Our old house is a fairly low key Victorian, its only pretension to grandeur being 10-foot ceilings.
The rooms are small (most are less than 10 feet in at least one dimension), as is the house, and the predominant way of doing the ceilings has been with a picture rail or border dropped a foot from the ceiling, and a paper or paint that differs from the walls. That works to offset the elevator shaft effect.
We have one big room, the living room, which is a 50-year-old addition off the back of the original house and measures 12 x 16. Also with the high ceiling and picture rail.
As we finally get around to doing this room - it still has 7 layers of wallpaper with paint in between and overtop with lath and plaster underneath - we are a bit stumped as to what to do with the ceiling. Just painting it, as we've done in other rooms, bores me, papering it seems like a nightmare and I'm not sure it would look that much better than just paint. Besides, there is an issue of the direction of the pattern.
I kind of like the look of pressed tin or a criss-cross of light beams (or even artwork panels as one GW poster has shown), but can't see either one going with a picture rail unless the ceiling treatment extended down to the picture rail and incorporated it - and I can't always picture how that would be done. The height of the room, even given its relatively generous size, does seem to call for the retention of the picture rail.
Can anyone tell me a bit about the conventions regarding high ceilings and picture rails, or maybe show pictures of what they have found in old houses or have done?
Guidance and suggestions appreciated.