If your family home was built in the 1960s, 70s or 80s, the ceiling heights are most likely around 2.3 metres, 40cm lower than current designs allow for.
In new build homes, the standard ceiling height is usually around 2570mm for single storey and the ground floor of a double storey, and 2450mm for the first floor of double storey designs. While a lower ceiling may make a space look cosier, there is a suite of clever tricks you can master to help disguise the low hanging ceiling.
We recently asked Vicki Gillingham, design manager for Henley, what she recommends to create the illusion of a higher ceiling and take your rooms to new heights.
It is all about the paint
Painting the ceilings a lighter colour to the walls helps create the illusion of height in a room. At Henley, we always specify Dulux Lexicon quarter strength on ceilings as it’s a beautiful fresh white that opens up the space and complements any colour scheme teamed with it.
Paint windows trims in a semi-gloss white and avoid installing heavy curtains or bulky pelmets just above the architraves. Instead consider installing ceiling-mounted tracks with sheers or venetian blinds inside the window reveal where possible, to allow the natural light to come through and assist with creating the illusion of higher ceilings.
Do away with the cornices
Create a more seamless look by removing the cornices which adds to the look of the ceiling height. Upgrading to a square set gives the room a modern and sleek edge, plus the illusion of a higher ceiling. If this upgrade does not fit into your budget, consider swapping a wide cornice for a narrower one, painting it the same colour as the ceiling.
Send in the light
Allowing as much natural light in a room as possible, helps lighten the walls, which in turn, helps gives the look of higher ceilings. Consider installing low lying ceiling lights or recessed lights such as downlights to achieve a minimalist look and create a sense of height. Avoid chandeliers or pendant lights as that can enclose the room.
Think about positioning mirrors in a room to help bring in additional light or allow light to bounce into another area, creating the feeling of greater ceiling height or even extra depth to a room or width to an entry way. Try selecting furniture such as couches and bookcases which are shorter and not heavy looking. Avoid dark furniture and keep it neutral.
Adding a peppering of colour in the form of rugs and throws will add personality to a room, while keeping the base palette light and bright adds that much needed balance.
Henley is one of Australia’s leading home builders.
I took some great info away from the article about making the ceilings seem higher. Great tips and new perspective found there. Thanks..
That was what I was looking for! My husband and I have just bought a house and I think it was built in the 60s or something around that. The ceiling is too low for me, I was raised in the big house and probably that’s why I don’t feel comfortable now. I think we might do a reorganization and follow your recommendations. Thanks a lot!
Jen Bishop says
So glad it was helpful!