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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

vaulted ceiling and blank walls

jwpookieNovember 14, 2012
In my living room I have a pitched/vaulted ceiling. My dilemma is that I do not know what to put on the walls. Currently they are pretty bare because I have no idea what to do with them.
I have paid a 'decorator' five thousand to get it to the way it is now-she put up the vertical planks, and painted the area above the fireplace white. I would appreciate any ideas.
I like symmetry but due to the slope of the ceiling am not sure that would look good.
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Savvy Interiors · More Info

I would like to see a horizontal line at about 8 feet from the floor. That piece above fireplace is about right. Run that completely across the room. Keep it the cream color. Now, everything above paint a shade or two lighter than the wall color. Keep the area where the picture is located in that same cream. If you add cabinetry later, use that horizontal line as a guide.

Do not emphasize the point with the clock. Move the clock down and hang it centered with furniture, not centered on any given wall. I would hang it on mantle, almost touching mantle, then put some rustic, chunky items on hearth. The picture is beautiful and could be matted and framed and hung on the wall. Remember to hang pictures lower I'd you are seated in a living room. Hang it just a tiny bit above the lamp.
6 Likes    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:07PM
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Thank you, thank you, thank you... Your insight is great, and I appreciate your advice. As you can see, I have a mish mash of things on mantle trying to figure out what looks best..
1 Like    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:32PM
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HI -- Don't worry about any wall space above the 8 ft. height . So lower the clock and anything else that is up high. You need a frame on the painting that is on the fireplace , it looks unfinished . Place matching console cabinets on each side of the fireplace and have a mirror low over the cabinet and a lamp on each and a decor item or two . Keep the mantel decor simple except for Christmas . Put your smaller paintings with the clock in a grouping lower and further to the right. The lamp shown in the photo is too small for the living room. The fireplace is nice but maybe a little too white against that wall color.
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:59PM
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If you look at the photo that missymo posted you will see that the fireplace trim continues, raised, up and around the t v. You still have wall but just painted white. Either extend the trim around your painting or paint all the white back to wall color except the white trim surrounding the painting.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 7:18PM
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With a vaulted ceiling you should continue wall colour the full height as you have done - I would not change paint colour part way up the wall as this just looks like you are trying to pretend that you have a flat ceiling rather than enhancing an architectural feature. To maintain a comfortable feel to the room you then need to keep art and furniture at a consistent height around the room rather than staggering them or trying to go too high. This brings the items in the room back to a 'human' scale so that you feel you are in a home not a large public space. The panels and paintwork look great and add a nice degree of interest to the large wall without making it too busy.

The picture on the fireplace needs a frame - if its a stretched canvas that you don't want to frame it would work better against the wall colour.

You can still achieve a sense of symmetry in the room despite the slope of the ceiling and offset fireplace; you need to keep things symmetrical at a smaller level around features in the room such as the fireplace or windows, or even with the arrangement of cushions rather than trying to look at the entire room. With only one photo of your room it is hard to give specific advice on this but the first place to start is with the mantlepiece where placing the black photo frames and black lanterns on either side would give an instant informal symmetry. Symmetry is basically a matter of balancing the visual weight of objects and does not necessarily require exact mirroring. When arranging things on your mantle resist the temptation to put them too near the ends, the santa and the lanterns in your photo are both too far out and give the sensation that they may fall off which is not calming!
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 2:51AM
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We live only in the 8 feet of space at the bottom, so that's where you decorate. Use that visual line on the FP as your guide and don't decorate higher than that. Don't let the mantel become a nic nac display. Try the clock there and a pair of chunky candlesticks to one side. That's all. I would frame the piece of art you have there now and hang it somewhere else in the room. The two pieces on the left of the FP don't match the quality level of the large one, so I would eliminate them. Your drapery looks to be too formal and shiny and white for the room. Please post more photos for more input from Houzzers.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:26AM
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Great advice thanks. I do intend to flank both sides of the FP with cabinets, I just didn't know if they should both be the same height or the one on the left should follow the slope of the ceiling..from the above advice, I assume both should be same height and ignore the slope/pitch of the ceiling.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
I'd put the clock on the fireplace wall.
You also need a master colour scheme - pulling your artwork, furniture and accessories together.
With this, choosing key elements to draw the eye down and add coziness. See photo with navy blue and white scheme. Your room too can look this amazing!

Move the clock over the fireplace - you need one big element on that wall.

Smaller pictures and ornaments, need to be gathered and displayed in one area - organized neatly in shadow boxes, or china cabinets. Today's looks accessories are bigger, bolder, less of them.
You will need to edit those things and keep only the very necessary.

Good luck, let me know if I can help further...
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:15AM
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Ignore the slope of the ceiling. You want to take the focus off of it, not draw more attention to it. Pretend the upper part of the room does not exist. Decorate where you live and no one else will notice that there is a lot of blank space being heated and cooled. There are folks who just put a second floor in that space - something to think about in the future.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Paint the wall above the mantle the same color as the walls (camel). The white draws your attention to te asymmetry of the FP. Then move clock to mantle w/ bottom close to mantle and clock off centered to left then add lower bulky wood candle sticks to the right filling. Eliminate all small cluter (smaller than a watermellon). Rearrange furniture to fill in with stronger lamps.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:05AM
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I like the idea of a horizontal line taking off from the fireplace. Paint above the line and the ceiling the same color. Looks like you have a textured ceiling??
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:42PM
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the old manufactured houses of the 70's have vertical paneling and a horizontal trim at about 8' up, So be careful of doing that and mostly with different colors, you probably don't want the space to look dated, really dated. Vaulted ceilings are great and DO add value to your home, just keep in mind to show them off best use the less is more concept, and the good advice here about hanging art,pictures below that 8ft "line",2 bookcases or storage tables on either side of the fireplace with 2 big lamps would also be pretty.
Contemporary Living Room design by Calgary Interior Designer Bruce Johnson & Associates Interior Design
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 1:12PM
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@lefty47 I am unsure how to do a picture arrangement toward the right because the dining room table is there. I am attaching a picture to show how the room is so wide open between the LR and DR. Also, the vertical panels that are there wrap around the whole LR/DR area-they are evenly spaced out, but I don't know how/where to hang anything on or around them...While they do add some visual interest, they have become very difficult to decorate around. Should I just pretend they aren't there when I try to make pic arrangements?
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 4:22PM
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Try the brown couch facing the fireplace . It is hard to see the whole room but then you won't have to angle the tv. I have the same problem and then I did the same pieces on the bottom on either side of the fireplace. One side, I did two wine racks and the other side is the TV unit all in the same wood and scale of about 9 feet. Balance and scale is important in this kind of room.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Do I see two clocks? Please, only one! Take a pie from the dining room window angled back this way please. Thanks.
    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:04PM
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