A home with high ceilings feels open and airy, but when you first move in, decorating it might feel daunting. Just as it is on a page, blank space is intimidating, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. There are many ways in which you can put your best foot forward when decorating and setting up rooms with high ceilings.

Here are some ideas to help you make the most of high ceilings:

1. Make a statement with hanging light fixtures

The lighting scheme you will decide on is sure to make a statement on the entire ambiance. Therefore, it’s important to dedicate some time and effort in choosing the right type and style of light fixture. With a high ceiling, you don’t have to worry about guests bumping their heads on the light fixture, which gives you more leeway in choosing the right ones for your home.

A chandelier is bound to complement a high ceiling, adding elegance to your living room, bedroom or even kitchen. Besides, a chandelier placed in a strategic spot in the room is an ideal way to make the connection between the ceiling and the lower side of the room. Additionally, your rooms with high ceilings are better off with other types of hanging or recessed lights instead of lamps.

2. Use windows to play with perspective

When your home comes with tall ceilings, you need tall windows to let in as much natural light as possible. Floor-to-ceiling windows invite in the most light and create an atmosphere of airiness. Alternatively, you can look into a transom window, which sits above doors or windows. If doubling up your windows appeals to you, going for curved shapes near the ceiling will help bring the room together in a unique way.

tall windows in a home with high ceilings

3. Pick long flowing curtains

Curtains dress up a room creating a warm feel that a tall room could use. Choose a model that flows from ceiling to floor so that the room’s upper side and the ground feel connected. White drapes will give your room a light, breezy air, while darker ones will add a dramatic effect.
Make sure you use the same type of drapes all around the room for a cohesive look.

4. Dazzle with mirrors

Using mirrors on tall walls is one of the best strategies you can use to amplify light in your large room, and they can create the illusion of a larger space. They work best when placed up high to collect and reflect as much light as possible. Besides the large windows and the impressive light fixture, mirrors add a little more charm to your elegant setup.

5. Play with architectural details

Adding details to high ceilings breaks large headspace and adds character to that empty space, making it more welcoming. Many homes built in this way already have exposed beams, but if yours doesn’t have them, consider making this architectural addition. Wooden beams are compatible with a contemporary-style home too. You can even paint the ceiling a different color than the rest of the walls to create contrast. You can also create an accent wall: add horizontal wood paneling to one wall and stone to its side to break up the pattern. Additionally, investing in wood wall molding is another way to add a timeless design choice to your high walls.

6. Take your shelving to new heights

The lofty space of your home will look dressed up with vertical shelving. Find the shelving units best suited for your needs, whether you need them to hold your devices, kitchen items or other household items.

book shelves in a high ceiling home

Ceiling-high bookshelves are a sight to behold, and they exude that timeless charm every home should have. Besides, you can keep your book collection in one spot. This is especially true if you live in Portland, the land of books. You might have a lot of clothes and other household items that can’t be part of the open space concept — why not turn to self storage to solve this problem? As it turns out, you can easily find a self storage unit in Portland to keep your items until you need them again. If books are all you’re storing, a 5×5 unit might easily fit them, but if your storage needs extend to clothing and furniture, you might consider a 10×10 storage unit that provides that extra space needed to accommodate more items.

7. Create focalized areas

This strategy works best in rooms such as your kitchen, where extending a cooktop hood with an exhaust fan down to almost eye level will create a cozy area against the backdrop of a high ceiling. You can apply the same principle to other spaces in your home for a more intimate feel.

8. Guide the eye upward with art

You might be used to hanging art at eye level, but living in a home with high ceilings means you might need to change your strategy. Go for larger paintings or even a tapestry to draw the eye higher and dress up the empty space. You could choose a gallery-style wall or pick a focal piece and then place all the other paintings around it. Don’t forget to mix it up a bit by adding sculptures or other figurines for a balanced look.

9. Hang plants from the ceiling

To make good use of the ceiling space, why not hang a plant or two? Doing so will not only add a pop of color regardless of the season, but it will also make the room more friendly. Hanging plants are the most popular choice for this sort of setup. The Boston fern and String of pearls are among the most popular plants in this category.

vertical plants in a high ceiling home

10. Turn the upper space into a loft

If adorning your walls with art and shelves isn’t your cup of tea, you can repurpose some of the extra space into a loft. This new space can be used as an additional bedroom, a home office, a play area or just a quiet reading nook. Surely your guests will enjoy this space, but you may find yourself using it much more than you think! Make sure to build a sturdy staircase for easy access.

11. Store Your Bike Indoors

High ceilings mean you have all that extra real estate that can be used to your advantage. If you have a wood board in your high-ceiling room or not, there are always creative ways to store your bike indoors, especially in a home with a modern design.

bike stored on a wall in a high ceiling home

Did we help you find any useful tips to tackle the high ceilings in your home? Let us know in the comments section below.


Mirela is a real estate writer and lifestyle editor for Yardi. With an academic background in English and translation, Mirela now covers a range of topics including real estate trends, lifestyle and economy. Her previous experience in proofreading academic articles has inspired Mirela to choose a writing career path. In her free time, Mirela enjoys reading, but also hiking and creating art. You can contact Mirela via email.

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