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My husband and I are in the process of building our own house which we also designed. Slow going for us as dollars, time and energy don't always coincide. We designed our house so that it has an open loft area over the living room, dining area and staircase going up to the second floor. It is not a vaulted space, just an open two story space. There are two large inswinging french casement windows at the north and east corners with room at the corner for a fireplace to be installed at a later date. I am in the process now of final decisions on lighting placement and type. That is really a challenge! My concern is that with the extremely high ceilings, the room might feel uncomfortable. I am trying to address that with the use of color, lighting and woodwork details. Would any of you have suggestions as to ceiling treatment, color ect. that might help us bring this lofty space down to mere mortal size? Gardening is my forte, not home design! Thank you.