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7 Design Solutions To Low Ceilings

Is your space a little bit lacking in headroom? Here's how to make it look bigger than it is.

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Photography: Jilson Tiu (Main Photo)

So you’ve found the perfect house or condo unit that’s just the right size, but it has a room (or an attic bedroom) that’s just a little bit too low in ceiling height. Here are some clever designer tricks that’ll fool the eye into thinking that you have a much loftier space.

Vertical stripes

One of the oldest tricks in the book: paint the walls in vertical stripes, or apply vertically striped wallpaper to give the illusion of wall height. Find similar wallpaper at Studio Eleven.

Bold wallpaper

A large, dramatic wallpaper pattern in a bright color can distract the eye from the low ceiling. Make sure the wallpaper has a light background, and has colors that complement your room’s palette.

Asymmetrical art arrangement

It may sound strange at first, but creating wall décor arrangement that’s slightly different or asymmetrical than the one beside it will seem totally intentional, and pulls the eyes away from the awkward ceiling beam that’s much lower at right.

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Tongue and groove ceiling

The sweeping lines of a ceiling that’s clad in tongue and groove wood strips (or gypsum board that’s patterned as such) takes the attention away from its low height.

All-white

Painting the walls and ceiling in the same white paint gives this living room a seamless look from the floor up.

Low furniture

Instead of putting tall pieces that call attention to a low ceiling, low-slung furniture pieces—like this sectional leather sofa—will make you think that the ceiling is much higher than you think.

Emphasize the lowness

Contrary to the other solutions, using an accent finish (in this case, wood) or color on the lowest part of the ceiling can make it into the focal point of the room, and not an eyesore.

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