Suggestions for a huge wall - from vaulted ceiling to lower level.

This main wall that encompasses both levels of our house has been empty since we moved in. It goes from the vaulted ceiling to the lower level. I've been thinking that some sort of board and batten treatment might break it up a bit, but I'm not sure how high it should be. I know I want a large mirror or a grouping of mirrors on the wall to perhaps suggest windows and reflect the light from the skylights above the walkway. I was thinking of putting something to suggest a baseboard at the floor level of the wall, again, to break up the large expanse. Would it be better to continue with the board and batten below that? I've been thinking perhaps beadboard paneling or wallpaper on the lower part of the wall that continues into the lower level might work. I'm really stuck - would love some objective ideas and/or advice!
q suggestions for a huge wall from vaulted ceiling to lower level, home decor, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, how to, wall decor, What can I do to this big blank wall
What can I do to this big blank wall?
q suggestions for a huge wall from vaulted ceiling to lower level, home decor, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, how to, wall decor
q suggestions for a huge wall from vaulted ceiling to lower level, home decor, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, how to, wall decor, Corner fireplace across from large main wall TV and cabinet are no longer there Would also like to have more of a mantel to make the fireplace really stand out
Corner fireplace across from large main wall. TV and cabinet are no longer there. Would also like to have more of a mantel to make the fireplace really stand out.
q suggestions for a huge wall from vaulted ceiling to lower level, home decor, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, how to, wall decor, Living room lots of angles tough to arrange the furniture
Living room - lots of angles, tough to arrange the furniture!
q suggestions for a huge wall from vaulted ceiling to lower level, home decor, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, how to, wall decor, Small sunroom off the living room I d like to echo the tall windows in that room by using tall thin mirrors on the staircase wall
Small sunroom off the living room - I'd like to echo the tall windows in that room by using tall thin mirrors on the staircase wall.
  31 answers
  • Nancy Culhane Hoag Nancy Culhane Hoag on Dec 14, 2013
    How about painting it a slightly different color, staying in the same color hue on the lower half, and than putting up that beautiful trim board that is really wide too seperate the two colors.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Dec 14, 2013
    One thing you can do that is temporary and does not cost a lot of money or take a lot of effort is to hang a beautiful quilt mounted to a wooden hanger such as a dowel or finished board (2x4). Even a tapestry would be beautiful. You can actually buy throws that resemble old tapestries. In fact, tapestries were wall coverings to keep the cold from seeping in! I have a throw that is navy with lots of golden zodiac suns on it. Add a few accents to go with the theme and you have it made. I saw one once that had every color in it and the theme was "Wizard of Oz"! A small shelf with a pair of red glittered shoes would be adorable...a lion sitting on one shelf, then a scarecrow, etc.

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    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Dec 15, 2013
      @Linda Weeks Thanks Linda. I used to do so much more when I was younger and steadier! HA! I hate it that I can no longer paint. I am looking to repaint about 5 areas of my house...Living room, dining room, front foyer, up the stairwell and the top landing! And repaint all the white molding with kilz and flat paint. I am thinking a light yellow with cream molding I saw on another project on HT. The poster was good enough to supply me with the paint numbers. I will probably get a painter I have used outside before and get a quote after the first of the year.

  • Down to Earth Holly Down to Earth Holly on Dec 14, 2013
    Board and batten is a wonderful look but deciding on the height would be tough. It might actually make the wall look "cut in half". I would take advantage of the large visual space by filling it with pictures and frames in a random collage. Here is a photo of what I am talking about below. If you don't like that look....I would hang one single huge mirror - try Homegoods in January - a lot goes on clearance and a good buy can be found. An accent color of paint would make it pop - like Northampton Putty by Ben Moore. Good luck and Happy Holidays!

    • See 1 previous
    • Down to Earth Holly Down to Earth Holly on Dec 17, 2013
      @Linda Weeks This foyer in the attached picture is in a town house. It's small. :) I hope you find a fun solution that fits your style for that beautiful tall wall. You can have so much fun with it. :)

  • DeborahDesigns DeborahDesigns on Dec 14, 2013
    Some ideas would be to use a wainscoting on the lower part of the wall with either a chair rail or trim to break it up from the rest of the wall. you could take some faux tin decorative ceiling tiles and frame them with shadow boxes to use as wall art to be displayed. on the upper part of the wall. visit to view some ideas and purchase wainscoting and faux tin decorative tiles.

  • Anna Ibarra Anna Ibarra on Dec 14, 2013
    Ditto to DTE Holly- I would not like the dated look of thin mirrors, might make it cold both ways. I love a random look of art collections, but a collage of family photos is timeless and if you do a similar effect like Holly added, you can always add to it as you get a new photo. Start off in the center so it doesn't look wonky. You can add your family initials here and there, maybe add small mirrors in-between your photos. I have something similar, but not near stairs. I just lowered my art pieces and added huge pieces, but again it's not near stairs.

  • Emel Emel on Dec 15, 2013
    I like Holly's idea best! Family photos or paintings/wall art seems the ideal to me! If your windows are east, south and west you would have the problem of dealing with too much light at certain times of the day!

  • Leslie Crawford Leslie Crawford on Dec 15, 2013
    I like the idea of a tapestry. Something that echos your style. For me, that would be a very contemporary print. On a very tall wall in our great room, I found a runner of carpet from the remodeled Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ with a Frank Lloyd Wright design. It fit perfectsly and is perfect in the spot. Just accentuates the height of the wall.

  • Linda Weeks Linda Weeks on Dec 15, 2013
    In other words, there are lots of ideas for that wall! Don't forget to post your finished photo for us!

  • Michelle Gibbar Michelle Gibbar on Dec 15, 2013
    A friend of painted her favorite saying on the wall...yes, hubby casted a vote...High impact and classy

  • Linda Weeks Linda Weeks on Dec 15, 2013
    well, if you ever get up to Maryland, I'd love to have you to my house for some of your good taste ideas! the yellow and cream sounds wonderful.:-)

  • Lora (Howard) Cotton Lora (Howard) Cotton on Dec 15, 2013
    My sister in law had the same problem and what she did was have a extremely LONG (width of the wall) shelf made. She then hung that mid-way on the wall, and uses it to decorate for the holidays, etc. It looks like that part (the decorating) would be even easier for you, as you have those stairs that would make it easier to decorate, my S-I-L has to drag a 15 ft ladder into the house then carry each item up it to place it. Scares me to death every time I know she's going to be doing that!

  • Linda P Linda P on Dec 15, 2013
    I lived in a house with that same wall configuration. it had grass cloth wallpaper that gave it just enough color and texture to make it interesting without being overpowering.

  • Paula Paula on Dec 15, 2013
    It's funny you asked this question. I just posted a blog post about my upcoming solution. You can find it here:

  • I like the idea of a gallery wall and in my opinion board and batten would take up space on the wall when it could be used to create a major focal point.

  • Kate Allen Kate Allen on Dec 15, 2013
    A large piece of interest in wood is an idea. In one of my homes, I found a large, interesting looking tree branch and mounted it to the wall. Inexpensive and if the right shape, could look great. The price is right!

  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Dec 15, 2013
    The wall that is in my stairway that goes from the main level to the second floor had been done over by my husband with trims. He did floor to ceiling trim work with 1"x2" MDF plain flat trims. He spaced them about two feet apart vertically, and one foot apart horizontally. After that he caulked it all, and then painted the whole wall a different colour so it would be an accent wall. The trim work turned out beautiful. It was such a great job that we refuse to hang pictures on it. It took some time to do, but in the end we are super happy with the result. I noticed that your walls are all painted a light colour, what if you painted that large wall of yours a different colour? Maybe even like an avocado or cactus green pearl finish. Then lots of mirrors and artwork in black frames. It would really stand out. Or a blue/grey colour? Hope you post pics of your finished wall.

    • Sue L Sue L on Dec 17, 2013
      @Kim Dagenais if you have a photo, I'd love to see it!

  • Jean DeSavage Jean DeSavage on Dec 15, 2013
    As far as your fireplace wall goes, definitely find a nice sized mantel, and paint that wall a different color from the rest of the room. When looking at the picture, I noticed that it appears the molding doesn't go all the way to the floor on the left, or am I misintrepreting what I saw? Also, I didn't know carpeting could go all the way up to a fireplace, that sure seems like a bit of a fire hazard to me. You might want to think about putting in a hearth of stone or tile on the floor. That way if any embers fly out of the fireplace box, they shouldn't land on carpet and start a fire in your lovely house.

    • Sue L Sue L on Dec 17, 2013
      @Jean DeSavage, I believe that the photo is a bit misleading. The molding goes all the way to the floor, it sits partly on the carpeting and partly on the black tile hearth. I have a clearer idea of what I'd like to do to the fireplace - new tile on the face and the hearth are on the list! As are wood floors - I'm not a fan of carpeting.

  • Peg Peg on Dec 15, 2013
    I think wainscoting would be beautiful and you can still scatter some mirrors on wall but above chair rail and won't get knocked off the wall..................

  • Anastasia Anastasia on Dec 16, 2013
    Kim - would love to see a picture

  • Sue H Sue H on Dec 16, 2013
    I think paint can make the biggest bang for the $. Different shades or depts depending on the sun light. Darker ceiling brings down the ceiling making it feel warmer. Mantel update fireplace. Color or lack of just feels cold. Also paints with texture so not so flat.

  • Sue L Sue L on Dec 17, 2013
    I've been thinking of using mirrors that look like windows. Our house is surrounded by trees and the room would really benefit from more light - we have skylights directly above the walkway in front of the stairs and some days it still feels dark in there! I love the clean, traditional look of molding - I thought some trim would really help to break the wall up. As large as the wall is, I don't think I would ever have enough pictures/artwork/frames to fill it up, (or the skill and patience it would take to make a balanced and pleasing arrangement!) and I do think that it does call for something that is larger in scale. One other idea I had was to hang a mural on the wall. I've seen some that can be hung like wallpaper, in panels. If I did that, I think I'd probably use some wide board/trim to frame it out. thanks for all the suggestions, I will certainly post photos when we finally finish it! But to do that, we need to start first...and sometimes that's the part that takes the longest!!

  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Dec 20, 2013
    Hi Sue I have the pictures on my external hard drive. It has been crazy around here, so when I have a minute I will send you the pics

  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Dec 22, 2013
    Hi Sue I finally got around to getting my external hard drive out. I tried to send you pics but for some reason after I started uploading pics I couldn't scroll down to press the add pics button. Could you give me your email address? This way I could send you all the pics.

  • Deborah Gates Deborah Gates on Dec 23, 2013
    My entrance is like that and I use as a gallery wall and hang my art work. As time goes by it goes higher and higher up the wall. right now now it's all different sizes of original and store bought landscapes, my favorites. My 1/2 bath is all botanicals and the kitchen eating areas all has to do with family. The upstairs landing has no windows so it holds all different shapes and designs of mirrors.

  • Ms Lupe Ms Lupe on Dec 24, 2013
    I personally would have a mural painted of like the woods you have outside with maybe a few long strips of mirror here and there inbetween to reflect ....just a thought ...:) have fun...

  • Moxie Moxie on Dec 24, 2013
    I think I would use a warm earth tone color like brown or terracotta on the wall and stencil a creative, but selective, flowering or leafy vine on the wall with the leaf point directed downward to give the wall depth, interest and direction to bring the ceiling down a bit - placement of the stencil could direct as the eye will follow. You could also faux windows with a stick on mural and add real window trim or even shudders - perhaps do something you could tie in with the fireplace to feel really special. All personal taste. I would love to see what you end up doing. Here are some vines I did on my sloped stair ceiling (of course much smaller scale that what you have to work with) Have you considered stenciling your stair risers?

    • Sue L Sue L on Dec 29, 2013
      @Moxie we have carpeting on our stairs, ripping that off is on my list of "things to do"...!

  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Dec 25, 2013
    OK I will try to upload one picture or two. The other day it would not work.

    • Sue L Sue L on Dec 29, 2013
      @Kim Dagenais thanks! This is along the lines of what I am thinking of for at least one portion of the wall. It looks like it was a real labor of love - your hubby did a great job!!

  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Dec 29, 2013
    Thanks Sue. We loved the look so much that we did this type of work in two rooms of our home besides the stairway. In my pics the colour doesn't look as bright and colourful as it actually is. I took the pic at night, and the lighting in my stairway isn't that great. That's another job for the husband. LOL MDF is the way to go. So much cheaper.

  • D Meconi D Meconi on Dec 30, 2013
    In both cases, the walls, I would accent them with a different color. If you like bold, the fireplace wall is the place for that. The stairwell, I would go with a neutral color. Depending on my style for example a slightly darker tone than the walls in the rest of the room. It will accent the architecture and cause the wall to recede (a beige if your walls are going to stay white). Then do your mirror grouping to draw your eye to a specific area.

  • Cindi Cindi on Jun 05, 2014
    I would paint the stairwell wall a darker color, using sheetrock mud to create a texture. Put different size and shapes of framed mirrors, with all frames being same color, which I would make the color match the fireplace mantle, or the stair railings. I would also mud the fireplace front, using same color as stairwell walls. and add a mantle, matching the stair rails. Match all wood tones the same color.

  • MM MM on May 09, 2016
    Idk. I guess it wouldn't be my style. They look like concrete blocks, but as far as breaking up a plain wall, it definitely does the trick😀