By Lisa Marie Conklin
A sloped ceiling may seem like an interior design challenge, but this architectural feature isn’t something you have to just live with. Follow these tips to learn how to embrace the uniqueness of any space with a sloped ceiling to create a cozy and inviting room.
A sloped ceiling lends naturally lends itself to the cozy factor, especially if the room includes a dormer window. This little alcove is perfect for a cozy reading nook. Place a comfy, low slung chair by placing a comfy low-slung chair in the alcove. A built-in window seat would be ideal for child’s bedroom. Use the short knee walls as your guide to design your room. Place bookshelves, loveseat, beds, and desks along the knee wall.
Sloped ceilings can be a headache — literally. Keep your head from bumping by allowing at least a 3-foot-wide clearance for the major traffic walkway in a room. When considering furniture placement, think about how the person will move in the room. For example, will a person bump their noggin sitting in a chair? Or bump their head getting out of bed?
There are a few options to consider for styling a sloped ceiling bedroom. If the room is on the smaller size, a bed under the slope is an especially inviting option as you can use the slope for a makeshift canopy. Simply hang a lightweight fabric to create the look of a canopy. Another bedroom idea is to place the bed between the sloped ceilings with a nightstand on either side of the bed. Just make sure you test getting in and out of bed to gauge your comfort level before arranging and decorating the entire room. Twins beds placed on either side of a dormer can share the view of the window and keep the light coming in.
Less is More
Small rooms with sloped ceilings can feel claustrophobic. To lessen that feeling, choose furniture and accessories that are low, thereby making the ceiling feel taller. Keep in mind, less is more in a smaller space. In some homes, a sloped ceiling extends all the way to the floor. To avoid a cramped feeling, try to leave as much of that space open as possible. If you pile up furniture or accessories here, it will make the walls feel like they’re closing in. Leave the space bare if possible, or place a bean bag chair or pouf with a low storage shelf to avoid feeling crowded.
Stow it in the Walls
The original house design probably didn’t include a future converted attic bedroom or office so closets and storage is something you’ll have to get a little creative with. The knee walls in a sloped ceiling room are perfect for storage areas. They can be designed in a such a way that they are part of the home decor or more utilitarian. For example, a built-in cabinets or drawer with a narrow counter is ideal for storage and displaying framed pictures, knick-knacks, artwork, or a small lamp for the reading nook. Use wicker baskets or colorful cubes on the shelves or built-ins to stash personal items, clothing, or office supplies. If DIY isn’t your thing, place a low free-standing piece like a credenza, dresser, or entertainment center against a slanted wall to fully utilize the space.
Keep it Bright and Light
Lighting can be tricky in a sloped ceiling room. Even if the occupants aren’t tall, a large ceiling light or pendant can obstruct the view and interrupt the clean lines of your space. Small lamps on nightstands or shelves or wall sconces give a warmer ambiance than overhead lighting. If your budget allows, consider installing a skylight with blinds to block the bright morning sun from waking you too early. Choosing a light and “calm” paint color for the entire room will give it a sense of space. Or a white ceiling and slightly darker walls will also keep things light and airy.
Remember: When you embrace the quirky and oddly-shaped angles of a room with a sloped ceiling, you can make the decorating process a lot less daunting. The end result will be a room that’s stylish and unique, yet comfortable.
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