designer - Marina Shektman;
Design Studio M
Ceiling Design Tips
Many large rooms with high ceilings in apartment
buildings have been divided into smaller rooms, creating awkward
proportions. Rooms feel most comfortable when they are squares or fat
rectangles. A tall ceiling in a small space makes you feel as though you're
in an elevator shaft.
Ceiling ornamentation that borders the ceiling
trim - strong architectural detail that draws the eye down from the ceiling.
- Painting your ceiling a darker color also has the effect of bringing the
- Blue ceiling because of their association with sky,
will always make you feel as though you are looking up to infinity. Painting
clouds on the ceiling evokes the ancient Chinese meaning of wisdom and
- Chinese silver or gold-leaf rice paper installed in
squares in a small for small room warms the ceiling so it shines like the
sun to warm you emotionally.
- There's nothing more effective in bringing a ceiling down than a shimmering
brass chandeliers or
lanterns. In a small room with a
fourteen-foot ceiling, chandelier can became the sky, the sunset, and the spirit of place.
Some ceilings feel oppressively low, especially to tall people, to people
accustomed to being outdoors, or to those living in older, classical
- By painting all the ceilings a soft glaze of blues and white,
an Impressionist cloud illusion, joy will feel lifted up, expansive, and cheered.
- By keeping the height of the furniture low, the ceiling appears higher.
In the eighteenth century, small rooms with low ceiling were easier to heat.
The same applies today. New England has severe winters, and heating bills are
high enough. Small rooms with low ceiling in old houses have an exclusive charm
and atmosphere. Built to accommodate the local climate, these small rooms make
you feel cozy, not cramped. Even for tall people, these small rooms seem
inviting when the colors are cheerful, there's good lighting, and the taste and
style reflect the owner.
There are several architectural elements that
create vertical "orders" on the walls and help add height to a low-ceilinged space.
- Pediments and
pilasters will bring your eye upward creating illusion of ceiling height.
Just as a crown molding can bring a high ceiling down visually because of its
architectural projection, a substantial crown molding can also draw the
eye to the height of the room. Keep in mind the eye wants to be pleased by
- By adding attractive details that enhance the scale and proportion, you are satisfying the eye.
To literally gain height in a room, in some cases it is possible to cut out a ceiling, opening up your
room to the roof height. This way you may also gain another window from the
attic. The "great rooms" that now omit formal living rooms incorporate the idea of openness and light.