CREATING A COZY ROOM WITH VAULTED CEILINGS

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm not a huge fan of vaulted ceilings. It's true that they do make a space feel much larger than it really is, but you sometimes sacrifice the cozyness of the room as a result.
I toured an amazing model home a few years ago that was a gorgeous craftsman replica. The living area had tall ceilings, but not vaulted, and the room just felt so warm and cozy. There was even a spare room above! I told the realtor how much I liked that particular room, and she said they'd changed their architectural plans since constructing that home to include a vaulted ceiling in the living area (and no spare room above) "due to popular demand". I was so disappointed.

So how do you bring the "cozy" to a room with vaulted ceilings?
I have vaulted ceilings in my living room and I would love to paint every wall in there, but I'd have to hire someone to paint the super tall walls and I just can't justify that expense right now. So I finally decided to paint a few of the walls I could actually reach and then carry the accent wall color through the rest of the living and dining area with curtains I already owned.

I can't believe how much those few painted walls in addition to the curtains and warm wood tones warmed up the space.

Here are two other rooms that I think are great examples of making tall celings work.

The first is from HPJ185 on Rate My Space.
The colors in this room are light, but her use of molding, a great fireplace, a tone-on-tone palette, and large furniture pieces really work in the space.
The second is from Isabellaandmaxrooms on Rate My Space.
I love her consistent use of a warm, slightly dark, neutral wall color throughout the space (including the stairwell). It really brings a cozy feel to the room.
I also think painting the ceiling can make a big difference, even if it's a shade lighter than your wall color. It helps make the ceiling blend in a bit with the rest of the room and almost disappear.
Do you have vaulted ceilings? What are your design solutions?

27 Suburbanites Said:

The BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I've got vaulted ceilings in my living room and bedroom, too...and I'm not a fan. My problem is it just feels really dark in there because there are so many more shadows high up. : ( I'm hiring an electrician to come in and make my rooms like I'm living on the sun, but I so wish there were other options!

Amber said...

Yes, we have vaulted ceilings. They're slanted, even. lol. I don't necessarily have a design solution, I guess.

But I do love your pictures, as well as those other wonderful ones from Rate my space. LOVELY!!

Mamaoftwins said...

Your house is just Beautiful AnNicole! So airy and light.

I really like the color on the wall of the last pictures you posted. It really warms up the space. Your right about the tall ceilings and walls. Mine are only 13-14 ft. and my legs were SHAKING when I was up on the ladder. I cant imagine trying to paint those tall ceilings! YIKES!

janet said...

somethings that are so simple can make the most impact. I dont have high ceilings, but i do know i love your room, it does look cozy but soft and airey which is a look that im always trying to achieve
hugs
janet

Heather said...

I saw a room with a vaulted ceiling {living room} that felt warm. The trick was the weird alcove inset on the gigantic wall of ceiling high windows was painted a darker olive green, the rest of the room a more neutral beige. That dark green was then used inside the bookcases and bar area and it really made it feel warm and intimate. Plus of course she had beautiful window treatments, that helped.

mimi charmante said...

I think your space is wonderfully cozy and comfortable - good job!

Juli said...

I agree with you. I hate vaulted ceilings. Speaking of I just spent the day painting mine. I would say they go up 14 ft or so. Angled as well. The house was a spec house so they had some designer pick the colors. Builder beige in every room but this room she went all out and did in three shades of beige. I like a little color and have pondered this room for almost 6 years trying to figure out how I could pull it together without painting the ceiling. Not working so this weekend hubs and I broke out the "BIG" ladder and went to work. I need to do a second coat tomorrow and hopefully it will be done. I think my head kinks to one side now. LOL! I love your blog, your cozy little home and all of the awesome project you have done. Thanks for sharing.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

I am SO not a fan of vaulted ceilings, but I do have them in my bedroom. Those walls are difficult to accessorize.
Thanks for sharing some awesome pictures, I love what you've done with your living room!

jenjen said...

Hi - I just wanted to tell you that I really love your blog! I have a similar living room and I did the same thing. I painted all of the walls that I could and then saved up enough to have a professional come in and do the ones later. I think paint color makes such a difference!

Jen

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

I love our high ceilings but it does take some thunkin' to figure out what to do! I actually have a post planned about this. They are hard to deal with. I just love your house!!

DESJ and Company said...

I have low ceilings and prefer them.
But I'm stuck on your curtain rod that turns 90 degrees. What is it?
thanks!

AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage said...

DESJ, You mean the curtain rod in the corner above the chair? It's actually 2 short rods - 1 on each wall. The angle just makes it look like 1 attached at a 90 degree angle.

Catherine said...

You have such a gorgeous room. I have a similar armoire to yours with a curved top. I love your window seat! I've always wanted one, but all my windows are low to the floor, so it wouldn't work....next house perhaps.

Erin said...

AnNicole, thanks for this post!! I am going to forward it to my sister, who just found out that their offer was accepted on the house with a two story dining room and vaulted ceiling living room. She will really appreciate your ideas. Thanks for the photos of your space. It looks fantastic! One thing I suggested to my sister, since she likes a more cottage feel, is to do a paneled wainscotting treatment on the walls that goes to the tops of the door openings, painted white with a different color above. I saw something like that over on the velvet & linen blog and it works well.

melissa said...

AnNicole~it's a beautiful room~the paint really warmed it up. May I ask what color you used?

AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage said...

Erin - Good! I hope it will help you sister. Your idea of a wainscotting treatment is fantastic.

Melissa - The color is Duron Tobacco Road that I had mixed at Lowes...yep, The Nester's signature color. It happened to be the perfect color to work with my curtains. You can find the formula on her site.

DESJ and Company said...

So you just took 2 rods and butted them up to each other?
Why didn't I think of that...
Thanks!

Katie said...

I really love you blog and home. I have a living area that is similar and It is hard to hang things on the walls to because of all the height. I really like your colors and it all looks wonderful. I'm so glad I found you blog.

Christina said...

we have vaulted ceilings too and it *is* hard to warm up things up w/all the empty space.

Your home is beautiful. There is certainly a warmness about it. The new paint on the accent walls adds extra warmth too.

Enjoying your blog.

leigh ann said...

I love your blog layout...how did you get the header picture to be three pictures with a border? I wanted something similar but with fresh laundry, just baked bread, and maybe my children and dog (since that's kind-of what our house smells like!). Thanks!

leigh ann said...

Thank you so much for your help! I'll have to play around with that this weekend. I wish I could take credit for my header picture, but I just went to yahoo and searched for free photos of fruit!

Stacey said...

Hi there. Found your blog tonight for the first time. I live in Edmond, OK! I went through your whole blog. Love it! I have to go find that fleatique store you wrote about in Jenks. :)

LA said...

Your living room looks wonderful. So fresh and crisp and perfect. Will you share the paint color? I have similar couches and think that the color you added on the walls is exactly right.

queenbee said...

Love your home and I am planning on painting the fabulous tobacco road, via Nester, in my living room. Are your corner curtains burlap?

countertops said...

Vaulted ceilings are cool! Love your pics

Chris said...

I do have vaulted ceilings , I especially love that room , mine in quite tiny 10x 13ft, but still is a favorite room . I put a shelf behind our sofa with some chunky antique brackets , as well as a pair of black mirrors to help bring the room into scale as well as some lanters flanking the mirrors, it has been very successful. I feel your painting pain , I did it myself on the top of a 10 foot ladder with an extension rod , it was a work out but worth it .
Your room look great .

Cara Starr @ JohnsonManorisms said...

Our new home is two story, and the entry way is open all the way to the second floor. I am DREADING painting it. Especially the whole cutting-in at the ceiling part. ugh.