10 Unique Ideas for Decorating Tall Walls

Updated: Dec. 07, 2021

The 10-foot ceilings hooked you and you signed on the dotted line. But now what do you do with those tall walls? Here are 10 ideas to inspire you.

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Show Off a Collection on a Gallery Wall

This is your chance to really wow with the items you’ve been collecting for years. Finally buy brackets for your plate collection and hang them en masse. Crazy about cartography? Big roll-down or framed maps are both interesting and unique, especially when grouped together. If you collect something of the knick-knack nature, then you’re going to need lots of shelving—go for it! You can also keep it classic and simply hang multiple pieces of your favorite artwork pleasingly in a group.

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Large-Scale Artwork

This is your chance to really go for it: A huge, vertically oriented piece of art will really wow in a tall space. Add a blockbuster frame and you’ve made your own museum at home. Or create your own wall art with a secondhand canvas, some painter’s tape and an accent of eye-catching metallic gold paint.

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Install Textured Panels

You can install traditional favorites like crown molding or board and batten, but there’s a whole new world of textured paneling that will give your space structure—and easily transform your wall from ho-hum to holy cow!

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Climb the Ladder

Bookworms, rejoice! Floor-to-ceiling shelving filled with your favorite tomes and topped with a rolling library ladder, like the den of your fairy-tale dreams, will add warmth to your tall space. Arrange your books in a pleasing color-coded pattern for extra aesthetics. Though, buyer beware: You’re hosting book club forevermore.

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Score Architectural Salvage

Big spaces can support big pieces. Architectural salvage stores are chockablock with nothing-else-like-it doors, windows, mirrors, signage, corbels, mantels and more. If you really want to wow, you can create a whole scene from ghosts of buildings past, in both traditional and modern styles.

Frank Lloyd Wright brought American architecture to the forefront.

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Hang Statement Lights

Start at the ceiling for a true showstopper: vertically oriented statement light fixtures. They’ll give the room a flattering glow, and when done right, can feel like art in and of itself. If you want to add even more wattage, consider colorful cloth-covered electrical cord for your pendant lights.

West Elm offers mix-and-match lighting to make your own sculptural art.

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Hang Wallpaper or a Mural

Wallpaper is BACK. Commit to a classic design, or find a good peel-and-stick to scratch the itch. Don’t be afraid to go bold in color or pattern, because a big, open space gives it room to breathe. Or consider paintable wallpaper!

Murals could be commissioned by an artist near you and made to your specifications, or you could paint it yourself. Wallpaper designers are increasingly offering one long scrolling design or tableaux, rather than a repeating pattern, so consider that option, as well.

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geometric wall
Meinzahn/Getty Images

Color Correct

Your tall wall may be calling for some bold paint. That could be in color—pick a jewel tone or something similarly daring—or it could be the way it’s painted, such as with texture or a geometric pattern. Consider tactics that make it easier to solve your what-do-I-hang-there? decorating dilemma, such as bisecting the wall horizontally with a darker color on top, to visually reduce the ceiling height, or employing a pattern you wouldn’t want to cover.

Watch now to learn how to prep and paint a room:

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Treat Your Windows Right

If you’d love for people to use the word “majestic” to describe your space, consider your window treatments. Extending drapes from the top of the ceiling all the way to the floor—instead of from just above the window—will create drama, drama, drama. Especially if those drapes are made of boldly colored velvet.

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wall molding and art
KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Split It Up

Big walls can multitask in a truly out-of-the-box way. Consider installing half with molding, half with art. Combine more than one type of molding. Paint and hang art. Combine sculptural pieces with paintings. The sky’s the limit!