Vaulted ceilings, which are now popular, provide a sense of spaciousness, even grandeur, to a home. Vaulted ceilings, like other architectural design features, come and go. However, as floor layouts get narrower, ceilings rise to provide the appearance of a greater living area. This is why vaulted ceilings are often found in homes with small kitchens or bathrooms.
Cathedral ceilings are also called high-domed ceilings because they create a large open space between the ceiling and the roof. In houses built before code requirements for soundproofing were established, cathedral ceilings were the most effective way to keep noise from traveling from one room to another. Today, this function is served by wall dividers and carpet.
Cathedral ceilings are used in many public buildings, including churches, because they add to the appearance of size while still allowing light into the space.
These days, they're also used in home renovation projects to give the illusion of more space than there actually is. The beauty of these ceilings is that they can be easily removed if you want to put up wallpaper or paint the walls a different color.
Finally, cathedral ceilings are becoming popular again because they help reduce energy costs by reducing the need for air conditioning and heating. This is especially true in hot climates where both temperatures and humidity increase the cost of electricity.
Here are some advantages of having a vaulted ceiling in your home:
In regular spaces, high ceilings offer the illusion of space. They also offer greater decorating area and, in general, more natural light and ventilation. However, the greater volume of air in the area might make heating and cooling more challenging. Also, because there's less physical ground cover, high-ceilinged rooms are more susceptible to heat loss in warmer climates or heat gain in colder ones.
Large windows and doors help to keep high-ceilinged rooms cool in summer and warm in winter. The extent to which this is necessary will depend on where you live. In cold regions, insulated ceiling tiles can be installed to reduce heat loss through the roof.
The main advantage of high ceilings is that they allow for bigger designs. Designers have more freedom to create spaces that wouldn't be possible otherwise. This is particularly evident in modern homes where all kinds of shapes become feasible due to the lack of restrictions imposed by low ceilings.
High ceilings can also add character to a home. If you have older buildings with low ceilings, giving them higher ceilings without making other changes may not be advisable. But in new construction, raising the ceiling of one room while keeping the others low-ceilinged allows you to combine old and new, classic and contemporary styles in one space.
Finally, high ceilings can be used as a selling point.
The high ceilings of Victorian homes, like other design elements, were used to demonstrate affluence to guests. High ceilings created a dramatic contrast to the low-ceilinged cottages and homes associated with more basic abodes, creating a large setting. They also allowed for more lighting, which was expensive at the time.
High ceilings are not unique to Victorian houses. Many modern houses built after World War II had higher ceilings than typical homes of the time. These houses used metal frame construction techniques that allowed for larger openings in less dense neighborhoods. The increased space allowed for larger rooms that could accommodate modern furniture and appliances.
By the late 20th century, high ceilings were becoming uncommon in new home construction. This is because builders found that they could achieve the same effect with wider boards and fewer ceiling beams. Also, high ceilings are labor intensive to install correctly, so they're generally done by contractors who use fasteners instead.
There are still many Victorians around today. If you plan to buy or sell homes in this genre of architecture, know what kinds of house features to expect before you look at them up close.