I love the color contrast of the wood ceiling and the walls in this room. I like the bank of small windows, that might be something that would work in the living room above the fireplace as well. (Living Room, ceiling but no beams).
trick for small windows - mount a mirror lengthwise under the window, then hang floor length window panels from above the window. Place a lamp in the middle of the dresser to camouflage the mirror and help integrate it with the window above.
This modern dog house named Woof Ranch, features a deck covered in artificial turf as well as a small window in the interior of the house to create the indoor/outdoor experience often associated with mid century modern houses. --adapt for cat patio