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For the traditional house or apartment with high ceilings, one of the most common reasons for high ceilings was improved airflow. Before electricity and air-conditioning, many homes were built with tall ceilings and oriented windows to catch the wind and cool down the inside of a building. The warmer air would collect at the ceiling out of people’s reach. The bigger the room, the larger the volume for air circulation, and there wasn’t always the option to expand horizontally.

Nowadays, space in real estate is a premium feature, and more new buildings are being built with double-height ceilings to represent opulence and perceived freedom. However, despite the positive psychological effects of rooms with high ceilings, people still seem to find them challenging to decorate. This is in part because standard size furniture tends to be manufactured with an 8 or 9ft regular room height in mind.

High ceilings create the illusion of floor space because psychologically we register that the room has lots of space. However, if it is not decorated with interior design rules in mind, a grand room can turn into a cold and empty space quite quickly.

Sharps recognise the difficulty in decorating awkward spaces, and so we have compiled some decorating tips and tricks for how to make the most of your tall walls...

1. Decorative ceiling beams

Sharps Scandi Nordic Set 4 80911 flat

Some old buildings such as barn conversions or just the lucky purpose-built home have exposed ceiling beams which contribute to the structure of the building. Ceiling beams draw your attention upwards, rather than straight forward, as would be the case in a typical home, where the decorations and furniture are usually at eye-level or lower. 


Drawing attention towards the ceiling makes the most of all the light and space in your tall room. Ceiling beams add character, remove the dead space at the top of your walls and connect your ceiling to the rest of the room.


Nowadays you can buy decorative ceiling beams made from a range of different materials, from real wood to faux beams. You can even install lighting into ceiling beams to create an extra feature. You could put ceiling beams into any room of the house to accentuate the tall walls, and you could even extend to the outside of the house to commit to the rustic theme.

2. Go big with ceiling lighting

There is a reason that chandeliers and candelabras are so popular in grand homes. Much like with decorative beams, hanging objects from the ceiling helps to connect the empty space around the rest of the room. 

By installing a statement ceiling light fixture, you lower the ceiling without compromising on space and have a piece of art filling your room with light for your guests to awe at. 

3. Layer your lighting

Lighting 1

Professional interior designers plan lighting in three layers: 


Ambient lighting might be natural lighting from high points like tall windows. If you don’t have windows in your tall room, lights on your ceiling or a chandelier could be your ambient lighting. 


Task lighting is aptly named as the lighting you might need to carry out a range of tasks, like a floor lamp for reading or vanity lights around your dressing table. If you can, try to put task lighting around the middle of your room. 


And finally accent lighting, which is necessarily vital for visibility, but helps to set the mood. This lighting works well above a sofa or on the walls by a dining table. 


By layering, you ensure that your room is appropriately lit, making the most of your space and avoiding any unlit corners that take warmth away from the area.

4. Decorate the whole wall 

The most common faux pas with tall walls is not using the space at the top of the room, like a statement light feature. Some homeowners can be scared of over-doing it and spoiling their minimal decor, but if it is tastefully done, it can be quite the opposite. 

Hanging art across a whole wall makes a spectacular feature wall without having to get the overalls out, or having one large piece of art in the middle of the wall also helps to honour the height of your room. If you need to use the bottom of your tall wall for furniture, put the artwork above the furniture, so it sits higher, drawing attention once again to the top of the room. 

5. Use your high ceilings for storage

high ceilings 2

Sharps fitted wardrobes are custom built based on your individual room measurements. You could have fitted wardrobes running floor to ceiling with loads of extra storage space. Fitted wardrobes are a perfect high-ceiling storage solution for bedrooms, to store away all those bed linens and knick-knacks that so easily create clutter. 


Sharps fitted wardrobes give you up to two times more storage space than a standard freestanding wardrobe, which leave wasted space on top and at the sides. Sharps unique front-frame design could also give you up to 40% more storage space than other fitted wardrobe manufacturers. Many different suppliers use a carcass frame inside their wardrobes to create straight walls, but which ends up cutting off valuable space that could be used for storage.


Book your design visit today to speak to one of our friendly designers about what we could do with your awkward space.

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6. Hang your curtains high

Regardless of how tall your windows are, your curtains should always be closer to the ceiling. The higher your curtain rail sits, the taller your windows look, and the more light, airy and spacious your room will look. 

If you have windows in your tall room, they are the focal point whether you like it or not. Having well-dressed windows helps to complete a room. Your curtain rod should be longer than the width of your window, your curtains should be skimming the floor, and don’t skimp on your fabric!

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