Sunday, September 8, 2019

7 Ways You Can Make the Ceiling Look Higher in a Room

7 Ways to Make the Ceilings Look Higher

1. Use Draperies to Create the Illusion of a Higher Ceiling

If you've longed for high ceilings but know the likelihood of that happening is slim to nil, use a visual trick with floor-to-ceiling draperies. Instead of putting the curtain rod directly above the window frame, place the curtain rod at ceiling height level. Install the rod on the wall or the ceiling, however, it's more common to see the rod on the wall. By having the drapes start at the ceiling, your eyes are drawn upwards giving the room the illusion of height.

2. Do You Have a Popcorn Ceiling with a Ridge?

When popcorn ceilings were popular, some were designed with a three or four-inch ridge of smooth drywall. If your home has this, paint that small ridge around the room the same color as the walls. Having this ridge painted draws the eye upward and gives the room the illusion of having a higher ceiling.
Simple Trick to Create the Feeling of a Higher Ceiling

3. Use Striped Wallpaper or Striped Painted Walls

Just like we wear stripes to create height, stripes on the wall do the same thing. If you're a fan of stripes there are several ways to introduce them into a room; on one wall, on all walls (whoa), or above matching or contrasting colored wainscotting.

4.  Furniture Should Be Low Profile and Add a Cabinet or Bookcase to Ceiling Height

Avoid using bulky furniture in a room where your goal is to create a feeling of height. Lower profile furnishings are smaller and provide more space between the ceiling and furniture thus giving the room an added sense of height.

Budget permitting, add an open bookcase or cabinet (not too bulky) that goes from floor to ceiling. Again, the bookcase draws the eye upwards and the low profile furniture provides the illusion of contrasting height.

5. Use High Gloss Paint on the Ceiling

Really? Yep. This one takes guts. First of all, you'll need a clean, smooth, flawless ceiling to work with. High gloss paint will create a beautiful reflection of the room below, which will, in turn, make the ceiling seem higher. However, if your ceiling isn't prepared properly, beware, because high gloss paint will show every flaw!

Do a bit of research before tackling this. The brave decorator will be happy to know, if done right this technique is outstanding and can make a room feel double in height.

6. Use Pot Lights or Flush Mounted Ceiling Lights

Flush mounted lights or pot lights help a room's ceiling feel higher. Lower hanging lights consume part of the space and thus feed the eye information that the room is standard or low height.

7. Yes, We're Finally at the Obvious One, Mirrors

First, let's talk about mirrors on the wall. If you can mirror an entire wall, bonus. In the first home we owned (decades ago), we used floor-to-ceiling wall-to-wall mirrors around the entry of our front door. We wanted the foyer to feel roomier.

During that time, smoked mirrored glass was popular, as was beveled glass. We used the beveled glass mirrors on one wall in the dining room, and smoked mirrors on the entire wall surrounding the front door. It worked beautifully. Although decorating trends have changed, you can still use this mirroring technique. Choose one wall in the room, and mirror the entire wall.

If using floor-to-ceiling wall-to-wall mirrors isn't an option, try clumping together three or more framed mirrors and placing them higher up on the wall. In other words, bring the eye upwards to those mirrors and position them so they'll reflect light and other parts of the room. They don't have to go to the top of the ceiling. Simply start higher up and work your way downwards.

Finally, yes, you can mirror the ceiling. If there's money in the budget, the designs and styles to choose from are practically endless. You may need a professional to tackle this project!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Excellent tips. I really do like floor to ceiling draperies. The idea about painting a glossy ceiling is new to me. I can see that it could create a fabulous effect. Other than the cathedral ceiling in my living room, I don't have much ceiling height in my home. So, these are especially useful tips. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, and that cathedral ceiling must be lovely

  2. Mirror, mirror on the wall..... sorry, couldn't resist. LOL. Interesting and clever ideas, Barbara, to add height to low-ceiling rooms. One idea I am not sure of.... the high gloss paint on a ceiling. Because it reflects so well, one would need to keep that whole room very neat all the time as the ceiling's reflection would double the messiness of an unmade bed, clothes on the floor, things out-of-place..... :>. Thanks for sharing these decor ideas for low ceiling rooms.

    1. Lol, you're right about reflecting a mess too, hadn't thought of that! I guess if it's in a main room we'd be forced to always keep it clean

  3. Our daughter had floor to ceiling mirror doors on her dorm room closet. They were pretty awesome! While I wouldn't want to see myself constantly, I do see the value of using mirrors. I think I would love gloss paint on the ceiling. I tend to prefer gloss paint on the walls. I have been told the downside to that is that your can't paint over gloss with anything other than gloss, therefore it would be a commitment. I've never seen the painted edge ceiling before. That is a pretty cool trick for sure! Poking that one away in my memory for future consideration. I do love having a home that doesn't feel too small and claustrophobic. Amazing what you (literally you) can come up with to help us take a small room and make it appear bigger/taller.

    1. Cynthia, I was like you a few decades ago, when the kids were young I used gloss paint in areas most people wouldn't. It was easier to wipe down. We were able to paint over it eventually, but had to google the process - I think it involved sanding the walls down very good several times, then putting up several base coats before we ultimately put the eggshell paint on. It's held up as well, no chipping. Mirrored closets are handy to increase a room's size, and eventhough they're not necessarily in style right now, I'll be keeping the ones in our house, lol. All bedroom and hallway closets are mirrored.

  4. I love mirrors and use them all around my house, just not in the bedroom. When I first get up in the morning, I do not want to see myself at all and for good Thanks for all the great tips Barbara.

    1. Love mirrors too Olivia - it's good Feng Shui to not have a mirror in the bedroom lol :) you nailed it!

  5. Really great ideas and I love the high gloss ceiling painting idea! I might give that a try in a room I'm working on.

    1. You'll have to blog that! Would love to see it


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