How to fake a taller ceiling

PHOTO: Couple Abode

Fake it till you make it isn't just a mantra to boost confidence, it can apply to interiors too. If you don't want to feel claustrophobic in your vertically challenged space, here are some easy design tricks to fake a taller ceiling for the different rooms in the home.


PHOTO: D5 Studio Image

Blend your ceiling with your walls: One of the ways to make a ceiling look taller is to remove any visual transition between your ceiling and the rest of your walls.

Paint your ceiling the same colour as your walls to remove the visual line. While gloss is often recommended to create the impression of a bigger space, stick with matte (flat) paint for your ceiling.

Gloss can look somewhat tacky on the ceiling and isn't the best way to hide flaws. Plus, if your living room receives a lot of daylight, gloss paint can make your space seem overly bright.

Consider cove lights: Bouncing light off the ceiling creates the illusion of a taller room by drawing the eyes upwards. Cove lights are one way to do it, and they are also great for adding ambience to a space.

PHOTO: Control Space Design

Go with a curved false ceiling: Add visual depth to your boring flat ceiling with curves and arches.

The curved ceiling design below was done using a false ceiling, which helps to make the ceiling appear less static, therefore creating the impression of a taller living room.

But it's not just for looks, as the curved ceiling also hides the air-conditioning cables from sight for a clutter-free surface.


Make your upper cabinets "invisible": If you're going with upper kitchen cabinets, consider going handle-less and matching the colour of your uppers with the ceiling. This helps to blend your top cabinets with the ceiling, giving the impression of a taller kitchen.

Stack tiles vertically: Vertical aspects will naturally make your space appear taller. Rather than stack rectangle tiles horizontally, consider tiling them vertically in your kitchen to create the impression of a taller ceiling. To get the most of it, have your tiles run all the way to the top, and opt for slimmer tiles for a lengthening effect.


Hang your curtains as close to the ceiling: Hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as you can to create the illusion of a taller room. Make sure your curtains are long enough to reach the floor at least though e.g. no shorter than an inch above your floor. Too-short curtains can look visually jarring, cutting your room and making your space appear a bit stumpy.

PHOTO: Fuse Concept

Thin vertical strips for a wardrobe design: A full-height, built-in wardrobe can lend the illusion of a grander, taller space, but double that effect using a closet designed with thin vertical strips.

Place mirrors close to the ceiling: If you're using mirrors in the bedroom, place them closer to the top of the ceiling to create the illusion of a taller room.

Another pro tip: go for rimless mirror panels and have them at least three-quarters the height of your room for the best results.


A tall recessed shower niche: At first glance, an extra tall, uninterrupted recessed shower niche might seem a bit superfluous. But if you're looking to raise the ceiling of a short bathroom, this design doesn't seem so redundant after all.

PHOTO: Three-D Conceptwerke

Build your glass enclosure all the way to the ceiling: If possible, get a shower glass enclosure that goes all the way to your bathroom ceiling to lengthen the visual height of the space.

Or as tall as you can possible go to avoid breaking up the visual space. Make sure you check that your apartment's lift can accommodate the length of the glass before making the purchase though.

This article was first published in Renonation.

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