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Ten Effective Ways to Deal with Low Ceilings

by Pamela Cole Harris*

So here’s the low down! Low ceilings can make a room seem claustrophobic and smaller than it really is. If you feel as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders when you walk into your home, here are some ways to raise low ceilings to new heights (at least visually!)

  1. Paint can do wonders for your ceiling. Remember that cool colors recede, making the surface appear farther away. So pick a cool (temperature, not style!) color for your ceiling!

  2. A shimmery or satin paint color can also make the ceiling appear higher by drawing the eye upward. 

  3. Painting the room in monotones will also make the ceiling appear higher. Be sure that the lightest tone of the series is used for the ceiling. 

  4. Don’t break up the walls with horizontal lines. Chair rails, horizontal paint strips and extended horizontal art groupings will emphasize the height (or lack thereof) of the ceiling.

  5. Don’t hang chandeliers when hang low in the room space. It just screams lack of height and visually cuts the room in half! Instead use flush or semi-flush lighting fixtures or recessed lighting.

  6. Use uplighting in the room as much as possible. Lamps should cast light on the ceilings to create the illusion of height.

  7. If you want to use crown moldings, make sure they are thin. 2-3 inch moldings will add a touch of class to the room without emphasizing the ceiling height.

  8. Whatever you do, don’t use a wallpaper border! It cuts the room in half visually - just what you are trying to avoid!

  9. Draw attention to the bottom half of the room with low-backed furniture, colorful rugs and low tables.

  10. Add vertical lines in the room to create the illusion of height! This can be done with drapes, vertical striped fabrics and tall, thin bookcases, cabinets or chairs.

With a little visual magic, you can remove that claustrophobic feel and create a light and spacious feeling in your room.

Hey! Do you think uplighting will help turn me from a “short stuff” to a runway model?


* Pamela Cole Harris is a writer, eco-decorator and author of
 “100+ Wildly Imaginative Ways to Make Your Own Coffee Table – a Handbook for Creatively Deficient Decorators.” 

100+ Wildy Imaginative Ways to Create your own Coffee Tables






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