Popular for many years now are homes with those coveted high ceilings.  Although 8′ ceilings are still standard, many homes now boast 10′, 12′ or even more!  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 dilemma…..what to do with those tall walls!

If you’ve ever tried to decorate a space with tall walls, you’ve probably quickly realized that standard techniques and decor items don’t work very well – they’re just too small for such a large space!  If your decor ends at the standard 8′ height, the room will likely feel unfinished and cavernous.  Instead, embrace all of that wonderful space!  Thankfully, there are several, easy ways to tackle those big blank canvases and make them feel incorporated into your home.

With all of the ideas below, the goal is to either bring the eye up to include the entire space, or bring the eye down to a more human scale.


1. Artwork

Standard-sized artwork will be too small for tall walls, but you can still use it if you create a large-scale gallery wall.

{via Lonny}


If your style is more symmetrical, consider using a grouping of matching frames to create the illusion of one, large piece of artwork.

{via ElleDecor}


Alternatively, you can use one, oversized image to fill the space!  In this case, be sure your artwork shape is proportionate to the wall in which you’re trying to fill.  {For example, a skinny, rectangular canvas would look too small in this space, no matter how tall it was.}

{via JenniButtonInterior.com}


2. Mirrors

Similar to artwork, mirrors can be used to fill the space.  An added benefit of using mirrors is that they can help brighten an otherwise dark area, or when placed near large windows, they can help create a sense of balance.  Here, a collection of mirrors has been used to fill the entire space above a staircase.

{via House Beautiful}


Similar to artwork, you can create an eclectic display using a mix of  mirrors and artwork.

{via Erika Brechtel}


One, big mirror can also fill the space and create a WOW factor!

{via Pinterest}


3. Millwork

A plain, sheet rocked wall isn’t all that interesting, but add a bit of millwork and you’ve got a different story!  Trim elements add interest and architecture and help bring the eye up so that the wall is part of the overall space.

Below, the artwork itself isn’t all that big, but it’s surrounded by trim that helps to fill up the wall.

{via Patricia McLean Interiors, Inc.}


Below, the lack of decor on the walls lets the millwork speak for itself!

{via Dering Hall}
{via Better Homes & Gardens}


4. Shelving

Tall walls provide ample space for storage, whether built-ins, freestanding or just floating shelves.

{via The Design Walker}
{via Historika Hem}
{via Pinterest}
{via Transitoinicial}


5. Murals & Wallpaper

Adding wallpaper or paint elements to the upper half of the wall is yet another way to draw the eye up.

{via JBMA}
{via D Home}


Below, an oversized vinyl decal does the trick to fill this space!

{via Pixers}


6. Display Pieces

If you don’t find artwork you like, consider mounting an oversized display item, such as a clock, old shutters, or even a hanging rug!

{via Pinterest}
{via Traditional Home}
{via Makely}
{via Talloor}


7. Use One, Tall Focal Point

You don’t always have to fill the space.  Depending on your decorating style, sometimes less is more.  If adding millwork isn’t your style and you don’t want to fill your walls with items, consider using one, oversized item as a focal point to help draw the eyes up.  Below, the walls are bare but the dramatic fireplace is balanced by the tall curtains, filling the volume of this room.

{via Hush Homes}
{via Jane Lockhart Interior Design}
{via Pinterest}


8. Cut the Space in Two

While the other ideas listed above are all aimed at helping bring the eye up to include the tall wall as part of the overall space, this idea is more about bringing the eye down to a more human scale for a cozier feel.  That doesn’t mean you leave the upper half of the wall blank, but rather that you treat the upper and lower portions separately.  {And although I say in “half”, I don’t necessarily mean that literally because it depends on your space.}

{via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles}


Below, the walls has been cut to ceiling height of the surrounding space and the upper portion has been give its own, unique treatment.

{via Toll Brothers}
{via Boston Design Guide}
{via Kathryn Scott}


A simple piece of trim cuts this wall down and makes a frame for the canvas art.

{via Collins Interiors}


And a bonus #29….This bathroom treatment is simple, yet absolutely stunning, and the wallpaper at the top is a great way to break up the white walls!

{via Milestone Building}


You might have noticed that several of the above photos use more than one decorating technique to fill the space.  For example, artwork and millwork, or paint and display items, or millwork and wallpaper, etc.  Regardless of whether you use one idea or several, the goal is to utilize the entire volume of a room, and if that includes tall walls, be sure to keep the scale of the room in mind and decorate up accordingly!








3 comments on “28 Creative Decorating Ideas for Tall Walls”

  1. These are great ideas. I love that you explain WHY it works. One question though. In the room with the yellow and pink print over the fireplace the print is wider than the mantel. That just feels so out of sync to me. Why does this work (or does it)?

    • Hi Jeani! Great question! Usually, this is a visual no-no because it dwarfs the fireplace, but in this case, the silver planters act to visually extend the width of the fireplace. If you look at the wall overall, you’ll see that the oversized art is “sitting” on the wider base formed by the planters and fireplace. This can be tricky to successfully pull off and even when done correctly, not everyone is comfortable with the look because it’s unexpected.

      On a related note, you can use this same concept to visually extend things which might be too small for the scale of your home. For example, if your sofa is a bit short, you can add a side table that closely matches the height of the sofa’s arm and it’ll trick the eye into reading everything together as one large piece. You can also take a piece of art that is too small for the wall, and flank it with sconces, or mirrors, or shutters, and make the grouping look larger than the one art piece actually is.

      I hope that answers your question!

      -Kim :)

      • Thanks. I suspected that was the case. Had the vases been taller I think I would have ‘seen’ it. But good to know that this approach can be used when needing to stretch a piece of furniture.

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