It's often a treat to have high ceilings in your home, especially if they're in a large room with a lot of natural light. This combo ensures that your space will never feel cramped, but it can be a bit intimidating to work with at first. However, when decorated well, they can feel both expansive and cozy.
While you can always choose whatever colors make you happy, some shades typically work better in specific spaces around the home. "I love to accentuate a high ceiling with a dramatic color, which will draw your eye upwards and draw attention to the height," says interior designer Grey Joyner, owner of Grey Joyner Interiors. "A brighter, lighter color will show off the features of the ceiling, depending on the architectural details, beams, etc. On the contrary, if the room itself is painted a bold color, you can paint the ceiling white as a nice contrast."
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Joyner says that dark colors aren't usually her go-to for these types of rooms, but that doesn't mean you can't still try them out, especially in rooms with big windows and plenty of light.
How to Choose Paint Colors for a Large Room With a Vaulted Ceiling
When it comes to picking a paint color, one of the first things you should consider is the vibe you're going for in the room. For a cozy atmosphere, try colors with warm undertones. For a room that will be used for entertaining, consider a bold, vibrant accent color that can bring in some excitement. If you want to use color but don't want it everywhere, you could add it in the form of window trims or even an accent wall or mural.
Another way to incorporate color into a vertically abundant room is directly on the ceiling. Using a dark color on the ceiling can close in the space a little bit, which might be an effect you'd like if the vaulted ceilings feel too stark.You can break up the ceiling color with a skylight or exposed beams if those decor elements are an option as well.
Before you start painting, though, make sure to do a sample swatch and observe it at different times of day over several days. Colors will take on different hues in the morning than they will at night, as well as in sunny versus overcast conditions. You could even think about how the paint color reflects off your TV. Try to consider any scenario your room might experience so you truly know what color you're choosing before you commit to it.
11 Paint Colors for Large Rooms With High Ceilings
Painting your walls black is a bold choice that's not for everyone. With a dark shade like this, you run the risk of making a room feel smaller than it actually is. However, vaulted ceilings give you more space to work with, so they present a great opportunity to take risks with color. Large windows, like the ones in this room by Blackband Design, will keep the space feeling light and airy.
Get the look: Clare Blackish
This is another way to bring color into a spacious room: painting a statement ceiling. Again, this is a bold color idea that won't necessarily work for every situation. In this room, the dark brown wood paneled ceiling is offset by creamy walls and furniture, an airy open plan, and a glass chandelier that reflects the plentiful natural light.
Get the look: Sherwin-Williams Turkish Coffee
Orange is a bright color that can overtake a room if you're not careful, but in a large space, you can use a powerful hue like this in one isolated section, as demonstrated above. While this room incorporates orange through a velvet curtain hung above a red conversation pit, you could create a similar effect with a painted accent wall. Pair it with a red couch for a fiery look, or create balance with a cool color like blue or teal.
Get the look: Benjamin Moore Startling Orange
It's hard to go wrong with white walls, especially because white paint comes in a ton of shades with various undertones. Crisp white paint will amplify whatever light and space you already have — accentuating large, bright rooms and opening up smaller, darker ones. If you'd like a cozier look, choose a soft off-white paint with warm undertones.
Get the look: Benjamin Moore White Opulence
5. Pale Blue
A soft color like pale blue will keep any room bright, especially a room with high ceilings. A shade like this will allow cathedral ceilings to truly soar and keep the whole room feeling open, as you can see in this uniquely shaped home gym by Kristina Crestin Design. Light blue works well as an alternative to neutrals like white or beige, providing a little more pigmented flair.
Get the look: Behr Rain Dance
For a cozier look than you'll achieve with stark white, go for a lighter shade of warm gray, like the one Kate Marker Interiors chose for this spacious dining area. The size of this room could easily overwhelm the small table and chairs, but the soft paint color and hardwood flooring make it feel intimate and welcoming. The low-hanging chandelier also helps bridge the distance between the ceiling and the dining table.
Get the look: Valspar Tempered Gray
7. Mint Green
Mint green is another light color that works well in a room with a high ceiling. Despite being a soft shade, it can become overwhelming in large amounts. However, you can easily combat that effect by breaking mint green up with complementary colors, like the pink, terra cotta, and brown elements in this room by Cortney Bishop Design.
Get the look: Glidden Green Whisper
Different shades of pink will tell different stories in your rooms with high ceilings. A soft, dusty pink can work as a neutral, whereas a bolder shade will make a loud statement. You could do a fuchsia accent wall in a larger room or temper magenta walls with a bright white ceiling. If you aren't ready for such a bold hue, though, a pastel pink like the one in this entryway by Kristen Panitch Interiors can bring a touch of feminine vintage style.
Get the look: Sherwin-Williams Demure
Instead of opting for basic white, kick your neutral walls up a notch with beige instead. This soft shade will warm up the room a little bit more than white would while still keeping your walls neutral and light. You can bring this color all the way up to the ceiling for a monochromatic look, or go for a subtle contrast with a light wood ceiling and flooring and white cabinets, like Amanda Reynal Interiors did in this airy dining area.
Get the look: Valspar Cream in My Coffee
This room by Establish Design perfectly shows how you can use a dark color on the walls without creating a cramped or gloomy feeling. Though the room has navy blue walls (and matching furniture and decor!), the ceiling and floor are kept light to create a sense of balance. Dark colors on the walls in a bedroom can actually be a good idea — with their night-sky effect, they create a soothing atmosphere perfect for deep sleep.
Get the look: Farrow & Ball Scotch Blue
Another neutral idea for large rooms with high ceilings is cream. Similar to beige and white, this soft shade will fade into the background and let other aspects of your decor take center stage. You can paint the ceiling cream for a soothing monochrome effect and add pops of color elsewhere in the room, through elements like the sage green headboard shown here.
Get the look: Clare Neutral Territory
Paint Colors for Rooms With High Ceilings
Bright or muted colors typically work best in rooms with high ceilings because they open up the room and allow the ceiling to soar to its true height. While darker colors can make a space feel closed-in, that may be exactly the effect you're looking for. You can also use isolated bursts of color — think statement walls and ceilings, or contrast trim and doors. When you give your high-ceilinged room a makeover, consider trying one of the following colors:
- Pale blue
- Mint green
- Navy blue