Low Ceilings? Use These Tricks to Give Them a Lift

Low ceilings can make a space feel claustrophobic and uninviting, but the costs associated with physically increasing a room's height are usually too high to be feasible for most homeowners. Of course, with any undesirable characteristic, making the proper design choices can help to mitigate the negative impact that is actually felt by occupants of the space. When it comes to low ceilings, there are several relatively inexpensive options that can help distract from the lack of headroom. Depending on the specific room in question, some of these tricks can even be combined for maximum effect.

For use in any space:

1. Remove crown molding. Crown molding might look nice, but in rooms with low ceilings, it will only take up the precious headroom that you're trying to enhance. Additionally, it will draw the eye upward, making the ceiling's lack of height more noticeable.

2. Install high baseboards. High baseboards essentially have the opposite effect as crown molding by drawing the eye down toward the floor.

3. Use bright, glossy paint. Having more light reflecting off surfaces always has the effect of opening up a room and ceilings are no exception.

In bathrooms:

1. Lower the toilet. Find and install a new toilet that has a very low tank. Increasing the vertical wall space between the top of the toilet and the ceiling will give the impression of greater height. This rule applies to other fixtures and furniture as well.

In the kitchen:

1. Extend cabinets. By bringing the cabinetry all the way up to the ceiling, it will give the visual illusion of greater vertical distance. It also increases the cabinet's utility by eliminating any dead space that existed between their top and the ceiling.

These are just a handful of the simple design choices that can help reduce the cramped atmosphere created by a low ceiling. For more tricks, check out this article by home renovation and design website Houzz.