Design Dilemma: Large Room + Tall, Wood Ceilings = Cavernous

Recently, I received an e-mail from a woman who receives my blogs, asking me for help with a 17 x 25 foot family playroom with 10′ tall ceilings. They live in a beautiful old farmhouse in Wehham, MA that they have been slowly renovating over the course of the last four years.  Almost every room in the house has exposed beam ceilings and she feels unsure of where to start with this expansive room. As you’ll see, the over-sized couches look dwarfed due to the size of the room, yet they need a spacious AND kid friendly playroom so her two young lads can romp around without damaging anything. (Think jumping, throwing soft balls around, fort building and definitely some brotherly pillow fighting.) There isn’t any lighting in the room either (other than the one wall sconce and lamp that you see) and she’s very conservative with color. Here’s the photo she sent to me.

Aimee, here are some starting points for you to consider!

1.) Since the ceiling is so tall and almost appears to “sit” on top of the walls, consider white washing the ceiling so it looks like the one in the below photo.  It will help to enclose the room.


2.) In order to bring some texture and light into the room, as well as bring the focus of the eye down a bit, consider adding one or two natural, woven pendant lights and hang them from the ceiling, inbetween the newly white-washed beams. (You can’t really break these either!)

Source: via Laura on Pinterest


3.) Install a wall sconce like this one shown above the painting, but in the color white. Purchase two of them and place each one in between the windows for additional light and interest. (Notice the cage around the bulb = no breakage!)


4.) For privacy, as well as texture, hang inset, wooden or natural, woven shades on the four windows.  Something similar to these.

Aimee also mentioned needing a light for a stairwell that drops into this room, but will also be a light that can be seen as you drive up to their home. Try hanging a glass blown pendant light like this in the stairwell!

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Good luck and send us some “after” pictures too! I look forward to helping you when you’re ready for the next steps! Enjoy the journey. LG