You name it, we’ve got them here: vaulted, cathedral, coffered, tray, shed, double-height, dome, beamed, and any other type of tall ceiling height you can think of. High ceilings in living rooms create substantial areas of space , which usually call for some decorative treatment, be it architectural, artistic, photographic, or whatever. Bauhaus’ minimalist aesthetic says to leave the space alone, but that approach won’t work in every situation. Below, we’ve put together a curated gallery of living rooms with tall ceilings that offer some decorative ideas to address spatial considerations.
1. Hot Pink Sofa adds Splash of Color to Massive Space
Living room, in a home designed by London’s DOS Architects features a massive open space with a wall of windows drawing in lots of natural light. A large hot pink sofa defines the seating area, with a long wall bench positioned under the windows. The room also incorporates a bookcase, recessed lighting, a glass-top coffee table, an accent chair and a hot pink ottoman to match the sofa.
DOS Architects, who work on projects worldwide, have given the space a subtle mosque-like atmosphere with traditional Islamic arched doors and windows introduced as part of the design. A corner of the room, with an area rug placed in front of the windows, is set up like an Islamic prayer space. DOS Architects sometimes use microtopping on floors and facings, which can be applied to different surfaces for a seamless appearance. The small paintings, planted high up on the walls, are the one design element that seems out of place. The pieces chosen are too small for the space created by the high ceiling and get lost in the room. When you do notice them, they compete with each other for attention. One large-scale painting on the wall without any windows might have been a better solution.
2. Bank of Windows Provide Money-Shot View of Waterscape
This example of contemporary living room ceiling design features a double-height bank of windows with a money-shot view of the Pacific Ocean. The space also includes beige sectionals, base cabinets in two alcoves, a coffee table, and an area rug over light wood flooring. A wall projection with a gas fireplace travels up to a second-floor balcony overlooking the space.
3. One Wall Devoted to Windows and a Linear Gas Fireplace
Elegant living space features a cathedral ceiling with a section of one wall devoted to windows and a custom-made, linear gas fireplace. The room also includes a sofa, coffee table, side tables , and an assortment of tub and Bergère chairs. Most of the chairs sit on a large area rug, although a few are pushed against a back wall. Recessed lighting, as well as clerestory and wall windows, illuminate the area. There are so many chairs in the space the overall effect seems kind of busy — fewer chairs and the addition of a large-scale painting on the blank wall, for example, an abstract triptych, like Joan Mitchell’s “Sans Neige” — might work well.
4. Recessed Lighting in Drop Ceiling Illuminates Room
Minimalist living room features a white sofa set with two barrel chairs and a coffee table facing a widescreen TV. The space also includes a marble fireplace, an accent wall with a marble effect, and dark hardwood flooring. Recessed lighting illuminates the room with some sections of the higher ceiling dropped lower to form a false ceiling. Double-height, draped windows fill the wall leading to the outside.
5. Cluttered Room Lacks Cohesive Design Elements
Large space, combining a foyer with a living room, features an assortment of mostly leather armchairs with a set of coffee tables and a grand piano. An enclosed circular staircase leads to the second floor. The room has white tile flooring with several area rugs that try to define distinctive spaces, but they don’t really succeed. A sofa or two would have gone a long way in both dividing the room up and providing alternative seating options. Generally, using the color white makes a room feel bigger, but there’s so much clutter here that the color has little effect on the overall design. Hope somebody can play that piano.
6. Elegant Formal Living Room Lets Subtle Design Speak for Itself
Elegant formal living room features a white sofa set with two massive club chairs and a matching ottoman. The space also includes a wood-burning fireplace, hardwood flooring , and a large area rug. The walls and tall ceiling are a blue/green pastel color with large windows letting in plenty of natural light.
7. Supersized Room Completely Open to the Outside
Large modern living room makes a seamless transition between the interior space and the outside decking. The room features a white sofa set and a large area rug, along with spherical pendant lights suspended from a towering ceiling. The gigantic nature of the space makes everything seem supersized, with massive blinds covering one glass wall while sunlight streams in from another wall, completely open to the elements.
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8. Double-Height Ceiling Extends Over Outside Deck
Living space, with expansive ocean views, features a white sofa set, tightly configured around a coffee table, that faces a large wood-burning concrete fireplace. One wall of the waterfront property opens to an outside deck that leads down to a beach area. The double-height wooden ceiling includes an overhang extending over the outside deck area.
9. Chalet-Style Great Room Showcases Wood Craftsmanship
Large chalet-style great room features a cedar wood plank cathedral ceiling with exposed beams and hardwood flooring. A leather sofa set is positioned in the center of the space, on an area rug, in front of a massive stone fireplace. The room also includes a formal dining room and a breakfast bar.
10. Abstract Wall Art Works Well in Mix of Design Elements
Living room, featuring a mix of home decor elements, has large-scale abstract wall art under a cathedral ceiling. The room, lit with recessed lighting, includes sectional sofas with armchairs, ottoman, and a mid-century modern coffee table. A large area rug covers concrete flooring with a glass wall opening to an outside deck area.
- Designed by: Grupo Arquitectura
11. Sloped Ceiling Features Clerestory Windows
Spacious living room features a large sectional sofa and chairs around a square glass-top coffee table. The sloped ceiling includes clerestory treatment above walls of windows with views of a mountainous landscape.
12. Ornate Candle Chandeliers Hang from Coffered Ceiling
Large living room features three candle-shape chandeliers suspended from a coffered ceiling with arched windows letting in plenty of natural light. The room includes two upholstered sofas with an armchair and coffee table on a large area rug facing an ornate wood-burning fireplace. A classical portrait painting in the style of Goya hangs over the fireplace with a grand piano across the room.
13. Tennessee Living Room Ready for Next Jam Session
Great room, in a Franklin, TN home owned by musician Miley Cyrus features a vaulted ceiling, exposed beams , and a massive stone fireplace that is constructed full height against one wall. The space also features hardwood flooring, an area rug, and two separate sitting areas with leather and fabric furniture. Natural lighting pours in through clerestory and lower-level windows and doors on three sides of the room. Musical instruments, including an upright piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and amp, sit against one wall, ready for the next session to start. An elaborate candle chandelier hangs down from an exposed beam in the center of the room, with table lamps and wall-mounted lamps providing even more lighting for the space.
- Source: Zillow
14. Ornate Fireplace Dominates Living Room Space
A massive, ornately carved wood-burning fireplace dominates large living space which also features a wood ceiling with exposed beams and a candle-shaped chandelier light fixture. In the center of the space, an area rug is laid over the patterned hardwood flooring. Seating includes all antique furniture — two camelback sofas with armchairs and a coffee table in front of the fireplace. A large, arched window provides the room with plenty of natural light.
15. Bookcase Designed for Both Fun and Function
Compact living space, in a recently renovated Montreal homefeatures a gray sofa set, hardwood flooring, a white shag rug, and a bookcasebuilt of wooden slats that extends through the double-height space. The bookcase serves as both a design element and a functional room divider screening the stairs and a colorful orange wall that lead to the second floor.
16. Crystal Chandelier Hangs Suspended From Rococo Tray Ceiling
A crystal chandelier hangs suspended from a rococo tray ceiling in a living room lavishly decorated with old-world sophistication. Even though there is lots of space to cover, the interior design is well-thought-out and comprehensive in its choice of furnishings and artwork.
17. Massive Skylight Opens Up Ceiling
The interior design of this room is nothing special, but the hole in the ceiling, as big as anything this side of the oculus in Ancient Rome’s Pantheon, is definitely an idea worth examining. You could also just call the opening a “skylight” but that wouldn’t really do it justice — the architectural aperture takes up a considerable space in the ceiling and provides a massive amount of light to the interior. The rest of the living room with bare white walls is really a missed opportunity, although the dark hardwood flooring is a keeper.
18. Fireplace Obscures the View But Still Keeps Things Interesting
Mexico’s Grupo Arquitectura pulls out all the stops in this contemporary living room designed with a wall of windows and a double-height ceiling. A fireplace planted right in the middle of the glass wall provides enough architectural interest to make you forget that it is also obscuring the view outside. Two large, industrial metal pipes extend from the top of the fireplace out through the top of the “fifth wall.” Three sofas, two Chesterfield chairs , and a set of coffee tables occupy the space in front of the fireplace. A large piece of pop art, immaculately placed on one wall, solves any conceptual puzzle the interior designer may have faced. Well played.
- Designed by: Grupo Arquitectura
19. Cantilevered Staircase Leads to Second-Story Loft
Living room, in a minimalist home designed by Studio GYZA features a living space with concrete walls, a gray sofa set, a glass-top coffee table, and a floor lamp. An area rug covers a small section of the hardwood flooring. A cantilevered staircase leads to a second-story loft with contemporary pendant light fixtures hanging from the double-height ceiling.
- Designed by: Studio GYZA
20. Terrazzo-Accent Fireplace Dominates One Wall
Mid-century modern living room in a Pasadena architectural classic owned by actor Meryl Streep features a white sofa set, a terrazzo-accent, wood-burning fireplace, two coffee tables , and an area rug covering hardwood flooring. The walls of the home, built in 1959, are exposed concrete blocks. A wood beam runs through the center of the cathedral ceiling which has both recessed and semi-flush lighting. A wall of double-height glass windows provides more illumination and a view of the pebble-stone terrace out back.
21. Fireplace and Windows Extend to Top of Double-Height Ceiling
Living room features an ornately carved fireplace that extends the length of the double-height ceiling. Seating includes a camelback sofa and armchair with a coffee table over an area rug. Natural light pours in through a large window that serves as a wall of glass.
For our complete guide to living room design, see: How to Design the Perfect Living Room For Your Home (17 Steps)