Asymmetrical vaulted Ceiling Help!
Emily Viator
May 8, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I am a person that loves symmetry but we have ended up with a house that has a vaulted ceiling in the living room up to the second story. I painted the ceiling the same color as the walls so that it is not quite as obvious on the main wall and the shortest point. My biggest problem is what to do above the arched openings to my kitchen. I have the main focal wall done pretty well although I am waiting to get the TV mounted about 6" higher to help with the height issue. I am including both pics so you can see what I mean. Any suggestions or pics of other similar walls would be appreciated.
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carolins
The TV should be at the most comfortable height for watching, regardless of the ceiling height. If you decorate the wall above the arch, you're drawing attention to the part that you don't like so much. Not so sure if you should do that.
But if you feel that you need something up there, you could try the round iron object that's above your TV now.
May 8, 2013 at 11:23am   
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carolins
I meant to add (pushed the submit button to soon) that you could put it up there to see if you like having something above the arch. If you do, you could get a wider piece.
May 8, 2013 at 11:25am   
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Young and Borlik Architects, inc.
It's hard to get a feel for the actual ceiling in those pictures. Can you fake another ceiling plane or soffit at the ends of the room by adding some simple framing and sheetrock? Think about ways to trick the eye into seeing the symmetry by enhancing what you have. It seems as though you can't lower the entire ceiling plane, but I just can't tell what happens to the left side above the arch.
May 8, 2013 at 11:26am     
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carolins
Something like this?

May 8, 2013 at 11:31am   
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Emily Viator
Carolins thanks actually raising the TV 6" will help since we host sports parties and it is a little low for those trying to see from the kitchen and breakfast area, which are the ares in the arches. I had it mounted above a fireplace before and it was a little too high but the amount I am raising it is no where near that. As for an iron piece I have thought of that but if the picture does not give you perspective it is 26 feet across and since it is so visible from the open balcony and second upstairs living area area I am not sure if what I will find will be enough. The focal wall is not as long in some ways because it has a corner fireplace and the staircase that cut into it. I just feel like it is unfinished (although since we just moved in a couple months ago it is not the only thing unfinished) and it bothers me. I have a large oil painting over the fireplace and am thinking about maybe a huge piece in the area above the arch too. Something with a similar subject matter? IDK I have been looking for pictures of other homes with similar layouts and am coming up blank so far.seems like all the pictures focus on the main wall (just try to find bedroom pics that focus on the wall opposite the bed, unless they are in huge rooms with sitting areas those are hard to find too!)

Young and Borlik thanks but not really since the high end stops at a iron balcony that it totally open. Thanks for the suggestion though. I am slowly adjusting to the asymmetry of the home and with the paint it is not so bad but just difficult for me to decorate around since my brain really seeks balance
May 8, 2013 at 4:37pm     
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Young and Borlik Architects, inc.
It did look open, but what is that shadow line at the top left of the picture with the arches? Can you post any more pics to give a 360 degree view with the rest of the ceiling and the railings too? I was looking for a way to use something simple, even paint or trim to force a symmetry, but it's hard to fully understand the space from the two photos. Good Luck!
May 8, 2013 at 5:11pm   
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Emily Viator
Ok here are more photos. You can even see the box I am unpacking LOL No curtains up yet thats my next big decision, I am a trained seamstress but decisions, decisions, decisions!

Anyway here are the other pics of the space that I have just taken, excuse the mess kids are getting ready for bed and finishing homework
May 8, 2013 at 6:05pm   
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Emily Viator
Here are the last ones. it would only let me add 4 at once
May 8, 2013 at 6:11pm   
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Emily Viator
I think the artwork above the fireplace actually draws your eye away from the slanted ceiling, that is why I was thinking of a large piece maybe 4 foot tall by 8 foot wide. Since the Patrick J Reynolds I have over the fireplace is of an Angel crying over a flag I was thinking either a framed antique flag (that way the colors are muted some) or an oil work of a large scale flag. Do you think that would work? It would draw the eye to the piece more than the slant maybe? The curtains will be rather formal and I am going to mount them to a board that come out about 4" from the wall all the way to the celing as well so that will give the impression that it is a little higher there since coming out 4" makes it go up higher. I am thinking of inverted box pleats maybe fixed to the board. Sorry if I am bombarding you with too much but I really want to finish this room before summer since we will have several house guest visiting and this bareness is driving me nuts, especially since I have the fabric sitting in the closet ready to cut.
May 8, 2013 at 6:20pm   
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Emily Viator
My fabric is a dark rusty red with a gold stripe but this is the idea

May 8, 2013 at 6:24pm   
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Jayme H.
I may be misunderstanding. But I don't think you need to put anything up there, above the opening to the kitchen.
May 8, 2013 at 6:37pm     
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Emily Viator
You think it is OK blank? Not too plain? I guess I sit to where I see both walls and I am constantly trying to figure out what to do up there
May 8, 2013 at 6:45pm   
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Jayme H.
You have a better vantage point than me :) but in irregular areas you want to not call attention to, I wouldn't add anything. I would concentrate on my focal walls.
May 8, 2013 at 6:53pm     
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Jayme H.
p.s...love your house!!
May 8, 2013 at 7:06pm     
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Emily Viator
Thanks here is a before everything was beige with a large head on wall LOL I am changing a LOT but takes time and money
May 8, 2013 at 7:10pm   
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Jayme H.
Oh wow...Huge improvement! You have already done well!!
May 8, 2013 at 7:15pm     
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Jayme H.
I could be wrong..but to me...if you want to call attention to it, you add something..ie: a hanging sculpture, etc..but that wall really should not be a focal point from what I can see...and the whole room has high ceilings, angles..if u address each wall and hang something it would look like way too much and look worse IMO.
May 8, 2013 at 7:17pm     
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Emily Viator
Thanks I hope to have the living area finished by the beginning of June. Guess I can focus on the curtains since the fabric is paid for and sitting on the bolt. Curtains change a room so much and I just cant seem to get these done even though I bought the fabric in Jan. I have been so scattered over this whole house. Its 3400 sq foot of blank canvas. We ripped out carpet in bedrooms and painted all the main areas. Still need to paint the baths but think I need to finish the rooms already in progress first. I am too ADD and tend to stretch myself allover.
May 8, 2013 at 7:22pm     
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Jayme H.
I understand!! You have a great place and it's so cool that u are a seamstress! That will come in so handy! There are a lot of really good designers/decorators and talented contributors that chime in and help all the time..So keep posting as you go. Like I said, others may disagree with what I mentioned and you may go with other ideas, which is fine...that's what Houzz is all about. :)
May 8, 2013 at 7:26pm     
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Emily Viator
I was really looking for pics of rooms with ceilings like this because I know they are pretty common, I was surprised that I can not really find any! I do love my home and the more I get finished the more I love it. It is slowly becoming what I want. I will post more pics as I finish rooms. As I looked at your page we seem to have similar taste so following you now :-)
May 8, 2013 at 7:30pm     
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Jayme H.
Hey Emily...Go to browse rooms...type in vaulted ceilings in the search box..also try "high ceilings"...should be able to find a bunch of rooms..My ideabooks are a big mess right now...I add stuff all the time to save it to my computer..but I love a combo of traditional/transitional...add in a few odds and ends of contemporary..Love the texture and look of natural materials, wood, stone, metal...etc...Glad to have u here on Houzz!! This can be a lot of fun!!
May 8, 2013 at 7:33pm   
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Emily Viator
I added you to one of my project books you can see one of my DDs rooms. Still not totally finished but getting there. I have been on Houzz for quite some time as you can see by the number of photos I have saved but I only moved into this house this year so finally getting to put some of this awesome info to work
May 8, 2013 at 7:44pm     
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PRO
It's a Beautiful World!
Emily, you may want to replace a piece of art on the fireplace with something round or curvy, the frame adds extra lines to the corner and makes it look cluttered. A vase, a sculpture or a mirror may work better there. If you decide you need artwork elsewhere in the house, you can check out our page for ideas. Good luck decorating your home!... Raisa
May 8, 2013 at 8:18pm     
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KShoa
Sometimes these high high ceilings make the space look empty, so what you want to do is draw the attention to eye level as you stand up, otherwise, the eye goes upwards towards the ceiling seeing all the empty space.

You've done very well with the remodel and the colors. One thing you can do is add a darker shade above 8 feet to separate the spaces visually (if you feel like painting again).

Also smaller pieces on the wall make the space look even bigger and less cozy. You can hang large art wall (again at eye level) to put everything in proper proportion. If you want to keep your existing wall art, you should definitely lower them. The piece above the mantle is too high and shows the disparity with the angle on the ceiling. Maybe your round piece works better there.

I carry a lot of large canvas print art if you'd like to check them out. I can print them to your size.

Have fun decorating!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/katshoa
May 8, 2013 at 8:27pm   
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khaneklau
Move the circular wrought iron piece above fp. Get Several round pieces (maybe mirrors of varying sizes) to go above tv. And do 5 prints all the same size (in black and white) in a row just above arches.
May 8, 2013 at 8:28pm   
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Young and Borlik Architects, inc.
Ahh. Now I see it. My thought might have worked at one end, but not at the top of the stair. Never mind. But you know what? I wonder if you've ever considered that those arches may not be best for a room with so many hard corners and angles. The corner fireplace is going to get in your way too, when it comes to symmetry. What would you think about squaring off all of the arches? Those are usually just "in-fill" under a rectangular framing. They could be squared off like the openings above, and you could add some trim and casings, with another color. Distract by suggesting a harder horizontal emphasis...
May 8, 2013 at 8:28pm   
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Emily Viator
its a Beautiful world! Thanks for that input but to be honest the house will go before the painting LOL I am in love with this artist and had to save quite a while to afford an original. Some of the clutter on the mantle is going though. I may have a custom frame made with an arched top if I can get it to fit but this house as large as it is has very few places to spotlight special art.

Khaneklu same with the art piece it has to stay pretty much where it is for now. I am mostly working with everything else because I do not want to hide a piece away that I love so very much. My pics do not do it justice to put it mildly. The idea of several larger pieces above the openings has merit for me though and may be the ticket for now.

Young and Borlik I have thought about framing out the arches to more of the look below since I am not a huge fan, I am also planning to get rid of the stepup and make the kitchen a little more open by having the counter all one height. I find that the stepup is just a place my family likes to junk up! I think the rounded arches do make the angles look sharper now that you mention it. I would love to get rid of the post entirely (like second pic) but I'm afraid they are load bearing and do not want to renovate the house out of neighborhood price point as we will most likely be here for only 3-5 years. Least expensive option would be to fake it out without tearing out any of the sheet-rock I could do something similar to photo 3 here
Alexandria Timeless Kitchen Addition
Pacific Heights Residence - Open Kitchen
Master Bedroom
May 8, 2013 at 8:52pm     
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Young and Borlik Architects, inc.
YES. the one called timeless kitchen addition shows simple cased columns with subtle trim. All you'd need to do is wrap the posts with some nice painted wood moldings. The demo would produce a lot of dust, but you don't need to remove any of them. You've got a nicely detailed iron railing, so having additional detail in trim and casings would look great. The columns you have are nicely spaced, so it would not need to be structural.
May 8, 2013 at 9:00pm     
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Emily Viator
Thanks a lot Young! That is exactly the input I needed. I have all these ideas in my folders but sometimes things get overwhelming when you are redoing an entire house on a budget. I am actually pretty handy myself (my mother was a general contractor and taught me a lot) and think I can handle a lot of this on my own but what I can't I have someone who I have hired before that can step in and help me complete. Thanks again for all your help. I look forward to following you and seeing more of your work.
May 8, 2013 at 9:08pm     
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pattiegoode
Congrats on your new home! Can't wait to see your drapes, because I think that will really change the focus in the room. About symmetry: You don't have any in the room, so don't do any with small objects or wall hangings. in my experience, it just looks wrong when you do it. Embrace the asymmetry of your room and create a balanced look without using pairs. Consider changing the ceiling fan to an awesome light fixture that will be like sculpture hanging in the room.
1512 Dolphin Terrace
Stone Residence 1
Summer Home on Martha's Vineyard
May 8, 2013 at 9:15pm     
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Emily Viator
Pattigoode I would love to replace the fan with a dramatic fixture HOWEVER after moving to Ft Worth last summer (we were in a different house) and living through 4-5 months with the temps staying in the triple digits I am afraid that it will be necessary to keep my cooling bill from reaching 4 digits! I will see how the summer goes and then if it looks like the high ceilings do enough to keep things cool maybe next year. I do have a fan that is nicer I am thinking of replacing this one with for now. Here is a pic of a similar one but mine has the bowl shaped light fixture. Main issue is that I have to get a super tall ladder or scaffolding in here again. Other issue with the fan is the housing is antique brass and all the fixtures in the house are brushed nickle. I would love to change them all out but that is not feasible at the moment so I think I will paint the housing antique bronze or iron black since that goes better with the other finishes in the house.
Also BTW love the rooms shown they have so much symmetry! LOL

Bonefish Bay

lights
May 9, 2013 at 5:40am     
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pattiegoode
I get the need for a ceiling fan, believe me! lol I was just thinking that it might off-set your problem with the bare wall. Maybe you could add to what's there right now. Good luck & I look forward to seeing your updates!
May 9, 2013 at 7:36am     
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carolins
Gosh, am I glad I'm not the only one who thinks you shouldn't actually put something above the arches, because it will only draw attention ;-) I don't mind the high ceiling. Having seen the stairs and the balcony now too, they probably draw more attention than anything. Nice features. Lovely space. The curtains will make the room feel more dressed and cozier.
Adding trim and moldings to the columns as Young and Borlik suggests will give the room a more finished look too. Detailing like that really dress a room. Nice.
May 9, 2013 at 12:10pm     
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carolins
Okay, so, look at the attached images and be really aware of where your eye travels to. What draws your attention?
Lowcountry Residence
Living room
May 9, 2013 at 12:22pm     
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