Tall Stories: Rooms with High Ceilings

High-ceilinged rooms tend to be inherently dramatic, but soaring spaces need to be handled with a sure sense of proportion and scale so they don’t become oppressively over-dramatic or just large, empty voids. Here, three members of Designers Collaborative avoid altitude sickness beautifully.

Mirror and fireplace in high-ceilinged living room in Palm Beach by Bruce Bierman

Bruce Bierman: This two-storied Palm Beach living room has a 25-foot-high ceiling. At Lorin Marsh in New York I found an antique Venetian mirror that was perfect to hang over the fireplace, but it was only four foot tall. So I had a 10-foot-tall version of it replicated in Italy, and the reworked proportions fit the space perfectly.

Window seat and chandelier in high-ceilinged room by Glenn Gissler

Glenn Gissler: For a house on Eastern Long Island I designed an extraordinarily tall and dramatic window in the Arts & Crafts style to frame an incredible view of the dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. But the window seat and the Italian table create an intimately scaled place from which to take in the view and light.

Dining room with high vaulted ceiling by Tim Button

Tim Button: We created the vaulted ceiling in this dining room by appropriating space from an unused attic above. Lights hidden in the corners of the floor shine on to the pearlized vaulting, creating an inviting glow. The ropes covering the groins were cast in plaster from an actual ships’ rope and the chandelier canopy on the ceiling was carved from a sketch I did of a woven knot ball. Even though it’s imposing, the room works for a casual lunch or a dramatic dinner.