Small Houses With Vaulted Ceilings: Small Footprint Meets Big Drama

There are so many reasons to want to go small with your new home. Not only is a small home more environmentally responsible but fewer square feet means lower cost both in money and time to upkeep. Tiny homes free you up to live a bigger life and they are far more energy efficient.

Just because your house is small doesn’t mean you should settle with feeling cramped. Transforming a house that feels like a crawlspace into one you want to live in can be more about increasing the ceiling height than changing the floor plan.

While you can just raise the roof to create a spacious feel, there’s so much more that’s possible when you begin to consider vaulted designs for your ceiling. Adding vertical space allows you to incorporate design elements and architectural features that you wouldn’t expect in a tiny home. From breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows to stylish loft space, vaulted ceilings can elevate any home’s style and decor. Whether you’re drawn to a classic ranch or a modern farmhouse style, small houses with vaulted ceilings can create space for your perfect house plans.

Small houses with vaulted ceilings: Alpine 2.2What Is a Vaulted Ceiling?

Vaulted ceiling designs give depth and a dramatic feel to any room. They can be arched, angled, or even domed. Vaulted ceilings and cathedral ceilings usually sit above high walls, drawing your eye upward and making the room feel larger.

While architectural design trends change, a push toward smaller footprints continue to make vaulted ceilings into the height of style in modern homes. Vaulted ceilings can be used in any room in your house but most home plans include them in the larger shared living areas like the living room, the great room, or even the dining room.

Here are a few architectural styles that lend themselves well to small houses with vaulted ceilings, starting with the Modern Farmhouse.

Modern Farmhouse Designs

Small houses with vaulted ceilings: beautiful kitchen counter

Modern farmhouse designs are in. As young adults and millennials bail on cramped city apartments in favor of fresh air and a yard, modern farmhouse designs keep gaining popularity.

Exposed beams and trusses, bright white decor, tons of natural light, and a wrap-around porch to add some functional square footage are all features winning over new homeowners. And who can blame them? Here’s some features and design ideas to make the most of your modern farmhouse.  

Vaulted Ceilings Can Be Used as an Attic Space

A popular choice for the small modern farmhouse is to use the extra space allotted by the vaulted ceiling as an attic for extra storage. Tiny houses especially can benefit from this bonus room since they don’t typically have a multi-car garage that can store your stuff or act as a workshop. An attic can also work as a home office, a place to do some morning yoga, or even an extra bedroom. Just make sure to add a skylight or two for more natural light

Wrap-Around Porches Expand Your Home Further

Small houses with vaulted ceilings: Eastern Farmhouse

Wrap-around porches like the one found on DEN’s Eastern Farmhouse are great for small homes. These porches not only increase your functional space, but they do so in a way that encourages you to get outside more. We can all use more fresh air and sunshine. What’s better than enjoying your morning coffee while sitting comfortably in the shade with a little outdoor breeze?

Ranch-Style Home Designs

Small houses with vaulted ceilings: wooden themed dining room

The ranch-style home is a perfect venue for mid-century modern design. While you might think big and sprawling when picturing a ranch-style home, it doesn’t need to be. These practical, open-concept floor plans can help you make the most of a small living space. Add a vaulted ceiling and the natural wooden accents in your furniture and flooring can be tied together with exposed wood beams. The simple wood floors are lit up by the large panel windows that open the room into the outside world. Don’t be too open though. A mud room is a must to keep the outdoors outside.

A Mud Room in an Open Concept House Creates Clean Separation 

Small houses with vaulted ceilings: wooden couch with 3 pillows on it
In a small house with an open floor plan, it might seem like a mud room is out. But even without walls, it's good to find ways to separate the living areas in open-concept homes. Just a simple bench and some shoe cubbies next to the front or back door not only keeps your house cleaner but also builds in separation.

And in a small house with vaulted ceilings, you won’t feel pressed for square footage by setting aside space for the mud room. The airiness and natural light afforded by your high ceilings will keep your home feeling open and uncluttered.

Large Panel Windows Bring in the Light

Barnhouse Plus

Lighting up the natural wood aesthetic is key to making ranch-style decor pop. There’s no better way to do this than large panel windows, like the ones in this DEN Outdoors Barnhouse Plus design. With a vaulted ceiling, even a tiny home will have plenty of room for these show-stopping windows. These windows don't only bring in light, but also create the feel of a larger room because your gaze isn’t limited by your wall. Who doesn’t want a great view?

The Classic A-Frame Style House

A-Frame 2.2 exterior
When it comes to a house that’s quick to build and stands up to the elements, nothing beats the classic A-Frame style house. The A-Frame house can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. You can live in it or make it a standout rental property that remains booked all year. The unique style will always attract attention.

Let’s look at a few features of these small houses with vaulted ceilings that you could be taking advantage of. 

The A-Frame With Loft Gives You Extra Space and Adds Drama

A-Frame 2.2
We talk a lot about lofts because they add so much versatility to your build, whether you’re planning on a full-sized barndo or an ADU for guests. Unlike an attic or a walled-off room, lofts give character to the main house while giving you another area in your home with private, functional living space.

With high enough ceilings, you can add a loft and make it just about anything you want it to be. We find the most popular uses are home offices and extra bedrooms. Adding a pullout sofa bed to your office space is not only a great way to make your office more comfortable but it can then double as a guest bedroom. 

Outdoor Spaces and Decks Make Nature Accessible 

A-Frame Retreat

One of the great things about smaller homes is that they encourage you to go outside more. The signature deck on this DEN A-Frame Retreat makes it easy to enjoy the outdoors. Thanks to the vaulted ceiling, the floor-to-ceiling wall of glass makes the outside deck feel like it's part of the house. Grill, read a book, or just kick back under the stars at night with loved ones. Don’t forget the firepit. 

Small Houses With Vaulted Ceilings Are Worth Considering

Big living room

Small houses with vaulted ceilings are making a big splash in modern home design. With small footprints making a comeback, high ceilings are driving new style innovations and making these small houses more comfortable and functional. Whether it's the vaulted attic in your new modern farmhouse, the mud room and panel windows in your ranch house, or the loft and outdoor deck space in your A-frame, your home design should fit you.

At DEN, we help you every step of the way to make sure your home build goes as smoothly as possible. Once you choose a design from our library, our in-house engineers and architects will help you customize it to your liking.

You can also work with your own outside architect. We’ll give you all the tools to build a team and communicate effectively with them so everyone is on the same page from day one. Your pivot to a small house just got easier.




  • Waldek, S. (2020, July 2). What is a vaulted ceiling? House Beautiful.
  • Minton, M., & Alpert, Y. M. (2023, October 18). Vaulted ceilings ideas that take rooms to new heights. Architectural Digest.
  • Lyon, S. (2023, October 20). What Is Midcentury Modern Style? Here's What You Should Know. The Spruce.
  • 7 tiny home designs with vaulted ceilings. (2016, August 30). SMALLERLIVING.ORG.