceiling stand out. Beadboard’s texture adds warmth to your ceiling and helps the room feel less cavernous. If your walls are a neutral color, then beadboard is a great way to create contrast between your ceiling, walls, and floor.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking to take beadboard to the next level, false and tray ceilings create a similar effect with more elaborate design options.
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Furnish to Scale
With all of the extra space created by your high ceiling, don’t be afraid to bring in larger, heavier furniture that wouldn’t fit in a smaller living space.
A large sectional and coffee table is perfect for creating a designated lounge. Place them on top of a rug and cover your sectional with plush cushions to help reduce the echo that can come with a high ceiling.
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Outfit With Curtains
Most living rooms with high ceilings have large windows to match. That means you’ll need equally large curtains (short curtains make the room feel fragmented).
When picking out your large curtains, choose light hues for a more classic, mellow look. If you’re looking to craft a more energetic space, go for bold, heavy drapes.
Your best bet is to use a solid color for your curtains. Patterns can bring warmth, texture, and coziness, but they can be overwhelming when used at this scale.
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Lighting Your Living room
Big windows will let in a lot of natural light during the day, but they won’t help you illuminate your space at night. Chandeliers and pendant lights are popular solutions for lighting living rooms with high ceilings. It’s best to hang them either in the center of the room or over a coffee table.
Pro Tip: If one large chandelier doesn't mesh with your living room, try breaking it up into 2-3 three smaller chandeliers. Otherwise, floor laps and arc lamps can help create some easy-to-adjust lighting for cozy spaces.
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How to Decorate Your Living Room Walls
The walls that accompany living rooms with high ceilings offer plenty of real estate for a wide variety of decorative ideas.
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Create an Accent Wall
Accent walls are a great way to break up the visual space in your spacious living room. There are many different ways you can turn a wall into an accent wall.
- Paint one wall a different color
- Extend your fireplace up with more tile, brick, or stone
- Cover a wall in wood cladding
- Apply ornate wallpaper
- Mount textiles
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Adorn With Artwork
Of course, it would be wrong not to hang some artwork. All that wall space is just begging for it. Here are a few things worth considering when mixing artwork with other elements to make an oversized space a cozy feel.
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Frames, Paintings, & Graphic Art
All of that wall space is perfect for creating an assorted gallery of frames, paintings, and graphic art. Conventional wisdom suggests hanging artwork at eye level, but you can take advantage of the vertical space by hanging large-scale pieces higher than you normally would.
Bold colors will draw the eye upwards and make the walls feel more connected to space. You can also use sculptures and multi-piece installations to create some variation.
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Rule of Thirds
When trying to determine how to hang artwork on your wall, start by breaking your wall into three vertical and three horizontal sections. Imagine the grid you see while looking through the viewfinder of a camera.
The idea here is to create focal points and to rein in the towering feel of high ceilings. Use your grid to determine where to place pieces on the wall and how to space them. If you have any furniture up against the wall, consider them a part of that bottom third. Don’t worry - it’s okay if the top third is empty.
Enlarge Your Art
Large walls mean plenty of room for equally large paintings. Vertical art, in particular, is ideal for connecting the extra height to the rest of the room. Larger horizontal pieces work great also, helping to reduce the visual space. Just make sure that your art doesn’t overpower any of the furniture you have.
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Sprinkle in Some Shelving
Shelving is another popular method for decorating living rooms with high ceilings. You can use stylish floating shelves to place sculptures, photos, plants, and even lean smaller pieces of art. Optionally, instead of staggering shelving, try a single high shelf that runs the perimeter of the room.
Bonus Tip: If you’re worried about items falling down, add a ⅛ to ¼ inch lip to the front of the shelves or anchor them with tack putty.
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Build a Personal Library
Do you have a lot of books? Do you wish you had more? Arrange shelves and bookcases to build your own personal library. Install a library ladder to extend your bookshelves vertically while adding a distinct style to space.
Living rooms with high ceilings offer a lot of space for decoration. What method are you going to try first? Hanging some shelves? Installing some art? Maybe something we missed entirely? Either way, leave a comment letting us know how you plan on decorating your living room