4 Design Tricks to Fake a Higher Ceiling

4 Design Tricks to Fake a Higher Ceiling

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Jennifer Hunter
Jul 29, 2015

We can't all have soaring ceilings like Ashley's loft above, but we can employ some smart visual tricks to get our squatty walls to look longer. Try these four easy things.

Paint the ceiling a little lighter than the walls

Lighter, brighter colors open up a space so white on the ceiling always works to make it seem higher and draw your eye up. Want to get even smarter? Tint your wall color with white until it's just a shade or two lighter and use it on the ceiling. It won't be noticeable, but it will still make the walls look endless and blur the line where the actual ceiling starts.

Cheat your curtains

Hang those curtains higher, higher, all the way to the ceiling. This is the easiest trick of the bunch because it takes something you were going to do anyway (hang curtains) and lets you manipulate your room by visually stretching out your wall space. Pro tip: like Eileen above, use similar colors to blend your curtain rods so you don't break up the long, lean line.

Try low hanging pendants

If you want to draw attention to the distance between your ceiling and your light, then by all means, measure out that length with a pendant cord. If you'd rather not focus on this particular feature, go with a light source closer to the ceiling.

Add a low chair rail to tweak the visual "middle"

This one can be tricky, but getting it right will change the look of your whole room. Chair rails usually go 1/3 of the way up a wall. To make your short wall look longer, cheat it a little higher. Alysia above has nice tall ceilings, but if she wanted hers to look higher, she could continue the blue of her wall onto the ceiling (maybe even tinted a little lighter as per above) to make it hard to tell where the wall actually ends.

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