Making ceilings soar

Interesting rugs help draw the eye low in the room. Auslini five-by-eight foot hide rug, $400.

There was a time when eight-foot ceilings were considered the norm in apartments, condos and townhouses.

Over the last 10 years, many newer homes include soaring ceilings to make up for the smaller footprints of space being offered. But if you’re dealing with eight-foot ceilings don’t despair; there are some designer tips to help make those daunting lower ceilings rise up to the occasion, in a stylish, modern way.

Paint

I have always subscribed to the old rule that ceilings should be white, and this idea holds even truer when ceilings are lower. A light ceiling will reflect light and draw the eye upward rather than bring the ceiling down in to the room. A slight sheen to your paint will make small spaces with low ceilings look larger by reflecting and bouncing light around.

When choosing colours for the entire room, it’s always best to create a monochromatic scheme, keeping ceilings lighter.

Window treatments

A vertical blind or drapery panels create tall lines in a room and stretch your view upwards. Tall, vertical patterns on draperies will help make the ceilings look higher. Draperies should be within the same colour as the colour of the walls to create a monochromatic colour scheme while still drawing the eye upward.

Furnishings

Keep chairs and sofa heights to a maximum of 36 inches in height in order to create a low-slung, lounge effect; the lower we sit to the ground the higher the ceilings will appear. This rule holds even more true when choosing a bed and night tables. Keep area rugs colourful and dramatic in order to draw the eye down and away from the ceiling. Tall, floor standing mirrors are a great accessory and can help guide the eye upward (plus the mirror visually enlarges a room).

Mouldings and trims

Paint baseboards, door frames, interior doors and crown moulding the same colour and tone as the walls to create a contemporary and simple vibe; plus you add a few extra inches of visual wall height to the room with just the one colour.

Artwork

Lowering all your artwork a few inches from the norm (the middle of the artwork should be 68 to 70 inches off the floor). This will create a greater distance from the top of the art to the ceiling, therefore suggesting the ceilings are a bit taller. This is a great trick in lower levels and basements, too.

Light fixtures

The bottom of a chandelier or swagged lamp should be hung three to four inches higher than average over an eating table. The bottom should normally be 30 inches from table to bottom of fixture, so raise it to about 34 inches and it will visually help to push your ceilings up. Considering the height restrictions, consider a semi-flush light fixture rather than a hanging fixture; they can be just as decorative and yet are not made to hang low into a room (see top left).

Got a design dilemma? Email your question and a photo to: home@metronews.ca. For daily design advice, follow @KarlLohnes on Twitter.




News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.