When we moved into our current house, the living room was vaulted about 25 feet up.
Not only was it an absolute waste of space, it made the room feel cold and unwelcoming. In addition, the acoustics of the room with so many people sharing the space were almost unbearable . We decided to floor it in, and as an added benefit, we now have another big bedroom above our living room.
Since we took down the pillars and half wall in our kitchen, we wanted to separate the living room in a subtle way. Instead of sheetrocking under the floor joists, we kept them exposed. My husband then insulated between them, and installed beadboard between each board.
Our contractor thought we were crazy and could NOT envision what we were after. He tried talking us out of it multiple times, and we almost caved. We're SO GLAD we listened to our instincts.
We think it adds so much to our living area and adds another cozy dimension to the space.