Easiest Trick to Make Ceilings Look Taller

What can you do about raising a low ceiling without any construction? I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. I’m going to share how to make your ceiling look taller and how I used it in our master bedroom.

When did they start building homes with higher (nine feet) ceilings? Eight feet used to be the standard height, but today it’s nine feet. I’m not entirely sure when that changed, but I’m guessing within the last 10-15 years. I think if you were to ask 100 people, 95 of them would say they prefer taller ceilings. Don’t you think? Who doesn’t love a tall ceiling. Taller ceilings seem to open everything up. I am one of those that loves tall ceilings. Sadly, our current home that we moved into six months ago only has eight foot ceilings in the bedrooms.

Trick to creating a taller ceiling with vertical lines

Before I dive into how I made our ceilings look taller in our cottage style bedroom, I want to share a handful of ideas that you can use to give any ceiling a little more height.

How to make 8 ft ceilings look taller:

  • paint ceilings white
  • use very thin crown moulding
  • remove low hanging lights
  • use recessed or canned lights
  • add vertical lines on the wall or use a vertical pattern
  • raise hanging window treatments to the ceiling
  • hang fans or chandeliers close to the ceiling
  • don’t use large furniture or tall furniture

After I jotted down the above ideas on how to make our ceilings look taller, I realized our master bedroom checked off almost everything on this list but one.

Of all the elements on this list, can you guess what I did to our master bedroom to make our ceilings look taller?

Don’t mind the messy bed or terrible pics, this is real life, UNEDITED, photography folks! I didn’t want to edit the lighting for fear that it might alter how it really looks.

Before and after picture with my trick to make ceilings look taller

I added a little Sharpie shiplap (or vertical stripes). If you’ve been following along you know I’ve previously been coloring our living room walls with this! The only difference is that this time I’m using vertical lines instead of horizontal lines.

What’s the best tip to make ceilings look higher?

Add vertical lines to a wall or space. You can use wallpaper, moulding, or anything that creates vertical lines or patterns that draw your eyes up.

Just like with clothes, vertical lines create height (and make you look skinnier). Add vertical lines to the walls to give the illusion of a taller ceiling.

Just comparing the two unedited pics I feel like the vertical lines add a lot of height, don’t you?

Let’s start again with the before picture.

BEFORE I added vertical lines to make ceiling look taller

I had so many ideas of how I wanted to add a great accent wall, but none of my ideas would create a “taller ceiling.”

vertical shiplap
Vertical shiplap in cottage style bedroom
vertical shiplap makes ceilings look taller
vertical shiplap in cottage style bedroom

What do y’all think? Does my sharpie shiplap add a few inches to our ceiling? LOL.

How to make a ceiling look taller before and after picture


I’ll be sharing our cottage style bedroom makeover soon with all the sources and details. Stay tuned!

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Thanks for following along friends!


22 thoughts on “Easiest Trick to Make Ceilings Look Taller

  1. So you just draw the lines on with Sharpie? Black? How do you draw them straight? (mine would wobble, I’m afraid).

  2. The verticals lines really do create the illusion of taller walls. Lovely bedroom. BTW Google+ is disappearing in April and you should remove it from your social media buttons.

  3. Lindsey, looks great! Thanks for sharing these tips. One that really worked for me when we “refreshed” a bedroom a couple years ago was the first thing on your list: paint the ceiling white. Before the walls and ceiling were the same creamy color. I was amazed at the difference with the lighter ceiling.

  4. How clever! The stripes on the wall look great and definitely makes your eyes move upward. Well done! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  5. I think all ceilings should be white, I’m so glad the trend of non-white ceilings is over. Whenever we do a job and a customer wants a non-white ceiling… we actually charge them more! Because most of the time we end up having to paint it white later because they feel like it makes the ceiling feel too low!

    1. I think they should all be a light color too, unless the ceiling is super tall then they might be able to get away with a darker color. Thanks for stopping by!

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