8 mistakes when designing an apartment with a low ceiling

Contrasting finishes, short curtains, and massive lamps – we tell you what makes an already low ceiling seem even lower. And we give tips on how to fix it.

1. Contrasting Finish

It is believed that only light colors should be used for small or low rooms. In fact, it is not so important what the shades will be, the mistake is to make too much contrast between the finishes. For example, mother-of-pearl walls and a brown, almost black floor. Or the white ceiling and dark blue walls. Even worse is the white ceiling, bright walls, and dark floor.

How is better

To make the room seem taller and more spacious, try to make the boundaries of the planes as inconspicuous as possible. A great option is to shade the walls almost or exactly in the color of the ceiling. The floor should also not be too contrasting, let it be only a few shades darker.

2. Massive chandelier

Large pendant lamps will decorate a room with a high ceiling, otherwise it is an unfortunate solution. The chandelier itself will not look as impressive as it could, and the space will seem even lower and cramped than it really is.

How is better

It is advisable to abandon the traditional chandelier, especially a multi-tiered one, altogether. It is appropriate in a classic style with all its attributes or bold eclecticism. For a typical apartment with ceilings of 2.5-2.7 m, both styles are most often inappropriate, so it is better to choose a laconic ceiling instead of a chandelier or even built-in spots.

3. Horizontal Lines

Basic optical effects: vertical lines stretch the room upwards, and horizontal lines pull the room wider. Accordingly, the abundance of the latter in the interior will make the ceiling visually even lower. This applies not only to stripes on wallpaper but also to silhouettes of furniture, skirting boards, ornaments on textiles, compositions on paintings or posters.

How is better

Try to add vertical silhouettes to the interior. Choose tall furniture with thin legs, use a striped pattern (but not contrasting!), put a floor lamp or hang elongated sconces with upward light. It is possible to paint part of the walls using the color-block technique, using arched shapes or other vertical figures.

4. Short curtains

Curtains up to the windowsill not only do not hide the real height of the ceiling but also draw attention to it even more. Short curtains are appropriate only in the kitchen, and then, in this case, it is better to choose not curtains, but roller or Roman blinds. In other rooms, it’s a disastrous move.

How is better

Choose long curtains to the floor, and it is desirable that the fabric is flowing. You can use a two-layer set with light tulle or translucent curtains. And it is better to hang the cornice as high as possible or even make it hidden so that the border with the ceiling is not visible.

5. Multi-level

First of all, this applies to the ceiling itself: complex multi-level coatings at a low height are contraindicated. But even at the floor level, any podium structures will lower the already low room, so they should be abandoned.

How is better

Flat ceiling and flat floor. The first one is preferably simply painted, in extreme cases it can be a smooth stretch fabric without decorative elements and several levels. To zone the room, use light partitions, furniture arrangement, and different textures, and colors.

6. Low light

A dark room will seem more cramped and gloomy from any point of view, and if the ceiling is already low, the effect will only increase. In this case, the mistake will be both an ill-conceived artificial lighting and a lack of natural lighting.

How is better

First of all, open the windows as much as possible: do not force the windowsill with tall flowers or stacks of books, replace thick heavy curtains with lighter curtains, or even limit yourself to tulle. Also, think about the lighting system in the room: there should be a bright central source and necessarily several local ones to illuminate individual functional areas. If you have a stretch canvas, you can put soft lighting around the perimeter – this will create the effect of a “floating” ceiling.

7. No Accents

In a sterile, too-neutral interior, where there is nothing for the eye to catch, attention will be focused on the surfaces and, accordingly, the real proportions of the room. As a result, all the shortcomings will be highlighted, including the low ceiling.

How is better

Even in a minimalist interior, there should be a couple of accents that will immediately attract the eye. It can be a bright or unusual painting, a large piece of décor, an armchair of an unusual shape, or a spectacular houseplant. Attention will shift from one such “anchor” to another, and the imperfection of the room’s proportions will fade into the background.

8. Low openings

Low doorways seem like a logical solution, because this way they will match the overall scale and proportions of the room. But in fact, they will only emphasize the low ceiling height.

How is better

If possible, order taller doors instead of standard ones – there are even special models for the ceiling. They will immediately transform the room, visually stretch it upwards. And if this option is not suitable for some reason, choose a canvas with an upper false frame – it will give almost the same effect.

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