When buying or building your dream home, you might be envisioning expansive open rooms with vaulted ceilings and cascading stairwells. And while soaring ceilings may seem like a dream, decorating the blank wall expanses that support amazing ceilings can be a serious challenge.

In many homes, 8-foot ceilings are still pretty common but many modern homes are regularly boasting 10′, 12′, or even taller ceilings! And even homes with lower ceilings still might have vaulted ceilings in some areas. While the added height makes a room feel bigger, it also creates a decorating dilemma… what do you put in those spaces?

home in Delano, Minnesota with vaulted ceilings in an open concept space.
Modern, open-concept home with tall, vaulted ceilings.

Ten Decoration Ideas For Tall Walls

This modern home above (which was built in 2021) has an open-concept family room and kitchen area. Multiple windows allow natural light to fill this space. The twenty-foot vault in the middle of the space really opens up the entire home. But what do you do with all that open space above the window in the middle of the room?

Here are some ideas…

Hang vertical artwork

Here is perhaps the most logical, first thought you may come to. Let’s hang some tall artwork there! The perfect complement to decorating ideas for tall walls is vertical artwork. A single bold image, a large gallery wall grouping, or a contemporary installation are great ways to connect your extra height to the rest of the interior.

An interior designer may mix up the sizes and imagery to detract from a monochrome field of painted drywall. This can take a room from sterile to welcoming by visually bringing the walls inward.

Gallery walls are are great decorating ideas for tall walls
Vertical artwork on tall walls
Photo by Wayne Windham Architect, P.A. – Discover rustic living room design inspiration

Consider installations

If you’re going to try the vertical art route, your options don’t have to be limited to painting on canvas. You may want to consider wall sculptures or multiple-piece installations. In the example below there are many blue butterflies flittering up the wall from right to left. As a focal piece, there’s quite a bit of interest and variation in this approach that the wall doesn’t need anything else at all on it. Do you like this?

Contemporary living room with tall wall design installation
Photo by West Chin Architects & Interior Designers – More contemporary living room ideas

Install shelving

Using shelving in your decoration ideas to bisect the height of a wall is a good way to add architectural interest to an otherwise flat expanse. Floating shelves are a fun way to display an art collection that may be framed in different sizes. The combinations and options are virtually endless.

floating shelves are great decorating ideas for tall walls.

Hang a mirror

Mirrors are excellent decoration ideas alternatives to hanging artwork or installing shelves. Don’t be afraid to go with really tall floor mirrors in two-story spaces, hanging on the wall. If the mirror is large enough, it can stand on the floor for the “leaned” appearance, perhaps on a thick plush throw rug. Large mirrors should scale with the room and there is nothing more luxurious feeling than walking into a room with large mirrors that appear to yet increase the expansiveness of the space.

Oversized mirrors for tall ceiling decorating ideas

Tall mirrors particularly look great over consoles, in entry halls, dining rooms, and anywhere they can reflect natural light or something interesting. Almost any room can handle a nice decorative mirror. Give it a try.

Half painted walls

Try using color and texture to bring depth and richness to your tall walls and vaulted spaces. This is a design technique that many people often don’t think about. You give the illusion of two distinctly designed spaces on the walls simply by dividing the workspace.

Painting above the trim

If you have the budget for trim in your home design or you happen to live in an older home that had trim elements as part of the design scheme for the period it was built, then you have more options for adding a bit of luxury. In the below example, you can see how beautifully the room gains depth and warmth by using complimenting colors above and below the trim level. Beautiful!

Painting above the trim is a beautiful design idea for tall walls

Bring in wood trim

Adding trim to your wall is also a really good way to break up the vastness of those dreamy, double-height walls that can often be found in Foyers and large great rooms. By using wood trim to create architectural interest, a tall wall goes from bland and boring to a piece of art all in itself.

Further decoration ideas or adding elements to the wall is not necessary when you have gorgeous floor-to-ceiling and three-dimensional texture. It requires more work than bringing in accessories but offers a more permanent, architecturally-designed element to your home.

Try working with stone

Another way to give a tall wall with open space a warm design element is to work with stone. This is a fun textile to work with specifically if your home already has some darker, moodier elements to it. Natural stone will add a “stand-alone” beauty that elevates your tall wall to a feature wall in the home. If your style is fairly rustic, try ledge stone with inherent color differences and varying depths.

decorating ideas for your tall walls. Try adding some natural stone.
Photo by Charlie & Co. Design, Ltd – Look for contemporary dining room pictures

Install built-in shelving

If you’re “old school” like us… then you still like to hold a book in your hand while you read and revel in your growing collection of books that help shape your mind and future. Tall walls provide ample space for storage and unlike the floating shelves idea earlier in the article (which can be changed or moved around), built-in shelving offers storage solutions that offer an architectural design element that is flush with the wall.

Intentional distraction

Lastly, another way to solve the tall, cascading empty wall syndrome that may be happening in your home is to distract the eye AWAY from the wall. A great interior designer can do this by adding dramatic floor-to-ceiling curtains or an oversized light fixture into the space. Try dropping a chandelier just a bit lower than you may have thought about doing before.

Distract the eye from tall walls with large curtains and oversized light fixtures.

Hire An Interior Designer

While many of these concepts seem easy enough to implement into your home, the undertaking of any home design project can be overwhelming. If you’ve been planning your home’s interior design scheme for a while and you’re ready to take the plunge, contact Tiffany Haken Interior Design in Minneapolis about your project. Our decades of expertise and prestige projects can lend some great advice to your vision and dream home.

Design the life you love with Tiffany Hanken Design. Contact Us Today.