Make a Room with High Ceilings Feel Cosy
Many homes have high ceilings or a double-volume room that feels empty and in this article, we look at how you can make these spaces feel cosy and more welcoming.
I live in a double-storey property that has a high ceiling that serves as my dining room. In the beginning, I found that this double-volume space always appears cold and unwelcoming, and sound would echo around the room. Since making a few changes, some of which are included below, the space is now welcoming and cosier.
There's no doubt that a room with a high ceiling or double-volume room provides a sense of space but it most definitely doesn't impart a sense of intimacy. Luckily, there are many ways to up the comfort level and make these spaces feel homey without losing the airy feel of the space.
Choose Lighting to Fit the Size
Too often, high ceilings are decorated with a single pendant lamp or ceiling fixture, or in some cases, a ceiling fan with a built-in light. A single fitting in a vast space does absolutely nothing except highlighting the vastness of the open area. These rooms deserve more attention and lighting is one way to fill up the space with an eye-catching feature that draws attention.
Rather than a single pendant or hanging light in a room with a high ceiling, fill up the space with a series of the same lights for greater impact.
Think a staggered arrangement of pendants, a set of three or more designer hanging lights, or even a series of lights along the length of the ceiling to draw the eye up. But if you don't want to go to the expense of having an electrician install more light points for additional fittings - think bigger. A large chandelier instantly fills up a high ceiling and adds drama and elegance at the same time [image above].
For a more cosy atmosphere in such a large room, you could also use down-lighting on the surrounding walls. This serves to bring attention down into the room and visually make the ceiling feel lower. Alternatively, if you want to ensure that the high ceiling is a feature, use up-lightings to point light towards the ceiling.
Ceiling beams don't have to be an expensive option if you look at making faux or box beams using PAR pine that you can purchase at any Builders store. Once these are assembled and sanded, apply a light or dark wood stain to give the effect of genuine wood beams.
Ceiling Beams create Atmosphere
Ceiling beams, whether faux or real wood has the effect of adding warmth to any space and work perfectly in a high-ceilinged room where you want to create the effect of a low ceiling and also add impact to the room. If you prefer a more rustic effect using beams, consider a vaulted ceiling where timber roof trusses highlight the high ceiling yet impart the entire room with warmth [top image]. If your decorating style is a tad more on the modern side of things. you can have custom beams made to fill up the ceiling space [above image].
Not everyone loves the look of raw timber, and for those, there is the option to install faux, box or timber beams painted in white to complement a room colour.
Just as you can install beams to visually lower a high ceiling, so can you look at the installation of a decorative ceiling or feature. Coffered ceilings are ceilings that are installed using different elements such as beams and moulding, to create a very decorative finish for a ceiling.
Not all ceilings have to be over-the-top bulky designs. Below is a DIY option to consider that makes use of pine plywood and board beams to create the effect of a coffered ceiling without overpowering the room with detail.
Since not everyone can afford to opt for a professionally installed coffered ceiling, there are more affordable ways to achieve the same effect. Ceiling tiles [image above] are available in various lightweight materials that allow for DIY installation, plus you can combine materials to create your own decorative ceiling on a budget [image below].
Considering all the above options, there are more than a few ways to make a high ceilinged or double volume space feel more welcoming and comfortable. And not all these ideas are expensive if you are prepared to give the project some thought and do the installation yourself.