60 vaulted ceiling ideas for an airy, spacious home

by John Griffith

As trends come and go, it might be difficult to settle on what you want your home to look like. Which is why, some people don’t really pay attention to those trends. There is, however, one interior design idea, which has divided people. In this article, we are going to show you 60 vaulted ceiling ideas, which are going to make your home feel airy, spacious and taken straight out of an interior design magazine. We are also going to discuss the biggest pros and cons of having that type of ceiling. So, read on to get informed, before committing to this decorating fad.

Vaulted ceiling ideas to make your home feel airy and spacious

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What is a vaulted ceiling?

Also known as cathedral ceiling, it is usually as high as two stories. Depending on its shape, it can be divided into three main categories:

  • Barrel vault – this type of ceiling resembles a tunnel or barrel cut in half lengthwise. It has an oval shape. This type of ceiling gives a statement piece to your home and is easier to maintain.
  • Groin vault – two barrel vaults of the same diameter crossing at an intersection. This type of ceiling can be found in many churches and is much more rare in houses. Some home owners, however, who are looking for the wow factor, can also try this ceiling out.
  • Rib vault – type of ceiling, which resembles a rib cage. It is extremely difficult to recreate and is once again rarely found at homes.

Wooden ceiling with straight lines

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What are the pros and cons of having a vaulted ceiling?


  1. Space. While this is somewhat of an illusion, cathedral ceilings do, actually, create more space. This space, however, is unusable. You can always create shelves, where you can keep books or photos, but they will be very difficult to reach.
  2. Natural light. This is probably the biggest pro of a cathedral ceiling. They provide more room for taller windows or skylights. If you have a tall ceiling, you should definitely take advantage of it and let natural light come in from every angle.
  3. Exposed beams. This is a must-have when it comes to rustic decor. Exposed beams create the wow factor of your home. They are a beautiful accessory to your interior design and can feel very cosy. Moreover, every time you enter your home, you will feel as if you are in a cabin somewhere in the Alps.

Having a vaulted ceiling has a lot of pros

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  1. Not energy efficient. As we all know, hot air rises up. Therefore, the taller your ceiling, the higher the air will go. Because of that, what you have to do is basically warm up two rooms for one. This is the biggest con of cathedral ceilings. If you are looking to save up on energy, then leave your 8 feet ceiling alone.
  2. Not easy to maintain. Cleaning can be extremely difficult, unless you have a super tall ladder and are not afraid of heights. What’s more, changing a light bulb can turn into a real problem.
  3. Almost impossible to recreate if you don’t already have it. If you have decided on a vaulted ceiling you should let your contractors know before your house is being built. Because once they are ready it is very difficult and costly to do.

There are, however, some cons, as well

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In conclusion, if you really love the idea of a super tall ceiling and are ready to take a risk, go for it. Vaulted ceilings are a statement piece, which brings a lot of character and uniqueness to your home. Just add some beautiful chandeliers and exposed beams and your house will definitely look like its interior was taken out of an architectural magazine. On the other hand, if you are not completely sold on the idea. If you are not sure if you will be able to keep up with higher energy bills, or maintain a tall ceiling, then, leave it. Instead, opt for a tray ceiling. It is a regular 8-feet ceiling with a central flat portion, which is raised about 1-foot above the rest.

White colors create even more space

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Rustic decor at its finest

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Gorgeous white aesthetic

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The fireplace brings so much coziness to a bedroom

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This interior reminds us so much of an ancient Roman bath

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Let the sunshine in

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Skylights are a must-have when you have a vaulted ceiling

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Get creative with your windows

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Take advantage of your tall ceiling and create a mezzanine

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Perfect example of a barrel ceiling

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Groin ceiling at its finest

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Expose your beams for and extra oomph

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Add as many lamp shades as you want

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Make your ceiling stand out even more with an intricate pattern

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Let all the natural light in with tall windows and skylights

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Add shelving for more storage

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Regular vaulted ceiling above the living room and a barrel vault above the hallway – perfect combination

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I’d also get the biggest windows if I had a view such as this one

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Wood on the ceiling creates a homey feeling

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Look at this absolutely stunning groin ceiling

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John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.