6 tricks to make a low ceiling appear higher

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally
Streifentapeten, 5QM Tapeten - Herczeg & Sassmannshausen GbR 5QM Tapeten - Herczeg & Sassmannshausen GbR Modern walls & floors
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We all love large, spacious rooms with plenty of light and air around us. However, the reality is often different. If you are not lucky enough to live in a spacious old building or a modern villa, most likely you have to settle for low ceilings that make each room look narrower and smaller. This does not mean that one must feel cramped or imprisoned in such rooms. With the right tricks and ideas, low ceilings can be made to appear more sophisticated and airier, thus contributing to a freer, friendlier and more generous living space. We have brought you six helpful tips today, which allow you to make a low ceiling appear higher, resulting in the room looking more spacious in the process.

1. Select the right colour

Colour selection plays a significant role in rooms with low ceilings. To reduce the oppressive effect of a cramped space, it is advisable to paint such rooms in light shades. Radiant white, soft cream or delicate pastel shades are best suited for low ceilings, as they open the room visually, reflect the light better, and make the ceiling seem farther away. In this way, the space appears much larger and brighter. If you want to bring a bit of colour into the room, then do so with cool tones like light blue or lilac. These give the impression of space by making the ceiling recede optically. In general, experts recommend that the ceiling should always be brighter than the walls, because it takes away the focus from the lack of height and makes a room appear bigger than it really is. To make low ceilings appear generous and airy, it is important to make the walls as bright and fresh as possible. Dark tones would make the room seem small despite the bright ceiling. In terms of flooring, however, the tip is different; here one can work with a darker colour, which makes the ceiling and walls look lighter and brighter.

2. Lighting tricks

The right lighting has the effect of stretching rooms with low ceilings. It is advisable to refrain from using lamps, such as lush chandeliers or large pendulum lights, which hang from the ceiling and instead use wall lights as accents. The light from these should be spread over the entire ceiling, making it look more open. Generally, it is advisable to use indirect lighting. If you can’t do without light on the ceiling, consider installing spotlights, which offer a nice mix of focused and scattered light and give the impression of an airier and more spacious room. In addition, soft floor lights can also help.

3. Choose the appropriate furniture

With the right furniture, the cramped effect of low ceiling height can be diminished. It is important not to crowd the room with furniture, because every additional piece would enhance the feeling of narrowness. Large, dark wardrobes and other bulky furniture should be renounced in rooms with low ceilings. Instead, experts recommend that you choose simple, light pieces of furniture in bright colours to create as much optical space as possible between the furniture and ceiling. So, the most suitable pieces are slim sideboards, low seats and narrow tables. Delicate shelves are more appropriate than massive cabinets. In general, you should do away with furniture in standard dimensions.

4. Optimize the wall design

As we mentioned earlier, you should opt for bright wall paint in rooms with low ceiling height. However, this is by no means the only thing that can be done for the wall design, to make a low ceiling appear higher and the room more spacious and airier. One of the most popular tips from the world of fashion can also be applied to interior design: vertical stripes stretch optically and conjure a slim silhouette. For rooms with low ceilings, this means having a higher and longer vertical stripe. Other, bolder patterns are also allowed as wallpaper. It is important, however, to ensure that the patterned wallpaper ends directly at the ceiling without leaving a strip of white wall in between.

5. Make windows large

Large glass surfaces are reliable for making narrow, small and low spaces appear bigger and more open. They bring a feeling of airiness and let a lot of light into the room. In this way, rooms with low ceiling height appear wider and more open. Of course, not everyone can equip their low-ceiling room with large windows, and additionally, choosing the right curtains can be quite tricky. To enhance the feeling of height, you should hang floor-long curtains from as high as possible. The best way to distract from the ceiling is to direct the eyes to a long, vertically flowing element that conveys height. Sheer curtains also allow the room to appear airier and lighter, reducing the oppressive effect of the low ceiling.

6. Provide finishing touches with accessories

In addition to curtains and lights, there are many other accessories that can help us to make a low ceiling appear higher. Just like large window surfaces, mirrors have the effect of opening and brightening spaces. The best choice is large-format models, which occupy a significant portion of the wall to expand low ceilings optically. Even with works of art and picture frames, one can achieve refined effects. Narrow, high frames or superimposed images emphasize the vertical height in the room. You should place a few works on the wall a little higher than usual, to direct the view further upwards, enhancing the feeling of height. You should also select images that add to this effect, like in this example.

For some ideas on making a small bathroom appear larger, see 9 tricks to make a small bathroom better.

Do you have any other design tips to share for low ceilings? Let us know in the comments.

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