Our Brains Love High Ceilings

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As promised, I am writing a post to reveal beautiful canvas painted in honour of Zackaël! The first time I mentioned the artist Vé Boisvert, it was in in my post Under Zackaël’s Wings, in which I explain her creation process as well as the history of the paintings in Zackaël’s honour. In particular, you can see the first painting that I acquired. Subsequently, in the post Zackaël’s Soaring Love, I reveal my mother’s canvas, as well as a beautiful slideshow of Zackaël.

In 2010, we bought our house (built in 1988). For almost 10 years, I kept my eyes open for artwork to purchase for above the fireplace. However, with a full time job, kids and other projects, I never had much time to “shop” for a canvas. I always wanted a large vertical canvas to make this living room stands out. Adding vertical elements is the best way to enhance space in a room that is tall and narrow.

In the article “Why Our Brains Love High Ceilings”, it explains how studies have shown that rooms with high ceilings promote visuospatial exploration, and inspire us to think more freely and be more creative. Decorative elements that are oriented vertically will visually lift a room. For example, a vertical canvas will invite our eye to travel upwards. When we bought the house, there was nothing in the room that accentuate the tall ceilings. Even all three seller’s photos literally cut the height of the living room in half (one by the banister), despite the fact that the room was probably the biggest asset of the house.

Photos that did not do justice to the house for sale

View from Upstairs Hall into Living Room
Seller’s photo in the For Sale ad
Seller’s photo in the For Sale ad

Why have high ceilings if they are not used to their full potential? And we do not need 17-foot ceilings to maximize height. Many homes these days have 9-foot ceilings. Even with 8 foot-ceilings (what we have here for the rest of our house), there are ways to exploit vertical space and make ceilings look even taller.

Below is a photo of our living room before and after I start changing our decor. There were also a few mistakes with the first way it was decorated, using the decor from our previous home : -curtains too short -rug too small -couches too big, etc. On the right is a recent picture of our living room, before the installation of our new artwork.

One of the first changes to improve the look of our living room was the installation of floor-to-ceiling curtains. My mother Yvonne had kindly agreed to sew the fabric to the exact height to make curtains. Thanks maman!

Before and After
Before (2010) and After (2020) – Before the installation of the canvas over the fireplace

While the curtains helped accentuate the height and open up the room, there was still something missing in the decor. In particular, the large central wall remained empty, as I was unable to find artwork to my liking. Firstly, vertical canvases, and especially of this size, are hard to find. In addition, I was looking for something timeless and quite abstract, yet soft at the same time.

When my mother and I thought of Véro, I immediately knew that her art was exactly what I was looking for and would blend in perfectly with my decor! Creating a personalized canvas in honour of Zackaël was the perfect opportunity. In addition, it was in this living room that Zackaël spent most of his time. Every day he had fun jumping on the sofas, and when he would get tired, he’d crash onto the sofa to watch TV.

Here is a little video that shows how he had fun throwing himself on the sofas, this time with Maxandre. This video is from 2016; Zackaël was 2 ½ years old and Maxandre was 5 ½ years old. We can see their bond and their little personalities.

The sofa on the right was “his sofa”; there is no doubt that it was Zackaël who sat on this sofa the most often. Below is a photo taken with Adélie, in June 2019.

Zackaël relaxing with his sister Adélie

In this post, my intention was to reveal the canvas, add more before-and-after photos and share my observations. However, I realize that my post is already getting long, so I will have to leave you here. I will write the second part (with the reveal!) very soon; sorry to keep you waiting! You will see the entire makeover of the living room!

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I appreciate them so much and your private messages!

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10 responses to “Our Brains Love High Ceilings”

  1. Emmanuelle Avatar

    Superbe, la redécoration! Hâte de voir le tableau de Véro!
    En regardant à vidéo je réalise qu’on est quand même chanceux de vivre à l’ère numérique. Je pense à ça spécifiquement pour toutes les photos et vidéos qu’on peut prendre facilement. Je suis sûre que tu as pleins de beaux souvenirs photos et vidéos de Zackael que tu peux regarder quand tu en as besoin, quand tu t’ennuies trop de lui. Quand on a grandit dans les années 80, on ne se faisait pas filmer si souvent…

    1. Brigitte Lehoux Avatar

      oui, je suis tellement contente d’avoir pris beaucoup de vidéos et photos. J’aimerais en avoir plus que quand j’étais petite, laisse-moi savoir si jamais tu trouves des vidéos avec moi! Je crois avec celle avec Dame Chenille de 1ière année!

  2. […] promised in my previous post, it is with enthusiasm that I am revealing the painting created by Vé Boisvert (Véro). This large […]

  3. Veronica Avatar

    Loved watching the video of the boys from above, having so much fun! Forgot how high your ceiling was at your home in the living room. Can’t wait to see the projects you have done in person. Photos never do justice to artwork and renos.
    Enjoy your Mother’s Day with your family.

    1. Brigitte Lehoux Avatar

      Thanks so much Veronica! Let us know if you’re ever in Ottawa, we would be happy to show it to you! Hope to see you guys in August!

  4. Denver Avatar

    I loved watching the video of Max and Zack in their own little world playing together 💚

    1. Brigitte Lehoux Avatar

      they were so cute, forever brothers xx

  5. Laura Barron Avatar
    Laura Barron

    I can’t wait to see the reveal. Seeing the picture of Zackael and Adélie, and the video of the boys, was just beautiful !
    What a beautiful home you guys have. Sending all our love ❤️

    1. Brigitte Lehoux Avatar

      thanks so much Laura ❤️

  6. Margaret Lesarge Avatar
    Margaret Lesarge

    I like high ceilings also. Beautiful pictures and video so nice to see.❤️

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