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Easiest Trick to Make Ceilings Look Taller

What can you do about raising a low ceiling without any construction? Ever thought about how to make ceilings look higher? I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. I’m going to share how to make ceilings look taller with a few low ceiling design tricks.

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

What if you could trick your eyes into making a low ceiling look higher with just an illusion? Well guess what? You can!

I want to share a handful of ideas that you can use to give any ceiling a little more height.

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How to make ceilings look higher

  • 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 which one I chose for our master bedroom?

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

This is our finished cottage style master bedroom. I love how it looks now! My husband always complained that when he walked into the room he almost felt claustrophobic. The room has an odd shape with the corner windows and wide but narrow layout. I really think that the vertical lines on the wall helped create a more open look to the room.

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

Adding the corner curtains around the windows also helped draw your eyes up and open up the space.

vertical shiplap in cottage style bedroom

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

How to make a ceiling look taller before and after picture


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  1. Kelly says:

    I truly enjoyed this narrative! I can’t wait to complete in my home !

  2. […] and Recycle has a simple but crafty way to make her bedroom ceilings look taller. Plus she has a few other ideas for achieving the same […]

  3. Good tips! Your faux shiplap looks great!!

  4. Emily says:

    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!

  5. What a great tip, thank you for sharing. I invite you to share your lovely blog at the TFT link party. You can link up from Thursday to Saturday. Hugs!

  6. Menaka M says:

    great ideas, would surely need to read more of your blog. Thanks for joining Bloggers Pit Stop – Pit Stop Crew

  7. Marci says:

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

  8. Hillary says:

    Great tips! And I never in a million years would have guessed that’s “sharpie shiplap” – you did an incredible job! So clever.

  9. Kippi says:

    The before and after is amazing. I would never have thought it would be that dramatic of a change. Happy Spring, Kippi #kippiathome

  10. These are great tips! I think this room looks cozy!

  11. So funny…I thought it was real shiplap at first! What a cool trick and yes I think it does make them look taller. Saw your post at the beautifully made party:)

  12. Kristie says:

    That was a great idea. I could use taller ceilings in my house.

  13. 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.

  14. Carol says:

    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.

  15. Amy Giannini says:

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