7 Ways to Fake High Ceilings In Your Home That Might Even Fool You

published Jul 18, 2019
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We’re going to let you in on a little secret: You don’t have to be six-foot-four to appreciate high ceilings. There’s something about the extra height that brings a breezy, yet oh-so luxurious, air to your space.

Problem is, not every apartment or home has the height of your dreams. And unlike painting your walls or switching out an unsightly light fixture, adding high ceilings to your home is easier said than done.

But just because you don’t want to undergo a timely (and costly!) renovation doesn’t mean you can’t create the illusion of high ceilings. Below, several interior designers share tips to fake your way to higher ceilings:

Credit: Kristan Lieb

Create a Colorful Ceiling

“The ‘fifth wall’ is often an overlooked feature. However, painting a ceiling can open up the room, making it feel larger and airy. Opt for a light and bright ceiling color to best reflect light and give the impression you’ve got high ceilings such as EasyCare Paint Moon Glow, EasyCare Paint Butterfly Yellow or EasyCare Paint Puritan White. If you have high ceilings and you want to hide any vents or electrical tubing, a matte black is the answer: It will actually make the ceiling appear higher.” —Cynthia Cornell, color expert at EasyCare 

Line Your Walls with Vertical Stripes

“An easy way to make a ceiling in a room feel higher is to elongate the walls by painting vertical lines. Adding stripes draws the eyes up to the ceiling, creating the illusion of height in any room.” —Cynthia Cornell

Let There be Light

“Uplighting can help give the illusion that the ceiling is higher than it actually is. This can be done with the use of a hanging fixture or torchiere floor lamps.” —Elizabeth Sesser, interiors associate at Ike Kligerman Barkley

Credit: Bailey Austin Design

Get Clever with Crown Molding

“Select a low-profile crown and lower it about an inch from the ceiling. Paint the ceiling and the piece of the wall above the trim the same color and voilà! It will feel large.  It’s a historical detail that used to be more common and it definitely works!” —Bailey Austin, principal at Bailey Austin Design

Credit: Adriannexo

Keep Your Furniture Low, Low, Low

“Low ceilings? There strengths and weakness to all spaces. From the decoration side, low-slung furniture and large scale art can help create the perception of height.” Ryan Jackson, interior designer

Credit: Liz Calka

Color Contrast

“To get the most impact, let choice and use of color do the work. Darker floors and walls, paired with bright white ceilings, will trick the eye into making the ceiling soar.” —Ryan Jackson

Consider Your Curtains

“Hang your window curtain panels just below ceiling height, as opposed to just above the window frame. This will draw the eye up and make the space feel taller.” —Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy