​6 tricks to make low ceilings look higher

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
5QM Tapeten - Herczeg & Sassmannshausen GbR Walls & flooringWallpaper
Loading admin actions …

We all love large rooms with plenty of space; however, this is not a reality for all of us. And if you are not lucky enough to live in a spacious home, you often have to settle for low ceilings that make each room look narrower and smaller. But this does not mean that we have no choice but to feel crushed and imprisoned in our own rooms. With the right tricks and ideas, you can make low ceilings appear higher, creating a more open and inviting living space. 

Just have a look at these six helpful tips to help make your rooms appear higher, even with low ceilings.

1. Pick the correct colours

Nightingale Triangle Clara Bee Modern living room
Clara Bee

Nightingale Triangle

Clara Bee

Which colours you choose will definitely play a huge part in those low-ceiling rooms. In order to give low ceilings some height, we advise painting them in light shades. Radiant white, soft cream or delicate pastel hues are best suited for low ceilings, as they open up the room visually, reflect the light better, and make the ceiling appear further away. This helps to make the space appear much larger and brighter. 

If you want to bring a little colour into the game, then play with cool tones like light blue or lilac. These give the impression of size and the ceiling optically receding, like the kitchen in this example. In general, experts recommend that the ceiling should always be brighter than the walls. And to aid in a generous and airy ceiling, 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 situation is different: here you can work with a darker colour, which makes the ceiling and walls look lighter and brighter.

2. Let lighting do the trick

The right lighting has a stretching effect on rooms with low ceilings. It is advisable to refrain from lamps that emanate from the ceiling, such as lush chandeliers or large pendulum lights, and rather focus on wall lights. From these, the light should be blasted over the entire ceiling, which makes low ceilings appear higher. Generally, it is advisable to opt for indirect lighting. If you are not game for a room without ceiling lights, then rather go with for installation spots, which offer a coherent mix of focused and scattered light and give the impression of a more airy, spacious room. In addition, refined floor lights can also help focus the attention away from those low ceilings. 

Need that expert interior (or exterior) look? Check out our range of professionals.

3. Select the right furniture

With the right furniture, a room can seem higher. But it is important not to overstretch the room, because every additional piece of furniture would strengthen the feeling of narrowness. Sometimes seeking professional input can be helpful! 

When it comes to massive and bulky furniture, like huge wardrobes, one should rather keep away from rooms with low ceilings. Instead, experts recommend that you close the low ceiling with simple, airy pieces of furniture in bright colours and create as much space between furniture and ceiling as possible. Items suitable for this purpose are slim sideboards, low-seating furniture and deep tables. And delicate shelves are in any case the more appropriate choice than massive cabinets.

4. Optimise the wall design

Another clever option to make a low ceiling appear higher is by painting that wall a bright colour. But this is by no means your only option when it comes to making a room seem higher, more generous and airier. One of the most popular tips in the interior design world is this: vertical stripes stretch optically and conjure a slim silhouette. For rooms with low ceilings, this means that those vertical stripes focus the attention upwards and make the space seem taller. This design trick can also be applied via wallpaper. However, it is important to ensure that the patterned wallpaper meets the ceiling and that no bare wall space remains.

5. Make the room appear higher with curtains

Large glass surfaces are reliable to make narrow, small and low spaces more generous and open optically. They bring a feeling of openness and let a lot of light in. In this way, rooms with low ceilings appear wider and more open. Of course not everyone has the opportunity to equip their low room with large windows, but the right curtains can also do the trick. To enhance the feeling of height, you should hang floor-long curtains as high as possible. The best way to fix the ceiling is to direct the view to a long, vertically flowing element that conveys the height of the room. Flimsy and see-through curtains also allow the room to appear more airy and lighter, seeing as natural lighting can shine through and light up the low-ceiling space.

6. Let accessories provide the finishing touches

In addition to curtains, there are many other accessories that can help make a room appear higher. Similar to large windows, mirrors also produce an open and bright effect. The best choice is for large-format models which occupy a large part of the wall and which optically expand low ceilings. Even with works of art and picture frames, one can achieve sophisticated effects. Thus narrow, high frames or wall art pieces emphasize the vertical space in the room. But be sure to hang those wall pieces a little higher than usual, as the viewer has to direct his view further upwards and, thus, gets the feeling of spaciousness. 

Up next in our bag of design tricks: How to decorate your home so it never goes out of style.

Got any other tricks when it comes to low ceilings? Tell us all about it...

Need help with your home project?
Get in touch!

Discover home inspiration!