5 Ways To Make Your Ceilings Look Taller

By Madison White on September 3, 2019

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When choosing an apartment, we can’t always get everything we want, especially when working on a college budget. Like many types of affordable housing, many college dorms and apartments come with unfortunately low ceilings that make the space seem small and cramped. Luckily, there are definitely a few tips and tricks you can try to make your ceilings look higher.

1.  Keep it low

Think that taller is better? You may be wrong. Choosing tall items in a short space doesn’t work. In fact, it can often make the space look even shorter than it really is. Choosing tall items only showcases how little space there is above them. So steer clear of bar stools! You won’t want them in your space.

Instead, opt for things that are low to the ground. Try and choose tables that sit quite low, as well as chairs that don’t extend too far upward. Try and keep everything on a similar plane, so hang your items at a middle height, instead of right up next to the ceiling. This will give people a sense of things being in proportion. Short furniture allows people to see the space above the items which tricks them into thinking your ceilings are higher than they really are.

2. Up your lighting

Changing your lighting may make a huge difference to your space. Many people opt for types of uplighting when trying to make their ceilings appear taller. Uplighting are types of lamps that aim upwards toward the ceiling instead of down.

It is also wise to get rid of any hanging lights that hang down way too low. Yes, your chandelier or fixture may be beautiful, but if you’re knocking your head on it whenever you walk past, then you might want to rethink its placement. Low-hanging lighting can often call attention to the very thing you’re trying to hide.

3. Raise the (curtain) bar

This may be the oldest trick in the book when it comes to concealing low ceilings. When thinking about ceilings, we often also have to think about lighting. And where does most of the light come from in our space? That’s right, windows. Therefore, changing your windows (or the appearance of your windows) can drastically alter how your ceilings look.

What many people choose to do is hang their curtain rods right underneath the ceiling, with a few inches of course. They do this regardless of how low or high their windows actually are because a long curtain gives the illusion of a high ceiling. It draws the eye vertically which makes the ceilings look higher up.

On the other hand, some people choose to go the exact opposite route and get rid of curtains altogether. Opting out of curtains and going for mostly bare windows will allow your windows to look naturally bigger and let in more light. The choice is up to you!

4. Get colorful

Like most apartments and houses, your ceiling is probably white. This is for a good reason because white walls and ceilings allow light in and make spaces appear bigger. White ceilings are perfectly fine, but they might not actually be helping the appearance of your room that much. One thing you may want to try is painting your ceiling a different color that still matches the décor of the room. The statement color will draw people’s eyes upwards and make them think that the ceiling is actually much higher than in reality. Of course, make sure that you clear this with your landlord before you start buying buckets of paint.

5. Think vertically

One way to trick people into thinking you have higher ceilings is to focus on the vertical. If you have hanging lots of wide, horizontal decorations and paintings, then it will only emphasize how short your walls are. You may think that choosing vertical decorations will emphasize the shortness, but they actually do the opposite! Choose items that still fit appropriately within your space, however, because oversized items will make your room look smaller. Vertical, well-proportioned items, on the other hand, will trick the eye into thinking your walls extend far beyond their reach.

One essential item to add to your decorations, besides paintings and pictures, are mirrors. Vertical mirrors, especially, will add loads of space and dimension to a small space. It can really do a lot to brighten up a dark room and elongate your ceiling.

With a little creativity, you can try a number of things that will change the appearance of your ceilings. There are so many options that range from quick to intensive, cheap to expensive. Don’t be afraid to test out multiple options and find out what works best for your space. You never know what will end up looking the best!

Looking for an easy way to furnish your off-campus apartment? Renting furniture from CORT saves you time and money. See how easy it is to get great looking furniture without breaking the bank.

Madison graduated with her Master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester (UK), and holds Bachelor's degrees in English and Creative Writing from Wichita State University. She currently teaches English at Wichita State University and works as a freelance writer and blogger on her website Madison White Writes and elsewhere.

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