How should we decorate these very tall walls?

September 4 |
What should Jessica do with these super tall walls?
The husband and I just bought a big house in semi-suburbs. It's pretty bland right now (beige walls + beige tile floors = snooze) and while we've got plenty of ideas for making it the colorful, funky home that we want, I'm at a loss for what to do with the immense two story walls in the living room.

We'll definitely paint them, but then what? I feel like they are calling out for something special. Anyone have any awesome decorating ideas for very tall walls? – Jessica


Homies, Jessica needs you to weigh in here: what should she do with these extremely tall walls? What have YOU done with your massively high walls?

  1. I would paint some fake arches… pretend like it's a grand cathedral type space!

    8 agree
  2. My vote is find a piece of huge art (or make one/enlist an artistic friend) for the wall. Or a collage of similarly themed smaller paintings/wall sculptures.

    7 agree
    • What she said!

      This is the exact same floor plan as our new house (except we have beige carpet everywhere instead of tile), so we bought this monstrosity from Ikea for the left wall right inside the front door: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00176853/

      It's about 6.5 feet long and 5 feet tall, so it's good wall cover if you don't feel like painting just yet. (We just moved in a few weeks ago, so painting this cathedral might not happen for a few months… it just seems so daunting!)

      0 agree
    • Quilts, tapestries and printed sarongs are big and can be used as decorative wall hangings.

      As an added bonus, they are soft and wont injure you if they fall on you, so you can safely hang them in places like over your bed (Why yes. I do live in earthquake country. Why do you ask?)

      4 agree
  3. Some awesome wall hangings could be cool – get long stretches of fabric that you like, hem them or wrap them around a light frame (depending on how heavy/light they are) and hang.

    12 agree
    • I've seen that done with pretty table runners, hung on a hanger like you use for presentation hanging of obis or tapestries. (a dowel-thingy, basically)

      The fabric doesn't even have to be that dramatic, just having that big sweep of color makes a big statement.

      4 agree
    • Especially if you have any inherited, family heirloom type linens.

      0 agree
  4. My gym has super-tall walls. What they did was choose a nice color (they picked a sagey green) and painted it satin about 9 feet up and the rest in flat of the same color. It really brings the walls down and I hardly ever think about how tall it really is in there. They also chose some nice, big 8-foot paintings and framed mirrors that define the space.

    5 agree
  5. You know..I could see a great opportunity to do some hippy-funk deco by hanging fabrics or even a an assortment of scarves. I've always thought it'd be great to get old drapes and do the same. You never know!

    1 agrees
  6. I say hang something you wouldn't normally hang on a wall due to its size like a bicycle, or something like old windows with art or mirror behind the panes? Or do a gallery style wall with tons of pictures and art, or art out of art like some crazy photomosaic.

    31 agree
    • I love the idea of hanging something huge that you wouldn't normally find on a wall.

      5 agree
  7. One of my favorite tall ceiling/wall art pieces was in my cousins house. Someone made her a 1000 origami crane hanging mobile thing for her wedding and she hung it in her super vaulted entry way. Hers was a spiral but you could just as easily make one that hung more tapestry like. If you have that kind of time on your hands :)

    14 agree
    • We did this for our Handfasting too! We used strings of them hanging from the trees and columns as decorations. After everyone took a strand home as a favor we had a handful left. I strung them on a spring tension rod and centered them on a wall between picture groups of our handfasting. Something else I will do if I ever had the space is have my veil mounted. It's a circular veil with a diameter of over 6 feet!

      1 agrees
  8. Ooh, you could always get one of those really cool wall sticker-sort of things, one of the trees?

    1 agrees
    • P.S. Check out some vinyl ideas too- they have killer colors and sizes now

      1 agrees
    • Taxidermy of fake animals would be awesome and unexpected. :D

      0 agree
    • My mom caught a ginormous marlin (fish) on her honeymoon in the 1970's. We're talking 6.5' at least. And it was mounted. In a flexed position.

      NOBODY has a place for a fish like that in a normal house! Hers eventually got damaged in a reno and trashed, but she always wanted to put it up. It would've been perfect in a similar space.

      0 agree
  9. if you want to dived the right wall in half you: from where the upper railing ends you could run a white piece of trim out from the bottom and then paint two different colors. 2, you could paint any picture you wanted and paint a fake railing in front of the secne on the right wall. 3. the entery way into the kitchen dining room could have a rounded feature added to make the opening an arch. there are a lot of rectangular shapes going on though so that might stick out or it might soften things up.

    3 agree
  10. Totally just a seasonal thing, but you can put very tall Christmas (or holiday-of-your-choice) trees in very tall spaces! What's even better is that you can sometimes get very tall trees for much less than reasonably sized trees — usually, they're only sold to malls, churches, and so-on, but friends of ours had a two-story living room, and they always put up a larger-than-average tree!

    3 agree
    • Or, you could get a potted tree for year round …. Maybe a lemon tree, that would be handy…..

      2 agree
    • OMG that wall is amazing. I don't think I could ever pull that off though =/

      1 agrees
  11. I seem to recall that whenever confronted with a tall wall, Thom Filicia of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" would paint large blocks of alternating color onto the wall to visually break it up. There are a couple of episodes on YouTube where he does this.

    1 agrees
    • This is my fave idea here. But, you should probably explain a gobo…

      For those who are not aware, a gobo is a cut-out that you put in front of a light. Often it's a high intensity spotlight. When you turn the light on, the filter makes the light project in a shape with light/dark areas (so a tree outline, a window frame, company logo, snowflakes, etc. instead of a plain spotlight). They use them in theatre a lot.

      You could do fun things with a Peter Pan silhouette, the Bat signal, outline of Dracula, stars, snowflakes, a falling leaves or falling snow design, Santa's sled with falling presents…

      1 agrees
  12. I don't have any epic ideas, just something I've learned from our 11 foot ceilings. Something that seems too big when it's in your hands will not be too big when it's on the walls. The kids' school pictures are 8×10 in huge frames with wide mats, but they look like 5×7 pictures on our big tall wall.
    Definitely go BIG with your decor.
    Or, if you want the height to disappear, you could paint your wall color only 10 feet up (or so) and then have the rest of the walls the same color as the ceiling.
    Pictures once you've decorated please!

    3 agree
  13. My mother has these types of walls and her approach was to ignore the upper half. She painted the walls a warm color to keep the space from being too cold and hung things on the Lower half. You could do mirrors but get cheap builders mirrors and frame them up (they have products for that that are cheaper than buying huge expensive mirrors ) that just reflects the problem . I like the photo collage idea. I also saw Sonething in pinterest that has big empty frames layered on top of each other off center and spray painted different colors – super. Cool.

    0 agree
  14. MURAL!!!! Are you kidding me! I would LOVE to have walls this big to do a large flowing mural on one and that brick tile up the other and then hang ANYthing you want on it. Or Living garden wall? Water feature? soooo many options. Please post a follow-up photo.

    1 agrees
  15. I would paint giant trees. And then do the living room so it looks like we're elves. But I am a giant dork.

    16 agree
    • YES! That was going to be my suggestion! But a single-color tree (like a silhouette) would also look cool, albeit less Elvish.

      0 agree
  16. You could try hanging long strips of fabric. Or plants. Or put up tons of pictures, one over the other.

    1 agrees
    • It'd be awesome to turn one of those into a living wall!

      1 agrees
    • Put up a thing of lattice anchored to the wall by some boards, giving space to the back of the lattice, and then plant climbers in a planter at the bottom? Seems like the easiest way to do a living wall to me.

      0 agree
    • I've done this before and instead of buying multiple shades of paint just buy the darkest and a lot of white. Paint the darkest area, mix in white, and paint the next area blending with the previous as you go. It looks AWESOME, btw. :)

      3 agree
  17. Ah, man, you guys have so many good ideas! I have so many things going through my head now. It'll just be a matter of picking one (or two) and doing it. Thanks, homies!

    1 agrees
  18. I'be always dreamed of tall walls so that I could have giant bookshelves.

    5 agree
  19. Happy story about unconventional wall decorations for awkward spaces: as a former Brooklyn girl, I remember when the Park Slope Food Co-op installed a new neon sign (back in the 90s). Of course that meant that they threw away (!) their old long, metal sign dating back to 1973. My mother thought "oh hell no," collected it, and brought it back to her super-long hallway. A few years ago she moved apartments, and guess what? The co-op is thrilled that someone saved the sign, and we gave it back to be proudly displayed inside the building :)

    2 agree
  20. We just moved in to an apartment with two story ceilings, too. The previous occupant solved the "what do I put on these walls " question by putting up a rock climbing wall.

    5 agree
  21. Oh man, have you ever seen a car with flip paint? It looks one colour fromone angle and fades through shades to another colour. If it's even achievable on walls, it would look so cool! You could watch the colour change as you walked upstairs!

    1 agrees
  22. My condo has 20ft. walls so I know exactly what you're talking about. Luckily for me, I have four ginormous windows on my north-facing wall…so that takes up plenty of space. Here are things I would suggest:

    – focus wall painted in a fun scheme (patterns like geometric, ombre, colour-blocking, horizontal stripes, dots)
    – cool wallpaper/wall decals (a densely patterned wallpaper, or massive wall decals)
    – huge fuckin' art (my husband has taken to getting some of his photography blown up onto canvas or large prints, and then framed with a thick matte and a thick, flat bold coloured frame).

    And here's an idea that's not for the wall but will help use the space:

    Hanging pendant lamps. Go to a lighting store (even Ikea has great ones) and look at all of their ceiling hanging pendant pieces. Look at the big ones! Things like this:
    http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/90147465/
    will really help take up space.

    0 agree
  23. I would definitely do something with paint, like a cascading design that uses the height to its advantage (think waterfall, swirls coming down, vaults – climbing vines – things that look better *with* height) but if you're not that good at painting designs yourself, you could get decals and stick them all the way down, or buy some boldly patterned fabric – think bold Chinese silk prints, florals, something really big – and have it hemmed so it'll fall in a vertical tapestry, longer than it is wide.

    We did this in our bedroom (walls are not particularly high though) – we had a 1 meter-wide swath of fabric made to a length that fell from floor to ceiling, and used those 3M removeable stickies all up and down the sides so it would stick on the wall, from floor to ceiling, behind our bed. We chose a bright blue cotton fabric with a traditional Chinese floral print (http://www.google.com.tw/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=N&tbm=isch&tbnid=gI7wo7GVxpMGKM:&imgrefurl=http://www.creativestores.co.uk/fabricsgalore/Taiwan-Hakka-Flowers-Fabric.html&imgurl=http://www.creativestores.co.uk/images/P/fabhakkan.jpg&w=570&h=438&ei=W_dHUPWPLc7nmAWP1IHYCw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=570&sig=109459652453266509629&page=1&tbnh=158&tbnw=205&start=0&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:9,s:0,i:100&tx=82&ty=67&biw=1374&bih=710) – like that.

    0 agree
  24. We had multiple cathedral ceilings in our old home. We hung some fabulous rugs up on the walls. They were small – only about 3 x 5 or 4 x6 but it was a great way of displaying some nice rugs that we didn't want to walk on.

    0 agree
  25. On an episode of 'The Antonio Treatment' there was a couple with I think three story ceilings and he did an awesome mural of their kid split into four panels that covered one whole wall. It was pretty rocking

    0 agree
  26. I would have one really tall piece of furniture against one wall and if needed you could place something on top of it (artwork, vases, etc)>
    On the other tall wall at approx the same height I would use artwork. I'm really digging the groupings right now, something like 5 pictures vertically 4 across (20 pics grouped in vertical lines)all in the same frame, matted pics or artwork.

    0 agree
  27. If you like yard saleing or antiquing, you could search for interesting quilts and create a display.

    0 agree
  28. Can't believe no one suggested this: CLIMBING WALL. Put a strong bar at the top to hook a rope over, footholds all over the wall, get a crash mat, voila! Indoor exercise space.

    0 agree
  29. Great question! I would place a very large gilded mirror on one wall to lower the focus. A large piece of art work or wall decal would look great on the other wall or a group of painting but they should take up quite a bit of space. Good Luck. Love to know what you do.

    0 agree
  30. BIG ART. And I want to make a recommendation to people looking for good art but assuming it will be out of their budget!

    If there is an art school in your area, check and see if they have student art auctions or sales, or maybe even take a look around and see if you can find an art student who's style you like to do a commission piece for you!

    I am an art student and I am constantly in need of money, and also, we have to make a lot of art, after a while I sell it just because I have no where to store it.

    You might manage to get some really awesome OOAK art! Maybe even by someone who might be famous someday! :)

    0 agree

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