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Living with low ceilings

Got low ceilings? Chances are, you’ve got low spirits too. After all, there are few design problems as confounding as how to make a room feel bright, spacious and inviting when ceilings are low and oppressive. So what steps can you take to improve the look and feel of a room with ceilings so low you can touch them?

 

 

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Stay away from decorative ceilings. Sure, elaborate plaster mouldings are beautiful in old palaces with 3 metre high ceilings but in low-ceiling abodes they simply have the tendency to emphasise lowness.

Consider vertical stripes. Vertical stripes, either as a wallpaper or a decorative paint treatment can help draw the eye upward, lengthening the look of a wall. One of the subtlest ways to do this  is a tone-on-tone colour in cream shades.

Use uplight to direct light toward the ceiling. Lighting can make dramatic changes in ceiling height. Push the light upward, and ceilings seem higher. Push it downward and everything seems closed-in. Wall sconces can make a ceiling seem higher if they are hung a bit higher than normal. Recessed lights and pendant lamps  make low ceilings feel lower and should be avoided.

Use floor-to-ceiling window treatments. Long curtains that reach from floor to ceiling will emphasise length. So even if you have relatively small windows, hang your curtains from nearly ceiling height, and opt for a pair that reach the floor.

Go for bold floor rugs. A bold and colourful floor rug will draw attention to the floor and, in combination with light walls and ceilings will create the illusion of more ceiling height.

designer: askmissa - caldwell flake