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Raising the Roof: A Guide to Vaulted Ceilings

You step into a room and your eyes are drawn upwards, following the graceful arches and lines of a vaulted ceiling that seem to reach for the stars (or lack thereof if you are in downtown Charlotte). It’s a sight that makes your breath hitch and tap your S.O. on the shoulder to say “I want that,” while pointing upwards. It’s a ceiling that fills the entire space with a sense of grandeur and enchantment.

This reaction may be a little bit of a stretch, but it does happen on occasion. And while we at ReVision don’t typically add vaulted ceilings unless we are building an addition or are taking space from an attic above, they are some of our favorite elements to tackle because of the final result.

Vaulted ceilings have a way of opening up a room, making it feel more spacious, airy, and light-filled. And for homes that experience all four seasons, they are a common request in the Charlotte area.

Types of Vaulted Ceilings

There are a few options when it comes to choosing what exact sort of vaulted ceiling would be best for your abode. You don’t often think how much an intricate ceiling can impact a room but it really can do wonders and make space entirely transform.

1. Barrel Vault

As the name suggests, the barrel vault mimics the gentle curve of a barrel, creating a smooth and continuous arch from one end of the room to the other. This type of vaulted ceiling adds a sense of elegance and sophistication. When you first hear “barrel vault” some sort of bank or financial institution comes to mind but their popularity extends to residences alike. When designing a barrel vault, it’s important to keep in mind three dimensions: length, width, and rise.

2. Groin Vault

The groin vault is created by intersecting two barrel vaults at a right angle, forming a series of arched ribs that beautifully intersect at the center. The result is a stunning visual display. Groin vault ceilings look especially good in long hallways where you can hang a series of pendant lights.

3. Dome Vault

If you’re aiming for a truly awe-inspiring statement, the dome vault is your answer. Resembling the inside of a grand dome, this type of vaulted ceiling features a rounded, curved surface that creates a sense of expansiveness and grandiosity. It’s a perfect choice for entryways, foyers, or spaces where you want to make a lasting impression.

4. Ribbed Vault

Picture a medieval cathedral with its intricate ribbed ceilings, and you’ll have a glimpse of the ribbed vault. This type of vaulted ceiling showcases a network of arched ribs that meet at the center, forming a visually striking pattern.

5. Cove Vault

If you are going to put money into your home, it ought to increase your home value. Whether you are considering selling your home in the near future or not, adding value to your home is never a bad idea. Double vanity sinks are highly sought after and can add significant value to your home

You know what they say – bathrooms and kitchens sell homes! When potential homebuyers are touring a house, they look for both function and beauty in bathrooms. A double vanity bathroom offers both of those things.

These are just a few examples of the diverse range of vaulted ceiling designs available. Each type offers its unique charm and character, allowing you to select the style that best suits your taste and the ambiance you want to create. Our advice would definitely be to consult with your contractor to figure out what is doable within your own space.

vaulted ceilings
A barrel vaulted ceiling elevates this sophisticated open-concept kitchen and dining room combo

The Pros of Vaulted Ceilings

Here, an eclectic primary bathroom with black and white tile features a funky vaulted ceiling with wood paneling, adding even more interest from top to bottom.

Now that we have a grasp on the different types of vaulted ceilings out there, let’s take a look at the pros of including a vaulted ceiling in your next home remodeling project. If you’re on the fence, these might just help take you over to the other side.

  1. Sense of Space: Vaulted ceilings create an illusion of openness and spaciousness, making a room feel larger and more airy. 
  2. Enhanced Natural Light: With their increased height, vaulted ceilings allow more natural light to enter the room, brightening up the space and creating a welcoming atmosphere. And as mentioned before, since Charlotte and North Carolina experience all four seasons, most prefer to be able to take them all in.
  3. Architectural Appeal: Vaulted ceilings add a touch of architectural grandeur and visual interest to any room, elevating its overall design and aesthetic.
  4. Acoustic Benefits: The height and shape of vaulted ceilings can improve room acoustics by reducing echoes and creating better sound distribution.
  5. Design Versatility: Vaulted ceilings provide a versatile canvas for creative interior design, allowing for the incorporation of unique lighting fixtures, artwork, or decorative elements.
  6. Increased Property Value: Homes with vaulted ceilings often hold higher market value due to their desirable and sought-after architectural features.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t at least include a few of the pitfalls of vaulted ceilings. (We want you to make the most informed decision after all). So here are just a few cons to keep in mind.

What is probably most controversial about vaulted ceilings is that they are not always the most energy-efficient. Warm air rises into an open ceiling where there are no occupants. So, your heating bill may be a bit higher than with a traditional flat ceiling. And because vaulted ceilings are taller, it can be a difficult task to change a light bulb or repair a skylight. A stepladder isn’t going to cut it and you may need to call in a professional. And lastly, it’s not a renovation for the faint of heart. It can require knocking through walls, installing new beams, and cutting away floor joints. It’s a process and not the easiest one in the world.

Low, popcorn ceilings and minimal natural light were not doing this Plaza Midwood kitchen (or the couple who lived in it) any favors. By utilizing the unused attic space, we created a vaulted ceiling, complete with skylights

Taking your Ceiling to the Next Level: Skylights, Art, and Lighting

You can take the natural light in your home to the next level by incorporating skylights and windows into your vaulted space. Vaulted ceilings also offer an incredible opportunity to turn your ceiling into a captivating gallery for artwork and decor. Take advantage of the spaciousness by showcasing eye-catching sculptures, chandeliers, or large-scale artwork. Let the drama of height shine through by incorporating cascading pendant lights or making a statement with a stunning focal point chandelier. With the extra wall space, you can display oversized artwork or a carefully curated collection of beautifully framed photographs.

Vaulted Ceilings Aren't Just for Interiors

We added a touch of elegance to this front porch with a subtle barrel vault design and exquisite bead groove paneling.

When we think of vaulted ceilings, our minds often go to the grandeur they bring to interior spaces. But vaulted ceilings aren’t limited to the indoors. These architectural wonders can also make a stunning impact on the exterior of your home.

Your home’s exterior is the first impression it makes, and a vaulted ceiling can take that impression to a whole new level. Imagine a covered porch or patio with a vaulted ceiling stretching overhead. Whether entertaining guests or enjoying a quiet evening outdoors, a vaulted ceiling in your outdoor living space creates a welcoming and luxurious atmosphere. It provides shelter from the elements while still allowing for a sense of openness and connection with the surrounding environment.

The Sky’s the Limit

If you’re searching for a reliable partner to bring your vaulted ceiling dreams to life, ReVision is here to exceed your expectations. With our team of seasoned professionals and a wealth of experience in home remodeling, we will happily be your go-to experts for creating vaulted ceilings. 

Contact us today and let us help you take the first step toward transforming your Charlotte home.