How To Hang Pictures On Vaulted Ceiling Walls

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Vaulted ceilings are grand ceilings with a supporting arch above the walls and come to a point. They are often referred to as cathedral ceilings and create an expansive overhead space in your home. With such high ceilings come tall walls and the question of how to decorate them! Of course, with so much space, it becomes a blank canvas for art and photographs. No sweat on how you’re supposed to hang your frames up there; we’ve done the groundwork for you and found how to hang pictures on vaulted ceiling walls. 

With only a few tools and a helping hand, you can easily hang decor on vaulted ceiling walls. Heavy frames will need to be anchored on studs and have 2-4 keyhole hooks hardware attached. Smaller frames can use 2-3 hooks and be organized in countless patterns. Starting at eye level, which is 5 feet up from the floor and ending 2-3 feet down from the ceiling, will give the room a cohesive feel. 

Taking in the expansive space can be overwhelming at first, but with a solid game plan, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll fill up the walls! There is no right or wrong way to place your art and images; everyone has their own personal taste. This article will outline the general guidelines of hanging art and give you some inspiration to start. Keep reading to have your living space picture-worthy!

A Scandinavian themed living room with white painted walls, pastel colored couch, and an indoor plant on the side, How To Hang Pictures On Vaulted Ceiling Walls

Should pictures be hung at the same height?

The height at which you hang your pictures all depends on what vibe you’d like your room to give off. You could prefer everything uniform and in a straight line. Or perhaps a little more on the wild side with clumps of frames in no particular order. Not to mention there are also family pictures to consider. Would you rather them in chronological order or group shots in one area or divided by individual members? Sometimes, eye level won’t always to the first choice, but it’s definitely a good starting point.

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Eye-level

Eye-level stands at 60 inches or a bit higher. Keeping things at eye level will prevent you and your guests from having to crank your neck to look at images. This method is best suited for images of people and artwork with fine detail. After all, this is just a point of reference; you can always build up from here.

A Scandinavian themed living room with white painted walls, pastel colored couch, and an indoor plant on the side

Stacked

What to do when it comes to a long space between two doors or even pieces of furniture. Having similar sized frames in a stack of one or two columns will occupy the space while still providing the illusion of space. Stacking images would work well with abstract art and bold images. Columns can either be put into straight, evenly spaced lines or have one column start higher and place the second column starting in the middle of the first image. 

A gorgeous modern Mediterranean themed living room with white sofas, expensive chandelier, and an area rug on the center

Reaction

Reaction layouts work well with large families and historical lineage. Usually starting from left to right, the same way we read, you’ll go from oldest to newest.

A fun spin on this wall would be to incorporate the history of where you’re from! For example, if the family photos on hand still aren’t enough to fill the space, go to your local antique shop and find photos from when your town was being built, famous figures from the area. In case there isn’t enough history in your city, you can always find architectural blueprints to put up instead!

A woman putting picture frames on the wall

Eclectic gallery

Fill the whole wall! Top to bottom in no order other than how your heart feels that day. Want some frames sitting on the floor and others touching where the wall meets the ceiling? The options are endless. With this non-system, you’re able to mix sizes, shapes, framed, and unframed work. An eclectic gallery wall will have an artsy feel to it and can show off your collection of anything and everything.

Window

On the more subdued side, you have the window technique. For this set up you’ll need to have frames of the same size and shape. Just as the panes of a window are even and clean, you’ll place your images into a consistent order. This technique can require small or large images based on how much else is going on the wall. Photos of families should be kept smaller and at eye level. Or you can get funky and have a Brady Bunch-style window of all your family members!

Interior of an ultra modern kitchen area with light blue painted walls and picture frames hanged on the wall

Large stand-alone

A modern and minimalist look can be achieved with just one stand-alone piece. Placed in the middle of the wall and risen slightly, a large painting will tie together a room of sharp lines and little decor. As a result, it will also keep the room from feeling overbearing or small when you have a group of people over.

Modern contemporary living room with a gray sectional sofa with gray throw pillows and picture frames hanged on the wall

How high should a picture be from the ceiling?

A good rule of thumb is to have a starting point of 5 feet up from the floor or higher, depending on wall height. Before you begin, make sure you have a few things on hand: a ladder, a measuring tape or laser level, and another person.

Distance between the ceiling and top of the frame is subject to a few factors. Do you have moldings? Crown molding plus wall molding will leave you with a bit of plain wall in between. In this situation, find the midpoint leave close to 3 inches of breathing room for the frame’s top and bottom. When looking to hang multiple items, mixing frames with odd-shaped artwork, you can use 3 inches to start and then step back to see what looks best to your eye. 

Click here to view these white frames on Amazon.

Tremendously high and uninterrupted walls don’t have to be intimidating. Start by choosing a large centerpiece that doesn’t contain a lot of small details. Find the middle of the wall and measure around 2 feet more upwards. Placing your artwork just out of the middle will keep the room from feeling stiff. If there is a wall with doors in it, you can use this method to hang one piece between them. As a matter of fact, not only can you use a framed artwork, but you can also hang up a loose hanging tapestry! 

How do you decorate a wall with a vaulted ceiling? 

Pictures aren’t the only things that have to fill up your wall. There are a plethora of objects to sprinkle onto your vaulted ceiling walls. Science lovers can decorate their walls with framed insects and floating shelves. World travelers and anthropologists will have plenty of space to hang masks, traditional clothing, and handmade pottery. Let’s not forget music lovers! Hang signed memorabilia, instruments, records, and posters alike. 

Floating shelves are a noteworthy way to break up a flat wall by adding your favorite objects to the room. Another key point is that you’ll also save some side table space this way! Plants, plants, and more plants. There are planters available for air plants, succulents, and low maintenance greenery. Don’t fret if your floating shelves are full. You can purchase floating or flat-backed string hung pots. By bringing nature into your home, you’ll feel calmer and add life to the walls. One more fun thing to add is mirrors. High-placed mirrors can help spread natural light and make the room feel airier. 

Summary

Decorating can be as controlled or wild as you’d like! Vaulted ceiling walls mean a lot of empty space needed to be filled with photos, artwork, or objects. When hanging large and heavy frames, make sure to put the weight on a wall anchor for security. Larger pieces will need multiple hangers, while smaller pieces can get away with one to two. One last tip, before hanging everything on your wall, lay it out on the floor first to determine which images work well together. 

Looking for a specific theme for your vaulted ceilings? Check out these articles:

30 Eclectic Living Room Ideas That Will Inspire You

21 Hacienda Style Living Room Ideas

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