The History – Pros and Cons of Cathedral Ceiling Design

cathedral ceiling design

The Cathedral ceiling is a dramatic option for the great room of your home. To contradict a flat ceiling, a cathedral ceiling creates a vaulted physical layout, soaring high above your head. With the faux wooden beams and the high-placed open window, a cathedral ceiling can open the room and maximize the spaciousness.

However, not every home benefits from a cathedral or vaulted ceiling. Generally, if the room isn’t wide enough, the cathedral ceiling makes it look narrower than before. Before you go for a cathedral ceiling, you have to think about the comfort level too. Although a cathedral ceiling can be jaw-dropping, it may not be as homely as you want it to be. Therefore, we have created a list of pros and cons and the history of the cathedral ceiling before you dive into the idea for your home.

A Brief History


Many centuries ago, the cathedral ceiling started as an architectural option for basilicas and cathedrals. The vaulted ceiling gives an optical illusion of sort as it intangibly and visibly looks bigger with a profound impact over architectural history like in Columbia University.

Domes are the first famous cathedral ceiling option, a hollow sphere cut in half. Domes can be seen even before history became history because they have been constructed out of stone, mud, wood, brick, metal, concrete, and even glass.

The barrel vault or otherwise known as a tunnel vault or wagon vault has stemmed from the domes. This is the simplest kind of vault as it’s just a semicircle stretched into a continuous arch.

Then comes the groin vault where two wagon vaults cross each other and manufacture a perfect ellipse intersection recognized as the groin vault.

Next, come to the rib vaults and fancy fan vaults which are a filled-out version of rib vaults.

The Advantages of Cathedral Ceiling

The tower of the building

The most visual advantage of a cathedral ceiling is the increased spaciousness. If your home has the right layout then the cathedral ceiling gives character to an unexceptional home. In a two-story home with a connected great room, the cathedral ceiling will be complementary.

Light can be another advantage of a cathedral ceiling. The well-placed open windows high above the floor towards the ridges of the ceiling allow sunlight to enter into the upper part of the cathedral ceiling.

The Disadvantages of Cathedral Ceiling

If the design is ostentatious, then even the aesthetic of a cathedral ceiling can save the interior design of the room. If the cathedral ceiling distracts the charming cozy feeling of your feeling then do not build it just because you can.

The more practical drawback is the construction cost as it doubles the price while building a cathedral ceiling and the heating along with cooling cost more Because space is bigger, the air conditioning and heat are stretched thinner.

Changing the light bulb at such a height can become a real hazard. Cleaning the walls and windows will need a tall ladder or professionals.


To conclude, it’s up to the design of your home and if you are ready for the practical costs then a cathedral ceiling might be a lovely addition to your home.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter