4 Hacks For Making Your Ceilings Appear Higher

What do you do when low ceilings make you feel boxed in? Maybe you have a really old house, or your new place happens to have less overhead space. It's not the easiest thing to deal with, but it's a common design issue. According to Neat Ceiling, New England houses in the 1700s had low ceilings because it was more economical. It was space-saving and made it easier to keep the place warm during the cold. However, the needs of homeowners have changed now, and low ceilings are no longer ideal.

From an architectural standpoint, you have a variety of options to fix a low ceiling. You can get rid of the crown molding, or lose the ceiling altogether and embrace the rawness of your roof's interior, suggests eHow. Remodeling is not always feasible, though, which is why these are some hacks to make your ceilings seem higher. From lighting to furnishing, these smart tips show how you can create an illusion and trick the eye into seeing more space.

1. Make all the walls match

When you paint the walls of a room the same shade or use the same wallpaper all over, it creates a continuous flow of color, making the ceiling appear higher. Seeing the same color or pattern from the ceiling to the floor without it being broken up by things like the baseboards or trims tricks the eye into perceiving more height than there is, per The Zhush. Colors that are light and cool intensify the feeling of space because they can make the room feel airy but also distant, as opposed to cozy and cramped.

Using wallpaper? Wallpaper with textures and large designs make it feel like there is more space in a room. Most designs achieve this when they are applied vertically, and this is why stripes on walls are a typical hack to make walls look taller. Thin stripes work best because seeing that many at once make the walls feel wider and taller than they are, says Graham & Brown. Similarly, the continuous pattern of chevron wallpaper also makes the ceiling feel higher.

2. Avoid ceiling lights

If you're trying to make your ceiling appear higher, you might need to stay away from that grandiose chandelier. This is because big lights on the ceiling provide overhead lighting that faces down. Other types of lights on the walls, floors, and tables work better because they take attention away from above. When you spread the light sources around and get lighting from all over the room, it makes it feel more spacious.

Mullan Lighting advises up-lighting, which sends light to bounce off the ceiling and creates the feeling of more space. Wall and floor lights also take up little to no room compared to hanging ceiling varieties. If you want the ceiling to look higher, you can't afford to lose space to bulky light fixtures. Are ceiling lights non-negotiable in your situation? Try lights that are recessed or clear. Recessed lights won't take up space because they are built into the wall, while clear lights don't command too much visual attention.

3. Use low furniture

Low furniture has its roots in China and Japan and has recently become a trend in design. Sitting on the floor while eating, for example, has various benefits like improving posture and aiding digestion, via Bright Side. When your furniture sits lower to the ground, you can see more space at the top of the room when standing. This is an incredible hack because having an open, unobstructed view that is wider than usual makes the room appear taller.

Another benefit of low furniture is that it saves on space in general. The pieces aren't just low; they are compact and usually with simple structures. This keeps the décor uncomplicated, per She Scribes. As you think about what's on the ground, also consider what's at the top. The ceiling fan is something that should also have a strategic distance from the ground and should not hang too low. When these two parts of the room work together, they leave a good amount of space in the middle to make it feel longer than it is.

4. Hang tall mirrors

From the living room to the bedroom, mirrors are a wonderful element of design because they also provide other functions. They show you how you look but can also reflect other interesting parts of the house that you want to highlight. Mirrors are also great ways to open up a room, making it feel bigger and brighter. When you hang tall, narrow mirrors, they make your walls feel more extended, and the ceiling feels farther up.

One mistake to avoid is taking a mirror, no matter the size, and hanging it up too high. This causes a disconnection in the space, says The Washington Post, so you need mirrors that fit the wall properly while being at eye level. Over a sink is an excellent spot to put a tall mirror that extends from the top of the sink to the ceiling because it can open a small bathroom. Have a full-length mirror? Cover a wall in your bathroom or bedroom — it will feel like a taller room.