How to Decorate Cathedral Ceiling Walls

Decorating cathedral ceiling walls can transform a room with high ceilings into a captivating space that combines grandeur with coziness. These soaring walls offer a unique opportunity for dramatic decor and design statements that can elevate the aesthetics of your living space. However, the vast expanse of a cathedral ceiling can also present challenges in scale, lighting, and acoustics.

How to Decorate Cathedral Ceiling Walls

In the following sections on how to decorate cathedral ceiling walls, we will explore creative ideas and practical tips for making the most of your cathedral ceiling walls, turning them into an asset that enhances your home’s character and warmth.

What is a Cathedral Ceiling?

A cathedral ceiling, also known as a vaulted ceiling, is characterized by its steep slope and height. It creates an open and airy feeling in a room, making it seem larger and more spacious. This type of ceiling can be found in many different types of architecture, including traditional churches, contemporary homes, and even commercial spaces like hotels and restaurants.

You can identify a cathedral ceiling by its shape, as it resembles an inverted V or an arch. It adds a touch of elegance and grandeur to any room, making it an attractive architectural feature. The height and angle of a cathedral ceiling provide a unique opportunity for decorating the walls in creative ways.

Needed Materials

Before you begin decorating your cathedral ceiling walls, there are a few essential materials that you will need. These include:

Ladder or Scaffolding:

Since cathedral ceilings are high, you will need a ladder or scaffolding to reach the top and work comfortably.

Paint or Wallpaper:

Choosing the right color and finish for your cathedral ceiling walls is crucial in creating the desired effect. You can opt for a bold accent color or a subtle neutral tone, depending on your personal preference and the overall design scheme of your room.

Artwork or Decorative Pieces:

Using artwork or decorative pieces is an excellent way to add personality and style to your cathedral ceiling walls. Whether it’s framed prints, sculptures, or wall hangings, these pieces can bring visual interest and enhance the overall aesthetic of your space.

Using Artwork or Decorative Pieces

Lighting Fixtures:

Proper lighting is essential when it comes to decorating cathedral ceiling walls. You can choose from various options, including recessed lights, chandeliers, or wall sconces, depending on your design style and the amount of light needed in the room.

Acoustic Panels:

Since cathedral ceiling walls can create echoes and sound distortion, adding acoustic panels is a practical and aesthetic solution. These panels are designed to absorb sound and improve acoustics in the room while also serving as decorative elements.

10 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Decorate Cathedral Ceiling Walls

Step 1: Determine the Purpose of Your Room

Before you start decorating your cathedral ceiling walls, it’s essential to consider the purpose of the room you are working on. Is it a living room where you will entertain guests, a bedroom where you want to create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere or an office where functionality is key?

Understanding the function of the room will help guide your design choices for the cathedral ceiling walls. The decor in a living room may be different from that in a bedroom or office, so it’s crucial to have a clear purpose in mind. The purpose of the room will also determine the type of lighting and acoustics you need to consider. It’s essential to keep these factors in mind throughout the decorating process.

Step 2: Choose a Focal Point

When decorating cathedral ceiling walls, it’s essential to have a focal point that draws the eye upward and creates visual interest. This could be  a chandelier, a large piece of artwork, or even a fireplace. The focal point will serve as the centerpiece for your design and help balance out the scale of the walls.

Focal Point That Draws the Eye Upward

The key is to choose something that complements the style and function of your room while also being appropriately scaled for the size of your cathedral ceiling. You can also use multiple focal points for a more dynamic and layered look. The important thing is to avoid clutter and keep the focus on a few key elements. If you have a room with multiple cathedral ceiling walls, each wall can have its own focal point.

Step 3: Consider Lighting Needs

Lighting is crucial when it comes to decorating cathedral ceiling walls. With such high walls, it’s essential to have proper lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Consider adding recessed lighting or installing a large statement chandelier for added drama.

You can also incorporate wall sconces or floor lamps for additional layers of lighting. It’s important to balance the amount of light in the room and avoid creating shadows or dark corners. The type of lighting you choose will also depend on the function of the room. For example, a living room may need softer and warmer lighting, while an office or kitchen may require brighter and more functional lighting.

Step 4: Use Accent Colors

To add depth and interest to your cathedral ceiling walls, consider incorporating accent colors into your design. This could be through paint, wallpaper, or decorative elements like curtains or rugs. Accent colors can help break up the vast expanse of ceiling and add a pop of color to your room’s overall aesthetic.

It’s important to choose colors that complement each other and the rest of the  room’s decor to create a cohesive look. You can also use accent colors to highlight architectural details of your cathedral ceiling, such as beams or arches. The key is to use them sparingly and thoughtfully.

Use Accent Colors to Highlight Architectural Details

Step 5: Embrace Texture

Cathedral ceiling walls offer the perfect opportunity to incorporate texture into your design. Consider using materials like wood, exposed brick, or stone to add visual interest and depth. These textures can be incorporated through architectural features or decor elements like accent walls, artwork, or furnishings.

The key is to find a balance between different textures and materials to create a harmonious and cohesive look. The texture also adds warmth and coziness to the room, making it feel more inviting. You can also experiment with different textures to find what works best for your space. The possibilities are endless!

Step 6: Add Plants

Plants are an excellent way to bring life and warmth into an otherwise vast and open space. Consider adding tall potted plants or hanging plants to your cathedral ceiling walls to add a touch of color and nature.

This is especially effective if you have high windows or skylights that allow natural light to filter in, creating a whimsical and organic atmosphere. The plants can help soften the hard lines and angles of a cathedral ceiling and add a touch of softness. It’s important to choose plants that thrive in the lighting and temperature conditions of your room. Consider consulting with a local plant expert to find the best options for your space.

Step 7: Use Wall Hangings

Another way to add visual interest and break up the expanse of cathedral ceiling walls is by incorporating wall hangings. This could be in the form of tapestries, paintings, or even decorative plates or baskets. Wall hangings can help fill up negative space and add a touch of personality to your room.

It’s important to consider the size and scale of the wall hanging in proportion to your cathedral ceiling walls. Large pieces work well for high ceilings, while smaller pieces may get lost in the space. You can also use wall hangings to bring in accent colors or textures. It’s all about finding the right balance and choosing pieces that speak to your personal style.

Step 8: Utilize Beams

Cathedral Ceiling Has Exposed Beams

If your cathedral ceiling has exposed beams, consider using them as a decorative element in your design. You can choose to keep the natural wood or paint them to match the rest of your room’s decor. Beams add a rustic and cozy touch to a room, making it feel more inviting.

They also help break up the vastness of cathedral ceiling walls and create a focal point. Beams can be used to hang light fixtures, plants or even to showcase artwork. Depending on the style of your room, you could also incorporate faux beams to add a touch of character and charm. It’s essential to consider the placement and scale of beams in your room to ensure they enhance the overall design.

Step 9: Don’t Forget About Acoustics

One often overlooked aspect of decorating cathedral ceiling walls is acoustics. With high ceilings, sound can easily bounce around and create an echo in the room. To avoid this, it’s important to incorporate elements that absorb sound and improve acoustics.

This could be in the form of area rugs, upholstered furniture, or even decorative wall hangings like tapestries. You can also install acoustic panels on your walls or ceiling to help reduce noise levels. It’s important to consider the function of your room and incorporate acoustics into your design for a more enjoyable and comfortable space.

Step 10: Personalize Your Design

Finally, when decorating your cathedral ceiling walls, don’t be afraid to add personal touches that reflect your style and personality. This could be through artwork, family photos, or even DIY projects.

The key is to make the space feel like home while still adhering to design principles and creating a visually appealing room. Having a personal touch will make your cathedral ceiling walls feel like more than just a blank canvas, but rather an integral part of your home’s design. So go ahead and express yourself through your decorating choices!

Following these steps on cathedral ceiling will help you create a stunning and functional design for your cathedral ceiling walls. Remember to consider lighting, accent colors, texture, plants, wall hangings, beams, acoustics, and personalization when designing your space.

With careful planning and attention to detail, your cathedral ceiling walls can become the standout feature of your home that adds depth, character, and charm to any room.

Creative Ideas for Decorating Cathedral Ceiling Walls

Now that we’ve covered some practical tips, let’s explore some creative ideas for decorating cathedral ceiling walls:

Hang Artwork:

One of the easiest ways to add visual interest to cathedral ceiling walls is by hanging artwork. Large, bold pieces can make a statement and draw the eye upward, while smaller pieces can create a gallery wall effect. Consider using a mix of frames and sizes to add dimension to the space.

Use Lighting:

Lighting is Crucial in Decorating

Lighting is crucial in decorating cathedral ceiling walls, as it can help balance the scale of the space. Consider installing a chandelier or pendant lights that hang down from the ceiling to create a focal point. You can also use recessed lighting to highlight specific areas or accentuate architectural features.

Add Faux Beams:

Faux wooden beams can add warmth and character to cathedral ceiling walls. They can also serve as a practical solution for hiding wiring or adding lighting fixtures. These faux beams come in different finishes, making it easy to find one that complements your existing decor.

Incorporate Textures:

Adding texture is an excellent way to create visual interest and add warmth to cathedral ceiling walls. You can incorporate texture through items like woven baskets, knit blankets, or even a textured wallpaper.

Create a Feature Wall:

If you want to make a statement with your cathedral ceiling walls, consider creating a feature wall. This could be in the form of a bold paint color, an accent wall made  with wood or stone, or even a large mural. Feature walls can add depth and personality to a room, making it feel unique and personalized.

Maintaining Visual Harmony: Tips for Decorating Cathedral Ceiling Walls

While cathedral ceiling walls can add character and dimension to a room, it’s essential to maintain visual harmony in your design. Here are some tips to consider when decorating cathedral ceiling walls:

Use Proportion:

Choosing Decor Pieces or Furniture

When choosing decor pieces or furniture, consider the scale of your cathedral ceilings. Large pieces may overwhelm the space, while smaller pieces may get lost. Aim for balance and proportion.

Stick to a Color Scheme:

To create a cohesive look, stick to a color scheme throughout your room, including on your cathedral ceiling walls. This will help tie all the elements together and create a harmonious design.

Incorporate Natural Elements:

Bringing in natural elements like plants or wood can add warmth and balance to high-celinged rooms. Consider incorporating plants in hanging baskets or displaying natural wood accents on your walls.

Don’t Overcrowd the Space:

While it’s essential to fill the space of cathedral ceiling walls, don’t overcrowd them. Leave some negative space to avoid making the room feel busy or overwhelming.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Paint My Cathedral Ceiling Walls?

A: Yes, you can paint your cathedral ceiling walls to add color and texture. Just make sure to use a quality paint that is suitable for high ceilings and follow proper painting techniques. You can also hire a professional to ensure the job is done well and safely.

Q: How Can I Fill Up Negative Space on My Cathedral Ceiling Walls?

A: There are many ways to fill up negative space on cathedral ceiling walls, such as using wall hangings, incorporating plants, or adding shelves. You can also consider installing a statement light fixture or creating an accent wall with wallpaper or wood paneling. It’s important to find a balance between filling the space while not overcrowding it.

Q: How Can I Make My Cathedral Ceiling Walls Feel Cozy?

A: Adding warmth and texture is key to making cathedral ceiling walls feel cozy. Consider using textiles, such as rugs, blankets, and curtains to add softness and create a sense of intimacy in the space. You can also use warm lighting and incorporate natural elements like wood or stone for a cozy and inviting feel.

Q: Can I Install a Ceiling Fan on My Cathedral Ceiling?

A: Yes, you can install a ceiling fan on your cathedral ceiling as long as it is properly anchored and balanced. It’s best to hire a professional electrician for this task to ensure safety and proper installation. Consider choosing a fan with longer downrods for higher ceilings and keep in mind the size of your room when selecting a fan size.

Install a Ceiling Fan on Your Cathedral Ceiling


Decorating cathedral ceiling walls can transform a room from ordinary to extraordinary, bringing out the architectural features and creating a dramatic impact. It’s important to consider the scale, lighting, and the desired ambiance when selecting décor elements.

Hanging art at eye level, incorporating statement lighting, and using color thoughtfully can enhance the grandeur of high ceilings. Remember that the key to a cohesive aesthetic is balance and proportion. Take the time to plan your design carefully, and your cathedral ceiling will become a celebrated feature of your home. Thanks for reading this article on how to decorate cathedral ceiling walls.

Leave a Comment