At first, having tall ceilings may not seem like a problem you have to “work with.” But, things can get tricky when it comes to hanging the right pieces on the walls. One of my readers emailed me who was having problems decorating her own tall ceilings:
“I have 14 or 15 ft tall ceilings, but the rooms are also small. When they were painted a dark color, the house looked even smaller. I painted them off-white and the rooms look more spacious, but now I’m struggling with art work. I continue to struggle with the mantel because of the tall ceilings. Everything I have put on the mantel in the last two years looks wrong. I’m contemplating using pattern on the wall, but don’t really want to do all that work since I’m not sure what it would look like. The only wall I’m happy with in the living room is where I stacked botanicals. The other walls are still in a confused state.”
She’s absolutely right about the lighter, neutral paint. A darker color in a tall space can feel daunting. I also love how she’s gone up instead of out when hanging the botanical prints.
To me, the biggest thing that’s not working is the size of the mirror. It’s getting lost in all of the wall space above the fireplace. She also mentioned possibly adding pattern on this wall. I would stay away from doing that as a way to fill the space. Because of the height of the ceilings, this could feel a little overwhelming.
I think one simple change in this room would make a big difference. I would use a big, vertical mirror in a black frame to take advantage of the height of the room. The black frame would tie in the framed botanical prints, and the rectangular shape works well against the archways (of the doorway and bookcases) that it sets between.
(I think a big piece of art would work here, too, but in this case, I like a mirror since the ceiling fan is hung high enough so that you wouldn’t see its direct reflection. I would also keep the mantel styling super simple with maybe a big potted orchid or fern. Lots of little accessories would also get “lost”.)
It’s all about scale.
This goes for decorating rooms of all heights, but it’s especially important for tall spaces. If the artwork is too small, it’ll end up looking like it’s floating in outer space all by itself. Consider grouping smaller frames and stacking them for height.