The fifth wall—otherwise known as your ceiling in the design world—serves as the perfect location to make a statement. Whether it's pure white, decked out in paint or wallpaper, or structurally an eye-catching feature, your ceiling is worth considering when you decorate—especially if it's a cathedral ceiling.
Resembling the shape of churches and cathedrals, these ceilings typically consist of two slanted sides that meet at a point. This differs across many rooms and homes, with some adding a new angle or two and others obscuring one-half of the ceiling. But regardless, this architectural eye candy is fun to look at—and even more fun to design off of.
If you've been architecturally blessed with a cathedral ceiling, you know just how much flair it can add to a room. But, if you've been intimidated by the grand gesture that makes up the cosmos of your room, decorating may no longer feel as easy.
What is a Cathedral Ceiling?
A cathedral ceiling features straight sides that slope upward to match the shape of a roof's pitch. Both slopping sides are symmetrical and parallel to the pitch of the roof, unlike a vaulted ceiling, which does not follow the shape of the roof.
For those stumped by what lies above them, browse through these ideas to get a kick start on complementing a cathedral ceiling.
Evoke Minimal Coastal Vibes
Beach-inspired rooms are not the kitschy, nautical spaces they once were. Breathy open spaces like this have the same gentle atmosphere you'd want from a beach house, sans anchors, and seashell collections.
This style also fits perfectly with a cathedral ceiling, thanks to the open and airy vibe that both create in the space.
Elongate With All-White
White can work some major magic when it comes to opening up a space. Sometimes, warm and dark colors can feel heavy in a space, but the white walls and ceiling in this sitting room maintain a strong balance.
The textures in the room, like wood and rattan, instantly make it feel cozy, especially when a ceiling has a finite point with the cathedral shape. All the surfaces in this space are tied together with one ultra-light hue, making it feel bigger.
Find Charm in Simplicity
When a ceiling brings this much personality into a room, there's no need to overdo it with décor. This is a particularly unique case in point, thanks to the multiple angles of the ceiling. To keep the serene, calm feeling, a simple table, lamp, and wooden bowl make the space feel complete.
Finish With a Light Fixture
For rooms that feel extra spacious, you can punctuate with a bold light fixture. A chandelier or large pendant light can give some context to the expanse that is your ceiling. Pick a color that matches other shades in your room, and you'll be set.
When choosing a light fixture, tie in a color that is featured in the rest of your room for cohesion and accentuation.
Mix Warm Tones With Cooler Shades
This wooden ceiling features a gorgeous black stain that tweaks the all-natural wood look of this kitchen, giving it a nice extra layer of style. The addition of slightly minty green-gray cabinetry with warmer chairs at the island and pendant lights also shows how to perfectly combine warm and cool palettes.
Lean Into Paneling
Go for '70s glam by working modern paneling from floor to ceiling. While this makes a statement on its own, it also helps highlight the unique structure of the ceiling, half of which is obscured. Adorn the room with a few cool lights, and it'll feel groovy and fresh.
Construct a Rustic Oasis
You'd be surprised by the kinds of styles that work so flawlessly together. While there's an inherent beachy quality to this room, its ceiling gives it a 17th-century twist. In addition to these two décor styles meeting in the middle, the tile on the fireplace gives it a Spanish-inspired touch—all details that make the space feel rustic and personalized.
Add Intrigue With Contrasting Styles
It's breathtaking what you can do with wood panels and an arching ceiling. At first glance, this living room gives an instant air of farmhouse appeal, but after exploring a bit longer, the furniture puts it more into the contemporary category.
Bring on the Boho
The single wooden beam running through the center is a nice touch in this living room, which helps it from getting swallowed by the white walls. The baskets, fabrics, and macramé make it feel homey, but the shapes and colors keep it looking clean and modern.
Play With Balance
The highest point of a cathedral ceiling provides a nice line of symmetry in a room, and it makes it easier to align an accent wall with the rest of your furniture. We are obsessed with the wallpapered pentagon-shaped wall and gallery wall hung atop it.
Mix a Window Wall and a Cathedral Ceiling
Whether you want a ranch-style or alpine ski vibes, a cathedral ceiling paired with a wall of windows is definitely worth considering. You'll allow plenty of light in and be able to really admire the structure and shape of your room each time you set foot in it.
Achieve That Dreamy Cali Vibe
If you're looking for California cool defined in one picture, your search is over. A cathedral ceiling helps embrace all things airy, bright, and breezy as proven here. The angular, black fireplace, rods, and sconces are the perfect counterparts to the white paint and neutral furniture.
Blend Your Styles
Art deco truly meets boho in this room. You could imagine staying in this space as a remote vacation spot, thanks to its unique shape, wooden divider, and intriguing textiles. But, the wallpaper and pendant lamp keep the feel modernized with a splash of '20s glamour.
Accent With Gold
For major grandeur, add a few glinting gold pieces to make your bedroom feel extra luxurious. This warm, metallic shade works like a charm, playing nicely with a wood cathedral ceiling and helping to add a bit of color overall.
Pull Inspiration From Paris
You can catch a hint of Parisian flair in this living room, courtesy of its regal items mixed with more modular pieces—exhibit A: the ornate mirror paired with the rounded chairs. Just a hint of the cathedral ceiling peeks out here, but you can tell it serves as the perfect backdrop for this classic style.
Frame Your Bathroom With a Cathedral Ceiling
Yes, even a bathroom can be a stunning setting for a cathedral ceiling. A soft, white version instantly adds to the five-star retreat look you've dreamt up for the space, and it will make you drop your shoulders and take a deep breath every time you draw a bath.