Older homes often have low ceilings. While you might enjoy the character and charm of a historic house, low ceilings can make it feel small and cramped. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to trick the eye and make a room with a low ceiling seem larger than it really is.
Select Furniture That Will Make the Ceiling Less Noticeable
Tall furniture can make a room with a low ceiling feel even smaller. Choose horizontal pieces that sit near the ground, such as couches and long tables. That will maximize the amount of visible wall space between the furniture and the ceiling and make people focus less on the room’s vertical proportions. Select pieces with simple designs that won’t be distracting.
Draw the Eye Upward
Decorating the room in a way that makes people naturally look toward the ceiling can create the illusion that the room is taller than it really is. Floor-to-ceiling drapes will draw the eye upward and make the windows seem taller. Use simple window coverings so people will focus on the way they fill the vertical space and won’t be distracted by a pattern.
A tall bookcase can draw people’s gaze upward so they don’t focus on the low ceiling. Vertical artwork can have the same effect.
You can also use plants to your advantage. A tall potted plant or flowers that grow upward will draw people’s attention toward the ceiling and create the impression that it’s higher than it really is.
A tall mirror can make a room with a low ceiling feel more spacious. A mirror will also reflect light and may cause people to catch a glimpse of the ceiling. That can make the room seem larger.
Choose the Right Paint or Wallpaper
Painting the walls and ceiling the same color will create a seamless effect and make the ceiling seem higher than it is. That’s because there won’t be a clearly defined visual barrier separating the walls and the ceiling. If the room has a dado rail that separates the walls into two sections, paint the bottom part in a darker color than the top.
If you would prefer to decorate the room with wallpaper, choose a style with a vertical pattern. That will naturally cause people’s eyes to move upward.
Use Light Fixtures That Will Make the Room Feel More Spacious
A light that hangs from the ceiling can make a room with a low ceiling feel even smaller. You should avoid using ceiling fans for the same reason. Instead, use a series of lamps that sit on the floor or on tables or mount fixtures on the walls so they can cast light in several directions.