9 Ways to Add Decor to Vaulted Ceilings

Last month, I had Laura from Sewing Makes Me Happy here on the blog to give you a beginner’s guide to sewing. I loved having her here so much that she’s back! This time she’s giving you 9 ideas on how to add decor to vaulted ceilings.

Vaulted Ceilings Decor

Some friends of mine recently moved into a beautiful, new house. Of course, I was enlisted to help on moving day since I have a truck. I was glad to help out, too!

When I walked in, I was blown away with the vaulted ceilings in the main room. They add an elegance and grand appearance. Vaulted ceilings provide an openness that you need to take into account when you’re decorating.

My friend asked me to help out since I have high ceilings at my place, plus I added coffering to my ceilings recently. Coffered ceilings aren’t the same as vaulted ceilings – coffering is more like a series of shaped panels, like these coffered ceilings.

Anyway, my recent experience with coffering gave me a great perspective to brainstorm about vaulted ceilings.

Find the Best Paint Color

The color of a room sets the tone for the overall decor of the room. In a lot of settings, the right color can bring attention to the important features in the room, and blend in. (Check out what the Minecraft treatment can do for example.)

Your vaulted ceiling is no different so think about the color carefully. I prefer a different color than the main walls and trim for a contrasting effect. The contrast provides an interesting feature to draw the eyes up.

Head to your hardware store and check out the spectrum of colors that are available. Painting vaulted ceilings can be a challenge so look for 2-in-1 paint, the kind with primer in it.

Let There Be Light…Fixtures

You have to have lighting in rooms so why not install light fixtures that are stylish. Light can add much needed warmth and highlight the space. Vaulted ceilings have plenty of space to be highlighted so take advantage of that with lighting.

Decorate Vaulted Ceilings

 Add Drapes To High Windows

Most rooms with vaulted ceilings have taller than normal windows. They are designed like that to draw the eyes higher. It would look awkward with a large amount of empty space.

In a similar way, the drapes will bring your attention upward to the ceiling. The drapes can help your ceilings live up to their full potential.

Decorate Vaulted Ceilings

Add Accessories To High Walls

Pictures and other accessories are begging to be used in a room with vaulted ceilings. You normally have one wall or more that goes very high, which gives you plenty of real estate to accessorize.

One interesting thing to try is placing pictures so they follow along with the slant of the ceiling. It isn’t required but can add a modern flair to your decor.

Decorate Vaulted Ceilings

Visible Beams

This is one of my favorites. Visible beams can run the gamut – functional and plain to ornate and fancy, or anywhere in between. I think having some natural wood beams that are stained add a beautiful and natural elegance to a room.

It reminds me of the real wood used to build the home. That is just my personal preference for beams.

Decorate Vaulted Ceilings

Add Patterns To The Ceiling

An alternative to beams are patterns, normally painted. You may have seen these more often in a church or museum, but patterns can make a room feel formal and elegant.

Use patterns in formal rooms like a study, sitting room, or even a dining room. Here is a great example from Cat, adding clouds to the ceiling.

Add Coffered Ceiling Treatments

A coffered ceiling is really a type of beamed ceiling that has a pattern of beams. It is really like combining a few of the ideas that we are talking about in this post. That said, it means that you can add coffered ceiling treatments to a vaulted ceiling, just like visible beams and molding.

I may be biased, but I think coffering offers the best of visible beams and patterns. If you are after a serious upgrade in appearance, take a look at some of the options that are available with coffering.


Natural light can’t be beat. Everything seems to look better in natural sunlight, and it is hard to get truly natural colored lighting. A room with a large amount of space can use the extra lighting during the day so why not use the sun.

An added feature of skylights is that they can make the room feel even bigger and more open. If you live in a cool climate, the sun can help warm your home in the winter, too.

Decorate Vaulted Ceilings

Crown molding

Crown molding seems to universally be a way to upgrade a room. It adds a finishing touch that can’t be substituted, and it doesn’t necessarily make the room formal.

Unlike the skylights, you can actually install the crown molding yourself. It’s a really great project to get started DIYing. Getting the angles just right does take practice, but it is very approachable to the novice.

If you have vaulted ceilings, consider yourself lucky! They are a great feature for a home and make most people feel like they are in a special place.

You can take advantage of the extra decorating space that vaulted ceilings offer. It can be overwhelming because of all the options available. Take it slow, and add one or two of the ideas above.

Then, you can re-evaluate how the room looks and get opinions from people you trust. Add more features as you see fit. Treat it like an ongoing project where you can add, adapt, and update the decor as your tastes change.

And, don’t forget to have fun with it!

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  1. says

    Hi there |Cat and Laura, those are some gorgeous tips for a vaunted ceiling. I have been looking around for some of these tips since my cousin is moving to a similar house and needed me to help out. I find your tips to be very straightforward and detailed that I already have the complete picture of the house :). Thanks a lot for sharing this.


  2. says

    These are all great ways to add character to vaulted ceilings. Visible beams are somethings I’m looking for in my next home. Thanks for sharing.

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