10 Ways To Make Low Ceilings Look Higher - Home & Texture
Decorate Low Ceilings

10 Ways To Make Low Ceilings Look Taller

Elevate your space—literally—with these optical illusion tricks for higher ceilings.

May 6, 2024 at 9:45 PM PST
Decorate Low Ceilings

10 Ways To Make Low Ceilings Look Taller

Elevate your space—literally—with these optical illusion tricks for higher ceilings.

May 6, 2024 at 9:45 PM PST

Sky-high vaulted ceilings are great in theory. They create more open space to let natural light in and make your space feel expansive. But they also mean pricier curtains and more wall space to figure out what to do with. Not to mention, ceiling lighting can get tricky. If high ceilings just aren’t in the cards in your current season—or ever—there are a few approaches you can take to get a similar look. Here are 10 ways to make your low ceilings look taller.

1. Lighten things up.

Dark colors might be cozy, but they’re not your friend if you’re trying to create the illusion of height. Aim for light, airy hues on both your walls and ceilings. Think soft neutrals, creamy whites, and gentle pastels. These colors reflect light, making your space feel brighter and bigger.

Photo credit: Westend61

2. Hang curtains high.

Curtains have a knack for elevating any room. And with low ceilings, you can create an optical illusion to draw the eye upwards by hanging them strategically. Mount your curtain rods as close to the ceiling as possible and let those drapes sweep gracefully on the floor. This vertical line creates the illusion of height, making your walls appear taller than they actually are. Plus, floor-to-ceiling curtains add the drama you might miss with dark walls if you do decide to go lighter.

3. Use mirrors strategically.

Mirrors are multitaskers in interior design. They bounce light around the room and create the illusion of depth and space. Lean a tall mirror against the wall or hang several strategically to reflect light and give the impression of soaring ceilings.

4. Remember vertical stripes are your friend.

It all comes down to optics. While horizontal stripes might give the appearance of making something look wider, vertical stripes have the opposite effect. You can go about this a few ways. Striped wallpaper can get the job done, but if you feel like taking a little more time and precise measurements, you can hand-paint lines to the custom width of your choosing. Vertical stripes also aren’t just limited to walls. They can work wonders on everything from curtains to upholstery.

Photo credit: Gladiathor

5. Say yes to low furniture.

If you’ve exhausted your options for adding treatments to make your ceilings look higher or you’re starting from scratch with an empty room, low-profile furniture can help add to the effect. Sofas and chairs with lower backs can maintain a clear line of sight across the room. This keeps the visual flow uninterrupted, making your ceilings appear taller without compromising on comfort or aesthetics.

6. Keep it clutter-free.

One way to make a room look smaller is by crowding it with too much stuff. Embrace the minimalist mantra and keep your space clutter-free. The more breathing room your space has, the taller it will feel. Storage is your best friend here, so shoot for multi-purpose items like ottomans and sofas with hidden storage, armoirs, and media centers with plenty of free space.

7. Embrace the power of verticality.

If you already have your furniture in place, turn your attention to the decor. When strategically placed, certain can also help stretch the ceilings from the ground up. The more pieces you have that emphasize length help keep the space looking minimal as well. Bonus if they come with storage! Think floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, tall potted plants, vertical artwork and statement floor lamps.

8. Use strategic lighting.

Enormous light fixtures such as glamorous chandeliers might look nice on their own, but with a low ceiling, it might overwhelm the space and may be best saved for first impressions like the entryway. The same goes for low-hanging pendant lights and ceiling fans. To give an impression of taller ceilings, go minimal here with recessed lighting or wall sconces to keep the focus on the vertical plane.

Crown moulding
Photo Credit: Heyho

9. Add crown moulding.

Like curtains, adding crown moulding is a simple detail that can make a space feel grand. It gets the job done of bringing the attention upwards while also adding visual interest. The effect happens by concealing the transition between walls and ceilings, creating a seamless finish that looks expensive with little effort.

10. Go big with art.

You’d think that oversized art pieces might be counterintuitive to making a room feel bigger, but it’s in fact the opposite. Large art pieces like canvases with broad brushstrokes, city-scapes, or nature offer a focal point, and when standing in front of one, it gives the feeling that you’re much smaller in the room. On the other hand, gallery walls can have the opposite effect, because your eyes aren’t sure where to settle. Less is more, but also, go big or go home.


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