In the process of raising the ceiling height in the living room, we decided to make a sleeping loft above it instead of a cathedral ceiling. This gave us an 11 foot ceiling which is still dramatic. We lost a walking height bedroom and went to a four foot height. We built a small ladder made of galvanized pipe and wood to climb into it. The loft is also found on Pinterest http://pin.it/nGwZyo1 showing a pic of the finished loft.