Vaulted ceiling design ideas

Written by sarah tidwell
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Vaulted ceiling design ideas
You can change the design of a vaulted ceiling using colours, images, textures, and architecture. (ceiling fan image by Adrian Hillman from

A vaulted ceiling often gets ignored during the decorating process when it should be a key feature in the room's design. A vaulted ceiling already has a small amount of character due to its height, but adding details such as paint, beams or texture helps tie the ceiling into your home's design theme.


Painting a vaulted ceiling with a colour that complements the room is an excellent way to complete the look of the space. For instance, if you have wood elements throughout the room, paint the ceiling a similar brown tone. Matching the wall colour to the ceiling colour makes the room appear small despite the high ceilings, so use a colour on the ceiling that subtly contrasts the wall colours.

You can also paint designs onto a vaulted ceiling. This design concept is especially ideal if you have solid colour flooring; homes with fancy floor tiles need solid colour ceilings, but reversing this idea allows you to embellish your ceiling and get the same effect. Painted designs work best on round, high ceilings.


Adding architectural detail to vaulted ceilings such as wooden beams helps your ceiling blend into your room's decor. High ceilings can tend to make your furniture look small because the vast open space swallows everything in it; therefore, incorporating an eye-catching ceiling detail can bring the focal point of the room back to eye level. You must use caution when planning to add architecture to your vaulted ceiling because too much of it can make the ceiling appear too heavy for the room and the ceiling will override your room's furniture. Focusing on emphasising the room's characteristics subtly helps you avoid overpowering it. Beams work well on ceilings with flat surfaces, whether it is a traditional flat ceiling or a ceiling that progresses to a point.


You can incorporate texture on vaulted ceilings a couple of ways: textured paint, trays or coffers. Textured paint makes the room look like a single unit because it draws the ceiling into the room's design. If all the walls in the room are a light colour, such as white or beige, you can keep the high ceilings the same colour and still draw the room's focal point down simply by adding texture. The benefit of using textured paint is that it works on any shape vaulted ceiling.

Using wood to add trays or coffers to flat vaulted ceilings works well when the floors are a solid colour and texture. You can paint the ceiling one colour, and add coloured coffers that match the floor for a contrasted look. If you incorporate a single tray with wood trim, you can also contrast the trim colour with the ceiling or paint it the same colour and use the tray for adding texture.

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