There were times when vaulted ceilings were used only in sacred places like cathedrals or basilicas. We have gathered a collection of 65 unique cathedral ceiling and vaulted ceiling designs in living rooms around the world and this article will give you some answers to the basic questions that refer to these types of ceilings.
What is a vaulted ceiling?
What is vaulted ceiling? A vaulted ceiling, by definition, is a ceiling which has arched or curved structure with one or two sharp, sloping sides that form a peak. The sloping sides can be of equal or unequal length. The ceiling slants down to the lowest wall again giving the impression or illusion that the room is larger than it is really is due to the increased volume and is sometimes called a slanted ceiling.
What is a cathedral ceiling?
A cathedral ceiling is a ceiling that has a center point higher than the walls. Cathedral ceilings have equal sloping sides that meet in the middle of a room and conform to the shape of the roof. This allows the room to open up to the highest possible point.
What is the difference between a vaulted ceiling and a cathedral ceiling?
Many people are confused about the difference between a vaulted ceiling and a cathedral ceiling. The easy explanation of the difference will be – It is all in the pitch. Cathedral ceilings have two equal, sloping sides that are parallel to the pitch of the roof and the two sides of the slopes meet at a ridge which runs across the length of the room. Vaulted ceilings do not necessarily follow the pitch of the roof. They are constructed within a house to cover a specific space and trusses are used to shape it. It can have unequal sides, sloping sides, one sloping side, or a curved sloping side.
Popular types of vaulted ceilings
There are many types of vaults and we shall say a few words for the most popular styles of ceiling designs. The barrel vault is the most traditional, popular and simple style of ceiling vaulting. It has semi-circular arches and they may follow each other.
The groin vault is constructed by the intersecting two barrel vaults at 90 degree right angles. The intersection creates ribs which are particularly attractive.
The cloister vault has a dome shape and its base that can be square or polygonal. The rib vault features a classic shape of the vaults. It strongly resembles the groin vault. Vaulted designs also feature diamond vaults, which are the most ornate ones, shell vault, Catalan vault which is typical and recognizable with the low arch.
Vaulted ceiling design ideas
There is no doubt that vaulted ceilings add space to any room and create a feeling of openness and even hugeness. Such ceilings provide the opportunity to install bigger windows which means a lot of natural light and a bright atmosphere. Last but not least – a vaulted ceiling is a cost-effective way to make a room beautiful with very little efforts. Amongst the most popular materials for the construction of vaulted ceilings are stone, reinforced concrete, brick or wood. It is common with homeowners to paint the ceilings in white or some other light color shade. Besides the aesthetic point of view, this is another way to create an optical illusion for a huge space. If you have a really tall ceiling, you may want to opt for a darker color so you do not feel like in a cathedral, but lower the ceiling height visually for a cozier atmosphere. Many homeowners prefer to leave the ceiling beams exposed as this adds a rustic flair to the interior and the space has a touch of unique character.
Lighting ideas for vaulted ceilings
One of the most important questions when we have a vaulted ceiling is the lighting. Proper lighting emphasizes a vaulted ceiling.The options for suitable lighting fixtures are numerous. Starting with skylights, spectacular chandeliers or modern recessed lighting – each option gives the opportunity to create a dramatic and impressive view. Skylights will allow natural light to penetrate into the room, and will brighten the upper part of the ceiling. Hanging lights, such as chandeliers, will add elegance and style. It is recommended that you opt for chandeliers which throw light upward and out and avoid hanging light fixtures with direct downward light flow. Recessed lights are suitable and convenient if you wished to work or read in the room. This type of lighting along with direct spotlighting, is recommended for modern interiors. See the gallery below and enjoy!
Exposed curved beams and modern interior
White walls and ceiling are complemented by the neutral colors of the furniture
A living room renovation idea with a ridge beam
Exposed trusses add an accent to the contemporary living room design
Floor to ceiling windows and modern interior with beautiful wooden ceiling
The ceiling design is the highlight in this modern living room
Awesome living room with floor to ceiling fireplace and stunning ceiling design
Beautiful lighting for vaulted ceiling
Two magnificent chandeliers decorate the ceiling