How can I make my high vaulted ceiling interesting?

by Jacque

I have a really high vaulted living room ceiling. Right now it is white with recessed lights and a ceiling fan. I have thought about painting it another color but, I’m afraid it will make the room too dark, the room gets very little natural light. Any ideas that I can do on the cheap side?

  15 answers
  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Aug 17, 2018

    Add beams to the ceiling - there are faux beams that are inexpensive and very light to pick up.

  • Nancy Nichols Smith Nancy Nichols Smith on Aug 17, 2018

    Although ceilings are usually painted with just a matte or semi-gloss paint, you can increase the available natural light with a white full gloss paint as it is a more reflective surface. The type of window covering you use will also help, blinds that reflect the light upward towards the ceiling would also help.

  • Karen Brunck Karen Brunck on Aug 18, 2018

    You can paint it a pale sky blue without losing light. Glossy paint does reflect the light more. And, it makes it feel more open😀

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Aug 18, 2018

    There are paints @ Lowes called "highly reflective white" if you decide to repaint. These paints are not high gloss...they are an eggshell finish. I would caution against using a high gloss on any wall surface as high gloss pronounces imperfections such as nail pops that are common in sloped celings as well as patches where nail holes were repaired.

  • Melissa V Melissa V on Aug 18, 2018

    I also have vaulted ceilings, and while I work on my laptop and look at all the unfinished “stuff” I have waiting for me to get to, I have thought that to put finishing trim where the ceiling meets the wall would really give it that “ta-da” feeling when you walked into the room. I have the same color palette as yours. 😄

  • Lisa Sinclair Lisa Sinclair on Aug 18, 2018

    There's a wallpaper that looks like wood , some are very well done, and might I've you the different look you're hoping for. You could do pallet boards, but since you're going is so high, it would be a lot of work. But I've seen wonderful examples of this right here on hometalk.

  • Pjo26908388 Pjo26908388 on Aug 18, 2018

    Paint it a sky blue and it will open up. Another option is a lighter shade of the yellow/tan on the walls. The ceiling is big and the white paint will make it show to the max.

    The space is screaming for an art piece that fill the void. Find an artist that makes mobiles or build one yourself.

    Since lighting is an issue, add more. I can't tell how the fan sits on the ceiling- if it is awkward or too small for the space then move it or switch it out for a larger one. Maybe with the ceiling size needs two? Or the addition or change in lighting?

    Skylights might bring in the light that is lacking. The idea of adding wood beams is good. Perhaps an art piece on the wall ends high in the point.

  • Eleanor Korf Eleanor Korf on Aug 18, 2018

    I have a high (in my case sloped) ceiling that also made my room look smaller. I bought some trim pieces and nailed them in place at the 10 ft. height and then painted the trim and ceiling white. If I am "reading" your picture correctly. you have a peaked ceiling and would need to paint anything above your new trim pieces the same white as the ceiling. My lower walls are painted a darker (in my case blue) color. Everyone who has seen the room is amazed at how the room looks larger and the ceiling looks like it is lower. You might want to paint your fan white to match the ceiling as a further illusion of a lower ceiling. This method would be the easierst and quickest way to make your room look larger and the ceiling lower. In my room some people actually thought the ceiling was much lower than it actually is. Some people even thought the fan was attached to a 10 foot high ceiling.

    • Jacque Jacque on Aug 20, 2018

      I would love to see a picture, I’m having a problem imagining it. Would I be need to trim and paint the wall also?

  • Janice Janice on Aug 18, 2018

    Hi Jacque! An extension piece for your fan to lower it more into the room would be a good start or even better a larger fan placed lower into the room. Suggest thick molding at the wall/ceiling break which will add some interest and will encourage the eyes to stop at that level. The molding doesn't need to be ornate (I'm thinking your house looks more modern). Lastly, I would add very large art pieces on any walls that can handle it. That will become the focus for you and others rather than the ceiling. I've seen some amazing ideas on creating large focal points using shower curtain design, sheets, etc., wrapped around frames, if budget is an issue. In one way you have a "nice" problem in that so many people are trying to make their rooms look taller :) Here's a link about art/shower curtain:

    • Jacque Jacque on Aug 20, 2018

      I saw some interesting shower curtains that would be great.

  • Ili Ili on Aug 18, 2018

    Hi Jacque, pick the best ideas so far for your ceiling but concentrate in your walls, a great mirror, painting, gallery, etc. , the clock seems to need company... and yes, lower that fan...paint the blades??? ...Hope you post a finished project...JMO

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Aug 19, 2018

    My parents had a ceiling in their family room that went from regular ceiling height at the front of the house and went high to the built in fireplace, and bookcase on the other side of the room. They had the light weight wood beams put in when the house was built and it really looked nice and added some oomph to the room. They went with dark Mediterranean look furniture and the look was even better. The beams really did add something to the angled ceiling.

  • Emmen Emmen on Aug 19, 2018

    You could put some white wood beams up, or use those new foam ceiling trim and make a coffered ceiling look or put up crown mouldings. That way you can keep the white but have a high end look that’s visually appealing. I added a picture of ideas with mouldings, you can get foam so they’re light weight, and you could do an idea like below for your vaulted ceiling to add allot of interest.

  • Emmen Emmen on Aug 19, 2018

    You could also use wood paneling like people are putting on walls on the ceiling.

  • Heje Heje on Aug 23, 2018

    The idea of lowering the fan is a good one. Putting in molding up at about the 10 foot mark would look nice. Putting in faux beams would work. One other idea would be to put in beams that look like a floor structure without the floor boards, so the light could still go through.

  • Nick Nick on Sep 14, 2018

    Here is an idea for ur vaulted ceiling, sorry its not much detail of ceiling, its a kitchen i built, we vaulted ceiling and put cypress beams we had sawmill cut for us, we placed them on top of the wall, i would also put 6” recessed lighting in ceiling, just another idea among these other good ideas for ya, goodluck