low ceiling design + photo

7 min

A typical inhabitant of any Russian high-rise building is familiar with the problem of low ceilings. Even if the area of ​​the room is sufficient, the overhanging ceiling gives the impression of being in a hole, and the most offensive thing is that it is physically impossible to lift it. You have to trick and dodge to get the illusion of spaciousness in a 2.4 m high room. Designers have accumulated a lot of different ways to make a low ceiling in a house visually higher, and if you listen to their advice, you can achieve great results.

# 1. Taboo in the design of low ceilings

Let’s start with what you should never do:

  • voluminous hanging chandeliers with pendants and numerous lampshades will make the room visually even lower, and households with taller than average growth can generally touch such a decoration with their heads;
  • stucco on the ceiling and abundant decor on the walls;
  • massive furniture. Large wardrobes, tall coffee tables, voluminous sofas take up too much space and will be appropriate only in large tall rooms;
  • heavy curtains with lambrequins will also create the impression of clutter and make the ceilings even lower;
  • too many dark shades.

If you got an apartment with low ceilings, you will have to compromise with your design desires and preferences, trying not to aggravate the situation and, even more, visually make the room higher.

# 2. What should be the finish?

The main nuance in the design of low ceilings is the choice of suitable finishing materials. The correct color and texture of the finish is half the battle.

To make the ceiling in a low room visually higher, use the following design tricks:

  • bet on white. It is a safe bet for all small and low spaces. White color and light, pastel shades can work wonders and literally push the boundaries of space. Painting the ceiling white is the simplest and at the same time very effective solution;

  • gloss and shine. We all know how well glossy surfaces reflect light. If the gloss is strong, then it is able to work like a mirror and literally duplicate the space, so you can’t imagine a better solution for a low room than glossy ceilings. You can paint the surface with glossy paint, you can – install a white glossy stretch ceiling. The latter option is most often used by designers and, indeed, works very, very well to increase the height of the room;

  • blue shades for the ceiling. Many people call the white ceiling a hospital or office. If he, in fact, will cause discomfort, then you can resort to an alternative solution – shades of blue. This color in our subconsciousness is associated with the sky, so the surface of the ceiling will automatically appear slightly higher than it actually is;

  • the ceiling should be lighter than the walls. Whatever experiments with colors you decide, you must remember that the walls should not be lighter than the ceiling. Otherwise, the ceiling will press even more and appear lower than it is;

  • ceiling and walls in one color. This is a popular design move that allows you to blur the transition between the wall surface and the ceiling;

  • box and moldings. If a box or moldings are made of plasterboard or special polystyrene foam tiles along the edges of the ceiling, then you can visually deepen the center of the ceiling. It is important that the thickness of such decorative structures is small, otherwise the opposite effect can be obtained. It is better to decide on such experiments if the ceiling height is 2.5-2.7 m;

  • vertical stripes are another sure-fire way to raise the ceiling. It is better that the stripes are wide and combine not too contrasting colors. Only one accent wall is made with a striped wall, otherwise it will ruffle strongly in the eyes. Instead of the usual stripes, you can use an ornament from tree trunks or rhombuses. Vertical stripes can be drawn on the painted wall, or wallpaper with a suitable pattern can be used. The strips can extend onto the ceiling. Panels made of natural wood also work well;

  • ombre effect. This is a bold and trendy solution. By using a transition from a rich color at the bottom of the wall to light and white at the top, you can achieve the effect of merging the ceiling and walls. The result is a visually higher ceiling.

No. 3. Building the right lighting

Low ceilings in an apartment can be visually raised with the right lighting:

  • all natural light must be used to the maximum, therefore, it is impossible to clutter the windows with heavy curtains or, much worse, oversized pieces of furniture;
  • luminaires for low ceilings should be compact, minimalistic, and have a minimum height. It is better to replace a large chandelier with a flat tablet chandelier, supplement the lighting with spotlights, spots on a rod, and an LED strip. Multi-level illumination will effectively illuminate all corners of the room, but at the same time it will not take away the useful height;

  • the light from the lamps, reflected in the glossy ceiling, makes the space even more voluminous;
  • the direction of the light also matters. Chandeliers, floor lamps, sconces should shine not down, but up. It is better to direct the light to the ceiling, creating a play of shadows on it. You should be careful when choosing a light source for a PVC stretch ceiling. He is afraid of high temperatures, so it is better to replace incandescent lamps with energy-saving lamps with minimal heat transfer;

  • vertical sconces that give light both up and down also work well.

No. 4. Choosing the right furniture

The right furniture is another touch in organizing the interior of a room with low ceilings. Experts advise taking into account the following tips:

  • it is better to take squat furniture that will be slightly lower than the standard one. Flat sofas, low dressers, neat coffee tables will free up more space. A person resting on a sofa 5-10 cm lower than usual will be just as comfortable, but the extra centimeters of space above him sometimes turn out to be decisive;
  • in living rooms it will be better if the cabinets do not reach the ceiling itself;
  • in the kitchen, it is allowed that the headset is built up to the ceiling, while if its color matches the color of the walls and ceiling, it will be possible to erase all sorts of boundaries. That is why, often when arranging a kitchen in Khrushchev, designers obsessively use white – the result is worth it.

No. 5. Mirror Bet

The mirror works just as well as a glossy ceiling. If you install a floor-to-ceiling mirror surface in the room, the effect will be amazing. You can use a wardrobe with mirrored doors – in this case, we get a double benefit. An interesting effect will come out if you use mirror tiles to decorate the ceiling.

Lacquered wood floors also reflect well, but using multiple reflective surfaces in one room at once is too much.

No. 6. Architectural tricks

Color scheme, finishes and visual tweaks aren’t the only ways to combat the depressing effects of low ceilings. At the stage of repair work, you can pay attention to the architectural component:

  • low doorways in combination with low ceilings form a kind of mouse hole. It is worth increasing the height of the doorway, making a spectacular arch, as it will become noticeably easier to breathe in the room;
  • you can equip high architectural elements such as columns. We want to look at vertical long details, the gaze slides from floor to ceiling, and our brain perceives the height of the room to be somewhat higher than it really is;
  • narrow high niches have approximately the same effect as columns. If the thickness of the walls allows, you can make several niches in it and paint their surface with a contrasting shade;

  • if there is a fireplace in the room with a characteristic protrusion above it, then this protrusion can be visually distinguished. The designers say it contributes to the expansion of the space.

No. 7. Other secrets of low ceiling design

In addition to all the techniques described above, you can use some more tricks, and then the low ceiling in the apartment will become even a little higher:

  • paintings, photos, posters are best placed above eye level. It is advisable to choose images with a predominance of vertical lines;

  • the curtain rod for curtains is best placed under the very ceiling, and the curtain fabric should reach the floor (read about curtain rods for stretch ceilings here). Beautiful vertical folds of lightweight fabric will increase the height of the ceiling;

  • for curtains, you can choose a vertical ornament;
  • in decoration, horizontal lines should be avoided, which will visually divide the room into levels and make the space lower.

Finally, we will add only that a room with low ceilings should not be overloaded – it should always be in order. Everything unnecessary should be hidden in cabinets and dressers – let only that which will decorate the interior remain in plain sight, without overloading it.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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