Everyone wants their home to be grand and luxurious, and with the right décor, it is possible to engineer that feeling. In fact, it is relatively easy to trick the eye into believing that a space is larger, brighter and overall better than it is — but not everyone knows the simple design choices required for such an illusion to work.
If you aren’t trying to make your ceilings look higher, you are likely making a handful of mistakes that cause them to feel far too low. Here’s why your home doesn’t feel spacious, and how to fix it.
Your Ceilings Are Low
It is possible that your ceilings look low — because they are low. Low ceilings became fashionable in the middle of the 20th century thanks to Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright and similar architects believed that low ceilings encouraged more intimate conversation, and the lack of overhead space meant that rooms were easier to keep warm or cool. Plus, low ceilings are easier to construct, requiring less materials and giving builders a place to hide elements like electrical work, plumbing and HVAC ducts. Thus, homes built in the mid-century modern style tend to have some areas with dropped ceilings.
Most dropped ceilings can be removed, actually adding height to your interior spaces. However, if you don’t have the budget to raise your ceilings, you can still use some of the tips below to give the illusion of height.
Your Fans and Light Fixtures Hang Down
When you have to wend your head around fixtures hanging down from the ceiling, you can basically feel the closeness of the ceiling. There are recommended heights for hanging different types of fixtures around your home, especially over dining tables and kitchen islands, but for areas where you and others need to walk, you want to be sure that fixtures are hung well out of the way. You can invest in hugger ceiling fans and recessed lights in areas with truly low ceilings, and elsewhere, there should be at least seven feet between the floor and the fixture.
Your Window Dressings Are Short
The curtains hanging around your windows draw the attention of the eye more than your walls, which means the height of your draperies matter at least as much as the height of your ceiling in providing the illusion of headspace. When you are measuring to purchase curtains, you should measure from your ceilings, not the top of the windows. By hanging draperies from just below the ceiling, you allow the eye to travel all the way up, which makes a room seem taller than when the vertical lines are broken at the windows.
Your Furniture Is Large
Oversized furniture might be extra comfortable, but it also tends to take up extra space. In smaller rooms, an especially large couch or table will impede freedom of movement, making the space feel cramped. Large furniture can also make your ceilings feel lower if they extend far into your vertical space. For areas where you are concerned about headspace, the best choice of furniture are pieces that have low profiles and use horizontal lines.
Your Art Is Small
Big furniture is bad for overhead space, but big art is good. Oversized wall hangings, especially those that are taller than they are wide, will draw the eye upward just as window dressings do. Though you don’t want to cover your walls with too many huge pieces, a couple well-placed large canvases in your home will work wonders in increasing the height of your ceilings.
Your Home Is Dark
Though dark, moody colour palettes are currently in, you should be aware that a dark room tends to feel shorter. If you do want to incorporate darker tones like black, charcoal, forest green or navy, you should try to keep them lower to the ground and lighten up your colour scheme near the ceiling. You can also decorate using mirrors, which bounce light around the room to increase illumination.
Whether your ceilings are actually low or whether you merely want them to feel as high as the sky, you can use these tricks to make your home feel especially grand.6