Ceiling Disaster?

uponthehilltopFebruary 28, 2014

Hi there everyone. I am in come apart freak-out mode complete with a migraine headache. Here are the pictures of our "hipped cathedral" vaulted ceiling for our gathering room, once it was sheetrocked. The windows are covered by sheetrock, they are full normal length. I am terrified that the ceiling is going to look horrible!

The gathering room ceiling is supposed to be vaulted to give definition to that space from the breakfast room nook.
What do you guys think? Do you think with the magic of paint it will be okay?

The fireplace sheetrock is hanging over a good section of the fireplace opening also, they are going to come back and trim all excess sheetrock this weekend.

Everything has been going so well, and now, I am terrified I am going to have to halt the job and spend major $$$ to fix this.

Any input is greatly appreciated, I also posted this is the Feb thread for all of us building, thought I might put it out here for more input. I am open to thoughts on how to rectify this as well...

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Is the slope of each side different and asymmetrical or is that the photo?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:23PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I think it could be improved by changing the vault to a tray. It is not in good scale as is.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:29PM
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It is a bit of an odd look from the angle of the first photo I'm afraid to say. I did a tray to define the space in ours, as Annie suggested that might be an option. Only you can decide if you love or hate it as is.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:59PM
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(A bit like a birthday hat, no?) I'm with the idea of a tray, or scrap it all together. It shouldn't be "big money"... but will be some. It would be well worth it to me, to make the space feel more intimate.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:12PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Out of proportion and just plain odd. Scrap it entirely. Details like that rarely work well in an open floor plan. The space has to be treated as a whole, not individual rooms without walls.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:27PM
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Palimpsest - The slope of each side correlates with the slope of the opposite side. My husband says the pictures make it look worse than it is.

Annie, Nite, Kirk and Hollysprings - Thank you all for the input. I wonder how expensive/time consuming it would be to turn it into something else?

@Holly - How can I scrap it at this point? The ceiling height for the rest of the space is 10', I wonder if they could frame it out well enough to be able to "close in" the opening and it would be like it never even happened at all?

Thanks so much for the input!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:35PM
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Here is another picture. My husband says the camera was distorting things. He thinks of the pictures I took, that this photo is the "closest representation" to what we have going on...
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:49PM
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Hmm..that one still looks odd to me. The four sections don't look equal (not sure if they were supposed to) but if they are unequal that would bug me personally. Were you planning to trim this out somehow? A moulding or something?

The price will really depend on your builder but until you ask, you won't know. Our builder encouraged us to change things on the fly, its what happens during a build when 2d things turn into 3d things. I guess we're lucky in that regards, but its your house, get what you want!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 11:49PM
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Hard to tell by photos, but IMMHO, at a minimum the vault should have been done in the entire space (left from the fireplace to the extreme right) shown in your first photo. I suppose you could do a tray ceiling, but the ceiling already seems to be a nice height throughout the rest of the room. If it were me, I'd just do the same, flat ceiling throughout.

This post was edited by DreamingoftheUP on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 8:46

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 8:14AM
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It looks unique, which I like. I was hoping there was going to be a skylight at the top ! Were you planning to just paint the interior of the peaked area? Lights? Murals? Was there an inspiration photo that gave you the idea to do it like this, that would give us a better idea of the desired finished appearance? If left as is will there be any echo effect? Would you put any ceiling fans in that space? That could look interesting. lafdr

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:26AM
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I suggest adding a tray to the vault. This would require the least amount of work. Simply lower and enlarge the flat part. Maybe you can put some sort of decorative lighting on that part of the ceiling to make it look like it was part of the master plan.

I think vaulting the entire space would have really opened the whole area up, but the ceiling height may have been a little too much. I agree with your husband about taking and posting pictures. I've tried to capture the feel for our house in pictures I've posted on GW and have never captured it yet.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I too have spent a few days and nights worried about my build. Please keep us posted on what you decide. Good luck...


    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:43AM
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I think once you paint and furnish, it'll look fine. The space isn't fully delineated yet.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 11:48AM
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Do you have any inspiration pictures you were modeling this after? Below is one from elizpiz's kitchen; she has since added a great chandelier. I realize hers has more sides and transom windows, but I wanted to give you a sense of how it looks with some trim added. I think some trim work and a great light could help that space look stunning.

Another one I loved, but can't find pictures for, was doonie's kitchen. IIRC hers had dark wooden beams in the vaulted area, as well as a great chandelier.

Links to elizpiz pictures and some others below.

Vaulted ceiling ideas: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0307414014436.html

Here is a link that might be useful: elizpiz on the finished kitchens blog

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:28PM
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I am really a layperson and have no expertise. But - it just looks goofy to me. WAY too high (or deep). It reminds me of the shape of an exhaust fan over a big cooking range.

If it were me, I would just have them sheetrock over the whole thing. If you need to have some type of area separation, I'd do it with the flooring.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 2:39PM
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Thanks to everyone for the great insight! I went back out today and my husband is adamant that the pictures do not do any justice to the vault, and make it look more odd than it is in person.

@Chicago - Thanks for showing that picture! I think we can pull some inspiration off of it... I have had something similar floating in my head, and your picture was like a gift from a "magic genie!"

@Saft - Thank you for the support and encouragement, I am meeting with our builder on Monday and will post here about what options we have!

Thanks to EVERYONE!!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:55PM
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Good luck, I can relate to photos not capturing it in person. I really like the photo Chicagoans shared and think it can look really good. :)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 10:28PM
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The proportions look a bit off to me, but really what also gets thrown in the mix and throws it off is that it seems to start the vaulting in places that doesn't make sense, like before a corner so you see part of it and doesn't fully encompass the middle set of windows.

If you want to use a feature to delineate it as a separate area when open it still needs to be placed where you naturally would have been able to put walls if the space wasn't open. For example you wouldn't put a wall that ended into a window.

If you have 10ft ceilings I would just flatten the whole area out as a tray will still be starting in the wrong places to not look out of place. Unless you change the starting point of the ceiling.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 8:49AM
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Sophie Wheeler

There's no authenticity or grace to a popup camper in the middle of an otherwise flat ceilinged great room. It's not organic. It's forced and awkward like someone went down a list of features to add without ever thinking if they actually belonged in the home. It's wearing one of those ridiculous Derby hats to a quiet garden wedding. It makes the wearer look like they are trying too hard to compete with the bride and brings into question a whole lot more about them than they realize.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 9:04AM
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If you decide to keep it I think you need to add molding that goes around the outside as a frame where the missing walls would have been. I think the lip you have doesn't work otherwise.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:37AM
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I also think the proportions look a bit odd. If you are not happy with it, now would be the time to look into other options. It would be even more costly if you decide to change it later. I don't think paint will make it look any better than it is now.

One option would be to make that part a 8 to 12 inches higher than the rest and put a coffered ceiling there. That would also help differentiate the spaces.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:43PM
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Take my opinion for what it's worth- as I'm a girl who chose 9' and very uniform ceilings though our entire house- but I also think it looks a bit disjointed. I would also vote to flatten the entire area out if it's within the budget to do so. Let us know what happens!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 7:50AM
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I'm with the voters that with the right paint, lights and some architecture, it could be a wonderful feature to the house. I'd almost paint it out dark and put a large fan as suggested that really pops, and brings the eye back down low, and if after the place is filled and lived in for awhile, you still hate it, then look at leveling it flat and pretending it never happened. Things always look different once they're painted and finished with furniture in the room.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:16AM
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From your original reaction to the ceiling it sounds as though you are not liking it very much. Now is the time to change it. A good builder can frame that area in and flatten the whole ceiling out so it all matches.

I don't think it looks good the way it is now, and it may give you an uncomfortable feeling while you are in that area. It's odd. I'm not saying this to hurt your feelings or to be mean.

Sometimes when building a home things can look great on paper but aren't pleasing when actually constructed. It will be a lot easier to change things now than after you paint and are moved in. If you truly don't like it don't try to talk yourself into it. You will be living in this home for a while, and you need to feel happy in it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 1:02AM
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I like it; maybe, would put a great chandelier in it.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:13AM
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I'm afraid I am with the "don't likes". I couldn't live with it, looks so odd to me.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:28AM
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