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Hanging Branches from a Ceiling for Woodsy & Whimsical Home Decor

A few readers have commented on a decorating feature in my house that I’ve never really mentioned on my blog: the natural tree branches wired to the ceiling in my living room. I’ve never blogged about it because my friends seem to either love them or really, really hate them- and it’s hard to blog about something that you know will elicit some not-so-great comments.

Regardless, I love my ceiling decorated with branches. I think rooms with high ceilings can often feel cold and empty even when well decorated with cozy and welcoming furniture. This was my experience of my tall and narrow living room before the branches were hung. To me, the branches instantly make my living room feel cozy and warm by breaking up the angular lines of the high ceiling.
Before I show the “how”, here’s the final effect:

Use branches to break up the angular lines of a high ceiling and add warmth to a room
putting branches on the ceiling for whimsical decor

Notice that my branches are hung asymmetrically. An evenly arranged assortment of branches on the ceiling might feel too uniform for such an organic type of decor. Balancing the branches on one side of the room, then using a carefully placed mirror to reflect them into open space helps create a natural and organic look. A large vase of branches on the floor could also help vertically balance out asymmetrical branches on the ceiling.

putting branches on the ceiling for whimsical decor

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Unfortunately, I don’t know the type of wood we used, it was harvested from the treeline around Hawk Hill. In the past, when my curly willow died, I used curly willow branches for decor and loved the unique shape of the branches. I always intended to plant a new one so that I could harvest branches seasonally for this use or fall decor. It does look like it’s possible to order curly willow branches at a reasonable price, though I still think if you’re into this kind of decor it’s worth raising your own curly willow tree.

curly willow branches

creative lighting for a room with no overhead light

Now, if you like the look of branches on the ceiling, here’s the how to:

Drywall screws, which are easy to drill and have a wide head, are used as anchor points in the ceiling. Because the branches are light and dry, Floral wire is wrapped around the head of the screw, then around the branch, ideally obscuring the screw head behind the wood, but here’s a poorly spaced anchor as an example:

Use branches to break up the angular lines of a high ceiling and add warmth to a room

Branches are anchored at multiple points, to secure them to the ceiling without concern about shifting.

Use branches to break up the angular lines of a high ceiling and add warmth to a room

A mirror over the fireplace, tilted slightly upward,  helps double the effect of the branches.

putting branches on the ceiling for whimsical decor

These branches bring warmth to the room and look great decorated for Christmas! They do get a bit dusty, but in a room without a ceiling fan, air rarely lifts dust up to the 10 ft ceilings in my living room, and what dust is there is masked by the browning grey texture of bark. If you are looking for a way to make your high ceiling living room a little more cozy, maybe this look will work for you too!

Tried it? Let me know by posting a comment below!

Inspired by my living room, my friend Merre recently asked for my help in using branches to decorate a bedroom in her guesthouse. Here, we used cut branches, arranged behind a bed and in front of a window blocking curtain (click for a how-to), to add romance and drama to an AirBnB Guesthouse’s Bedroom. This lovely, woodsy, and ethereal room was our result:

Ideas for using branches as indoor decor- here, placed behind a headboard -

Bonus: How to DIY a Sweet Woodland Chandelier

This project is so simple it made my one-step style-hacks category!

If you need a light fixture that is just a bit “more” than average- this might be the perfect project. At home in nurseries or girl’s bedrooms, It added a snowy woodland forest feel to my elegant grey on grey master bedroom at Hawk Hill. I felt like it helped balance my bedroom from top to bottom, which is difficult sometimes in rooms with high ceilings.

This project was completed by adding 6-10 short branches to form a sort of wreath that rested upon the arms of the chandelier. I liked the effect of branches clipped in late winter/early spring- the stark branches just beginning to bud had a nice effect.

Though impossible to clean, when I felt like this light fixture was too dusty to be reasonably cleaned with a feather duster, I just clipped new branches!

My woodland inspired chandelier upgrade, featuring a wreath of branches and a tiny bird, resting on the chandelier arms.
My woodland inspired chandelier upgrade, featuring a wreath of branches and a tiny bird, resting on the chandelier arms.

Other Chandelier Related Posts:

the no-electrician-needed way to hang a chandelier in an apartment without losing your deposit


Wednesday 4th of January 2023

I really like this. I would have arranged the branches differently, and the way I think I would have preferred the ceiling to be painted the same color as a true beautiful blue sky. That is just my style. Thank you for sharing.

Barbara Frazier-Wilson

Sunday 1st of March 2015

I absolutely love this idea. I think your ceiling looks great. I so appreciate the hoe to pictures and closeups. Thank you