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How to decorate 20 ft high main wall over sofa?

August 21, 2014
Struggling over what to do with this huge space in my great room. Thought about stacking 3 huge pieces of art but hard to find.
I'm more on the contemporary side and have a lot of Ethan Allen and Mitchell Gold type furnishings.
Appreciate any suggestions!
Comments (94)
  • Gordon Van Lieshout
    A large wall waterfall, ceiling to floor!
  • PRO
    Sheri Wilson Fine Art
    funbuzz > your suggestion intrigued me so and I had to venture more with your FUN images. https://www.etsy.com/search?q=climbing%20men%20sculptures How playful, unique and conversation sculptures.
  • PRO
    Sheri Wilson Fine Art
    mikehjohnson, love the color of paint in your blank area and what is worse when you can see the whole wall?
  • 2leftsocks
    Bolt/mount, upright, a tall gnarled section of dead tree trunk with equally interesting branches to the wall. (Termite free, of course.). Think gray driftwood in appearance. Place it off-center, short branches on the left side, with the longer branches reaching toward the windows. Trim to fit as needed. You can search your property or nearby woods. Pretty, sophisticated, earthy, different & inexpensive. (A tall simple antique ladder might work, too.) Many people here seem to be leaning toward a simple natural/nature inspired aesthetic. Couldn't agree more. Something about this room calls for that. Maybe it's all the great light?
  • Maebemary
    I use to have a high wall above a sofa and for that, I collected mirrors, large and small. Painted all the frames the same color, black. It was beautiful and reflected light and gave alot of movement to that room.
  • marybea
    Use wood molding, mirroring the windows. You can paint inside the molding and /or hang pictures or art within the moldings.
  • shoebunny
    I really like some of these ideas but offer one that I didn't see. Candace Olson, who has done a number of TV series, once had a vinyl? 'sticker' created for a huge wall like this. It was quite subtle (maybe opalescent, I don't remember) and was botanical. The room was quite modern. I just toss it out there because from that one idea can come a huge number of ideas and one might just feel right. These wall stickers are easy to remove. I've seen a huge variety on-line but you never know. Something organic like a deciduous branch or whatever coming in from a side. This is not to say that's what I would do because I quite like two of the other options given but …. brainstorming.
  • jmpjmp
    The best advice I have seen for this (common) dilemma is given by Susan Susanka in her many "Not so Small House" books. Basically, insert a molding or shelf or cove light or something all around the room at the level of the window or even at the start of the window's arch. That fools the eye into not thinking the room is so overly tall and problem solved.
  • susan fredriksen
    I have had spaces like that. I got lattice work that was geometric (rectangles) and spray painted them. Since there is a lot of open space in these, it doesn't overwhelm a space, but gives color, pattern, etc.. I used different colors that blended well together. And hung them in different directions in 1 place. Another time they were step laddered. And if you don't like the color, just re do it. I managed to get lattice work that was on sale and was done with "no loose edges". Or have a carpenter make it. Easy to hang, lightweight. I don't know how to take pictures or post them so can't show how they currently are.
  • Joan Peterdi
    Get a large Calder mobile or something like it meant to hang in such a space. Something to think about: on an 18-foot high ceiling in my husband's studio, we painted a very deep rich dark PLUM color .... the ceiling virtually vanishes, yet objects and people in the space are somehow 'embraced' by the color.
  • Gordon Van Lieshout
    Any out door photo can be turned into a complete wall paper cover. Just a thought. Any scene you like!
  • pcmom1
    These soaring rooms aren't all that user friendly!

    This photo might give you a direction; substantial molding at a normal ceiling height and then a hanging fixture to fill the space.

  • Denice Shuty
    I was hoping to see some pros weigh in on this. Weed through these opinions from unskilled advisors aggressively to save yourself from wasted effort or expense.
  • beckysimpson1
    I think professionals would need more photos.
  • Brandi Nash Hicks
    I was hoping that everyone could ( weigh In ) and pro's would be busy working
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  • Darlene Porter
    Floor to ceiling fish line and oil waterfall, illuminated from fountain base.
  • Sonia Burrows
    I think you're focused on that wall because you haven't done any type of window treatment. Make those large windows a show-stopper and it will pull you eye away from the blank wall. I also agree with decoenthsiaste. Create an "actual living space".
  • interiordesignme
    big artworks- some inpiration-
    Frisco European · More Info
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    Hospital Home Lottery 2012 - Great Room · More Info

    treatment on the ceiling will also draw your eyes up, get some nice chandeliers, pendants...
    Jane Lockhart Interior Design · More Info

    a wallcolour or different material on the ceiling will make it look lower -
    Modern Peninsula Estate · More Info
  • maryenidlareg
    The Sarah Susanka solution is excellent - add molding to connect the ledge at the left with the window at the right. It immediately reduces the feeling of overwhelming height.
    Also, you could hang a light fixture as a mobile - no need to hook it up to electricity to get the look. The windows will reflect well off glass hung in that space. It would also be less expensive, as you could possibly get one second-hand.
  • annieatbet
    On my tall fireplace wall I hung a large contemporary picture and then above it I
    hung a 48x48 metal clock...I also have a ledge like yours but ignored it and showcased the 2 pieces of "art". The man who hung my window shutters was kind enough to hang the clock...battery is still working...we adjust time with a broom handle:)
  • Karen Russo
    I have a 15 foot ceiling and hung above the sofa a large tapestry on a decorative rod
  • arabgirl121
    I've seen people put large rugs up on the wall. I think that wall would be perfect for family collage.
  • PRO
    Custom Craft Builders
    I say a giant, year round Christmas tree!
  • PRO
  • ujnaik
    I am no professional, but I would suggest metallic linen wall paper on the wall such as this, and hang some long strings of light as chandelier would do the magic
  • PRO
    my artistic drywall
    A large relief sculpture would be very effective on this wall.,particularly when you have the full benefit of natural light crossing the image.As the power of light moves across the sculpture details become more pronounced.it's constantly changing.Off the cuff I'd say a large tree in foreground,some scattered background features,maybe a few small birds ,and painted the wall colour..my artistic drywall by Bernie Mitchell(facebook)
  • L.
    I would suggest mabye a trompe l'oeil painting. It could add interest to the wall without actually being there. And, even better, you wouldn't have to worry about cleaning it as any other type of item that you would put on the wall since it is just basically custom wall paint and it is very high up. Maybe an image like a porthole or window.
  • zapper45701
    Tapestry is an option. A cheap solution is to buy a very large print-style fabric, match and sew the seams and hang it. Art quilts can be had at reasonable prices, as well. You don't need to fill the entire wall, but you can "embellish" around the focal point with matching decor.
  • dalintaylor
    I don't know what your budget is, but maybe a few panels of beaded curtain? Old or new. If the beads are faceted, they'll play beautiful tricks with the light and feel like art that moves & evolves over the course of your day.
  • PRO
    360 Design
    We love large surfaces here! We've done several locations where we cover the entire wall with our 3D product or do a custom silhouette up/across the wall.
  • acm
    Basically you have to decide whether open modern space is one of the things you like about your house -- if it is, then I'd resist the temptation to fill that wall with a giant-sized piece or collection of smaller works. A different approach is to use human-scaled art above the couch to help "finish" off the lower portion of the room visually, making that space feel cozy while allowing the rest of the wall to remain plain and soar empty above it, more modern and abstract. The suggestion by Un air de Paris by Albane above gives one take on that, although you might want more overtly warm art to balance the cool planes and light above.
  • acm
    (Otherwise, this is how many people come to own large and ornate quilts or carpets!)
  • divadeva
    I had this problem 20 years ago...I'm an artist, so I painted an abstract mural on the wall that reflected the urban environment outside. My friend who had almost exactly that wall in a house in Arizona painted that wall a dusty red clay color and put some local pottery (large) into that niche, which was painted dark blue. She added a highly textured basket with a silk leafy plant that trailed down the wall. My current house has extremely high walls. I painted them in Benjamin Moore's "Greytint" and they fade away. It's the most extraordinary experience, as the exterior wall is almost all glass and the sensation is of living in a house without defined walls. The glass looks out into tall trees, it's like living in a tree house. My point is that you might want to relate that wall to the exterior environment
  • divadeva
    mikehjohnson, there's nothing wrong with that room except the paint color. Try going with something lighter, either "greytint" or a color that is subtle and undefined. The best wall colors change color with the light, such as a soft greige.
  • Sandy Lehmann
    We too have 20' ceilings in our living and dining rooms. I am an artist and created this 4' x 8' painting for over our dining room table. It defines both rooms because they are open to each other. Tall abstracts draw your eye up to make the most of your high ceilings.
  • marsia
    I think it would be cool to do something to bring in curves like your front window. It would get your eye off of the big rectangles on the high walls. Maybe a big oval mirror, or a bunch of them in different sizes in a nice design. Pier One has nice, big more modern mirrors that are pretty affordable, and often on sale.

    Whatever you end up doing, cluster smaller things lower, don't try to cover that huge space unless you go the big rug or hanging tapestry route.
  • accentricdesignsltd
    Every architectural and décor element in the room is lineal except for the arch over -what looks to be- sash windows and the curves I see are in just one lamp. The color tones of the walls and furniture, my opinion, are conservatively muted and nearly monochromatic. You need to think about the room, not just as the wall and your marriage to Mitchell Gold and Ethan Allen. So, although addressing the need to treat the wall as the dominate feature in the room is a must, once you have done that, to ignore the radically contrasting arch would just turn that element into the sore thumb.

    Let’s address the wall, and my presumption that budget is always a concern.

    For a home owner to feel at home, my opinion, the décor must not simply consist of items chosen from catalogs, magazines and showrooms. The owners individuality and pride can easily be reflected in treatments of their own imagination and creative processes. Often all it takes is a variety of suggestions, such as what you have been receiving on this thread, to ignite a fire of fun and creativity of your own. The pride of being able to say to your guests that it was all of your doing will be an everlasting validation for your individuality. If you have children, by all means involve them. The sparkle in a child’s eyes during that “Ah Ha” moment will be of value beyond anything else in the home. Many fun things can be done with relative ease and affordability. Self made, but heavily influenced by Mondrian’s style would easily deal with all of your situations. My personal suggestion would be to go to an art store to buy a large quantity of plain pre-stretched canvasses, in a wide variety of sizes and proportion; however, stick to the linear need of squares and rectangles in order to play off of the architecture of room. Each canvass can be aligned, when hung, in such a way that they either butt straight against one another or spaced in such a way the wall surface is exposed giving natural borders between each colorful panel. When choosing colors of the same value as your furniture, but less muted tones. Do not be afraid to be bold by adding some additional powerful color a on few of the smaller canvasses.

    Additionally what comes to mind is that you need to not only occupy the wall space, but also break up the massive volume of space over and in the center of the room. For that I would suggest hanging lamps using various sizes of clear, industrial “Edison” style light bulbs. These can hang individually at varying lengths, form one proportionally large rectangular panel (painted ceiling white) at the same height as the bottom of the window above the arched window.
  • gwackamoley
    For this persons issue about the 20 foot wall: You've got a perfect start with the corner shelf. I'd get some a silk vine plant and put up there. Next to it you could paint or nail a wood trellis that goes up that high. Have it curved like the shape of the windows. Then have the plant hang off of it.
  • stevedenver
    I see so many rooms like this in homes that feature 2-story living rooms. It isn't just the one wall that needs treatment, but chances are the geometric features of the room have no relationship to each other. Try to figure out what the "waistline" of the room is: does it follow from loft to window? Where can a unifying sight-line continue around the room to unify it. Think of your room in 360-degrees, instead of wall-by-wall.

    Once you've established that, choose a treatment for the whole room: trim around the waistline and a paint treatment below; a wide band around the waistline with wallpaper or contrasting paint between two bands of wood; something bold and brave to really define the waistline such as a wide shelf with crown molding beneath or a wide ledge on two sides.
  • PRO
    Remodel Advocates - Virtual Project Management
    +1 stevedenver "Think of your room in 360-degrees, instead of wall-by-wall." We use http://edesignr.com/ for deocrating and they talk about the same issues.
  • PRO
    Curtis H. Jones Photography
    Hi sandbridge,

    We’re not sure if you’re still struggling to find the perfect art for the main wall in your great room or another large wall space room transformation is in progress… Beautiful Space.

    We have visually meditative mood-scapes on gallery wrapped ready-to-hang large canvases in series of 3.

    And can create any current image in a larger canvas size for a one mural size work at any custom size.

    Custom fine art photography in any custom size is also available.

    Impressionistic Series Barth Pond I

    Light Trees
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    A direct link to Light Trees on Avalon Nature Photography

    A Pine
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    A direct link to A Pine on Avalon Nature Photography

    Winter Evening
    Barth Pond Series I : Winter Evening · More Info
    Blue Abstract Art : Large Abstract Canvas Art : ABSTRACT NATURE VIII · More Info

    A direct link to Abstract VIII on Avalon Nature Photography

    other abstracts here

    Hope this is helpful. Enjoy creating your space.

    All the Best,

    Additional info:
    Large Stretched Canvas is 52” X 38” 1.5”
    Custom Mural Sizes Available

    Hand-signed by photographer. Large canvases are shipped in the US and Canada with free white glove delivery service or free shipping in an large art crates.
  • PRO
    Sheri Wilson Fine Art
    What wonderful suggestions, since August. Looking forward to seeing what you would like to incorporate?
  • PRO
    Sheri Wilson Fine Art
    Curtis w/ Avalon****, your pond series are breathtaking!!!! One can get lost in them. Thanks for posting. I enjoyed all of your artwork and your photography. Any of these would be a beautiful statement in the room.

    Sharing a photo image of a huge canvas abstract that was shipped to client to have stretched on site the bar frames to precisely fit her high ceilings. (Photo shows only 1/2 of the canvas ) She had additional canvas left over to customize pillow covers plus mini-paintings to flow into adjacent hallways and kitchen.
    Waterfall Flow · More Info
  • triqita
    Tapestry! This has been testing through the hundreds of years, and great artist were involved in making pictures for them. We can make digitally printed on synthetic canvas any size of your choice and offer you many different designs. Kilim modern, or old, will also look good! Suzani http://30meeting.com/textiles-suzanis2.html Something that will make this great full of light room cozy, comfortable, enjoyable to see every day
  • Nancy Travisinteriors
    Michell gold sells art. You need one very tall piece try 6 ft by 5 ft wide. A oil unframed is best. Are you in California? There is a store called Plummers that carries big art. Also nationally Z Galleries.
  • Nancy Travisinteriors
    Not really sure why this old post is still here. I hope you have found something since last August.
  • Judy Brock

    Suzanne, Your advice and photo of the 3 framed art pieces above the fireplace on your Aug 24, 2014 post, really "spoke" to me, as they say. I absolutely love it and hope you don't mind if we do something similar. It was just the sort of thing I have been looking for. But having no decorating talent, I needed to keep looking until something struck me as just right. My husband and I both love it! I think this is the link, so you'll know which of your great ideas we loved. Thanks so much.


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