Low ceilings? Here are a baker’s dozen of elements you can alter to give the appearance of a taller space
We are enamored with height. Countless people travel the globe to stand in awe before towering natural and human-made monuments. Tall interior spaces evoke that visceral reaction as well, whether it’s Grand Central station in New York or the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.
In our homes, high ceilings lend a sense of grandeur on a smaller scale. But what if your ceilings aren’t that high and you’re starting to feel boxed in? The answer is simple: Cheat a little. You can create the perception of height without making your ceilings any higher. Use these 13 features to create the illusion of higher ceilings and help make a smaller space feel more open.
1. Bookshelves. By using tall, skinny bookshelves that go to the ceiling, you draw the eye upward and create the illusion of height.
2. Kitchen cabinets. The best way to make your kitchen ceiling appear higher is by bringing your cabinets all the way up to the ceiling. It doesn’t matter if you can’t access the top shelves on a regular basis; the aesthetic effect is well worth the investment.
3. Doors and passageways.One of the most effective ways to make your space feel more open and taller is by using full-height doors and taller passageways. Having lower passageways can really make your space feel oppressive.
Learn how to upgrade your house with new interior doors
4. Curtains. Hang your curtains directly from your ceiling to help to create the illusion of height. And by going with a ripple-fold detail on your curtains, you can emphasize that height even more with the consistent vertical detail.
Cherner side chair: Design Within Reach
5. Fireplace. Using your fireplace to emphasize your room height is also a great way to create a focal point. By bringing the finish on the face of the fireplace all the way up to the ceiling, you create the illusion of something grand.
6. Paint. By painting your walls, baseboards and ceilings the same color, you blur the lines of where your walls end and where your ceilings begin. If you think your wall color is too dark for the ceiling, then dilute the wall color with 50 percent white and try that on the ceiling instead.
Daybed: Holly Hunt
7. Mirrors. Use full-height mirrors wherever you can to create the illusion of higher ceilings. As every magician knows, mirrors are amazing at creating false appearances.
Discover how to use mirrors for more light and style
8. Vertical wall sconces. Not only do the vertical elements of the lights themselves help to create the look of a taller wall, but the light cast up and down from sconces really helps to create height by tricking the eyes.
9. Chandeliers. When hanging a chandelier on lower ceilings, try to choose a light fixture that you can see through and that isn’t too dense. Hang it at least 36 inches above your dining room table to create space between your table and the light fixture, making the ceiling feel farther away.
Eames molded plastic side chairs: YLiving
10. Low furniture. By choosing low-profile furniture, you create the impression of higher ceilings. It’s especially important that furniture of the right scale be used for a space with lower ceilings. Low-slung backs on couches and chairs can produce dramatic effects.
Seating: Mah Jong, Roche Bobois
12. Feature walls. Orient your feature wall vertically. Don’t be afraid to do something daring in a space with a low ceiling. Just ensure that you don’t emphasize that low ceiling in the process.
Wall paint: Texas Leather, Benjamin Moore
13. Declutter. Avoid cluttering rooms that have a low ceiling. Each item in the room will add to that feeling of being boxed in. Use inventive storage methods and keep your rooms tidy.