Design Dilemma: Cozy with Cathedral Ceilings

Design | Cozy with Cathedral Ceilings

I recently got this question in my inbox. so I decided to tackle it in my next design dilemma

How do I make a living room cozy that has a cathedral ceiling?

Great question! I really love the dramatic angles created by cathedral or vaulted ceilings. They open up space in your rooms and help to make them appear and feel bigger than they actually are. But the abundance of space created by vaulted ceilings can sometimes make comfort a bit of a problem. Have no fear! Keep reading for my solutions to cozy up your space…

Counterbalance cathedral ceilings on the floor with overstuffed or large sofas and chairs | Ty Pennington

When you have a ton of open space overhead, it can feel a bit intimidating. Try to counterbalance that weight on the floor with overstuffed or large sofas and chairs. You can also upgrade to bigger coffee and lamp tables to find the sweet spot.

How to make cathedral ceilings more cozy | Ty Pennington

Now your walls probably feel like Jack the Giant, so if you want to tame the height, try adding a towering wardrobe in the bedroom, a high-reaching bookcase or a tall entertainment center in the living room.

Hang big artwork to balance extra space with vaulted ceilings | Ty Pennington

Big art is another great idea. You want something bulky to occupy the space and break up expanses of wall, so try large canvases, framed posters, or even antique quilts or tapestries. Also consider darker paint colors that are less light-reflective. Unlike ordinary off-white, darker/warmer hues will help achieve a balance between your massive space and your desired comfort. 

Lighting tips for vaulted ceilings | Ty Pennington

If want to add lighting, you have to consider size and shape. Vaulted ceiling are imposing to begin with, even without light shining on it. But if you use down-lighting ceiling figures, that extra space will be pushed into the shadows. You can also use table lamps to keep the eye from being pulled upward and highlight artwork with picture-frame lights or small spotlights. Keep in mind that if you light the corners of your space, you will also emphasize the LENGTH of the room instead of its massive height.

Have any ideas to make cathedral ceilings more comfortable? Share yours in the comments below. 


Photo Source: Apartment TherapyArchitectural Digest, Making it Lovely 

Ty Pennington

Ty Pennington is best known as the Emmy-award winning host of "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" and as the co-host of ABC Daytime's "The Revolution." He has been recognized as a home design expert, carpenter and leader in the field of volunteerism. is a space to share his inspiration, design tips, daily musings and more. Ty can currently be seen on TLC's Trading Spaces.

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