We recently dished out our best tips for how to decorate a room with high ceilings. But what about the opposite problem? Rooms with low ceilings?
Just like high ceilings, it can be a challenge to decorate a room with low ceilings. You don’t want to overstuff it with furniture and the wrong decor, which will make your space feel cramped and even claustrophobic. And that’s definitely not what you want, especially these days when we’re spending so much of our time inside our homes!
All that said, there are some easy decorating ideas that can help make your room with a low ceiling appear taller and more spacious. From curtains to tall mirrors, here are our best designer tips for solving the low ceiling dilemma for any space in your home.
Tip #1: Add Reflective Surfaces
In rooms with low ceilings, using reflective furniture helps bounce light around and visually open up your space. It’s the easiest way to create the illusion of a more spacious room.
Consider all furniture and accent pieces in reflective materials and finishes, like mercury glass decor, mirrored tables and chests, and even antiqued glass pieces. And don’t rule out clear furniture either, which can minimize the visual clutter in a room.
In this low-ceilinged living room, an acrylic side table and a glass-top coffee table help to anchor the room while opening up the space with an airy, open vibe. It’s also a great idea to work in these hacks to make a room seem larger!
Tip #2: Mix In Small-Scale furniture
Low ceiling rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, low ceilings are part of the home’s architecture that you have to work around, like a sloped or A-frame attic room. If that’s the case, you’ll want to lean into small-scale furniture that fits into your space without it looking cramped.
Try pulling in pieces with low profiles, which will in turn accentuate the height of the ceiling versus the size of the room. Small-scale furniture that’s proportional to your space is key.
In this attic nursery, the open-base dresser and crib bring an openness to the space. By hanging a large tapestry high up along one wall also helps draw attention to the vertical space instead of the compact, cave-like feel of the room. If you’re not sure what’s considered small scale in relation to your room, check out our guide to scale and proportion!
Tip #3: Hang Tall Wall Decor
An entryway with a low ceiling can easily leave a claustrophobic impression. One way to make a ceiling look higher in a busy spot like the entryway is to hang wall decor high up, which will draw the eye up and elevate the focus in the space.
Center a tall mirror on a wall in your foyer to instantly add to the height of your walls and create the illusion of higher ceilings. Additionally, tall sconces that shine light upward or in both directions are also great for elongating your walls visually. Hang these accents closer to the ceiling, as in this entryway, to play up the vertical space in your entry and give it a more open look and feel.
Tip #4: Keep To Minimal Patterns
Bedrooms with low ceilings are one of the most common challenges we tackle for Modsy homeowners. The trick is to minimize the focus on the size and height of the room, which means keeping colors and patterns to a minimum and finding furnishings that play up comfort.
Draw attention to the floors with one big neutral pattern and skip colorful prints everywhere else. In this bedroom, the geometric rug helps draw attention to the floor instead of the low ceiling. Meanwhile, the tall floor mirror reflects light, gives the look of more vertical wall space, and opens up the room as a whole. If you do want to add some color, go with two to three pops of soft neutral shades to avoid overwhelming the space.
Tip #5: Paint A Dark Accent Wall
Similar to a room with high ceilings, an accent wall can change the perspective of size and space in a room with low ceilings. But the key is to always stick to a darker shade, like a black or deep gray, which will lend major cozy vibes and a spacious look.
The best way to balance a dark accent wall in a room that has a low ceiling is to mix in small-scale furniture. Small means it will feel more proportional to the room size and also work well in a space that already has a cozy dark accent wall. Keep to lower streamlined seats and pieces that are less bulky, like a deep reclining accent chair or a Mid-Century sofa. This will also prevent furniture from blocking light streaming into the room. If you’re working with an odd-shaped living room, start here with our awkward living room design solutions.
Tip #6: Put Up Long Curtains
Low ceiling, long curtains. It’s a foolproof trick that always works. And it’s the easiest decor trick to make a low ceiling look higher. The key is to find the right length curtain that goes full floor to ceiling.
Start by hanging floor-to-ceiling curtains higher above your windows and closer to the ceiling as a way to draw the eye up. What this does is make the room appear taller and have more ceiling height than there actually is. The long curtains will also help elongate the walls and draw the focus upwards in the room.
Good tip: Be sure to hang your curtains at least 3”-4” above your window frame if you’re going for this look!
Tip #7: Work In A Tall Bookcase
It might sound counterintuitive, but a bookcase that spans floor to ceiling is a great way to open up a small room with a low ceiling. Why? Just like a tall mirror and long curtains, it directs the focus vertically rather than horizontally, so it distracts from the size of the room.
Try a modern and more streamlined bookcase that’s almost ceiling height. The minimal style will keep the space from appearing cramped or bulky and it will create a more airy, open flow look in the space. Contrast your tall bookcase with smaller furniture. This way, you’ll have pieces that are proportional to the largest piece in the room, creating perfect visual balance. Check out our small space furniture guide for some tips on how to decorate compact spaces.
Also, check out our gallery for small living room design tips!
Furnish Your Low Ceiling Room In 3D!