Raise the Roof Saturday, October 04 2014

Soooo…I’ve got this client who wished they had twelve foot ceilings, but alas.  Their new Pacific Palisades home has a lower ceiling than they’d prefer.  But, their designer is never daunted by a design challenge, so I’ve been brainstorming how to give them the fabulous home they always wanted (as I do) without  major remodeling.  And I thought some of you awesome blossoms out there might have a similar conundrum.

Eeek!  What to do?  Lots of things!  Here is a list of a few low ceiling remedies that will help maximize your ceiling height…at least for your eyeballs. 

1)  If it’s really low…like here:

Just go with it.  How completely inviting and cozy is this room?  Paint all the walls, floor, and ceilings the same color and throw a sexy futon with Moroccan wedding blankets on the floor.  I would love to be locked in that room for a week with a stack of poetry books and a guitar.  Rock it like you lowered the ceiling on purpose.   Shoot…I meant to do that.

2)  Hang large scale vertical oriented art.  Preferably in pairs or threes.  Force the eye to travel up and down.  It creates length visually. 

You ask, “Like this, Jamie?”

And, I’m like, “Nice try!  But not so much”

Check out this art installation I had commissioned for my clients lower level media room with lower ceilings. 

She’s hilarious, so we’re generally laughing that much when seen together.  But check the space:  we’ve got frameless art the same background as the walls.  We’ve got really low slung sofas, and extra tall sliding doors.  The space feels nothing like cramped.  It’s inviting and comfortable for her family of giants.  Seriously, they’re all giants.

3)  Focus on the floor

Make a big visual impact with the rug, and then the eye won't notice that the low ceilings force it down.  It’ll be delighted to rest there.  Go bold!  Go colorful!  Big Prints are the key!

4) Ironically, the taller the headboard the better. 

Again, anything that can make the eye travel in a vertical motion is key.  Tall headboards are the easiest way to have the eye travel thusly, making the ceiling seem further from the ground.  Look at these gorgeous examples:

Sidenote:  This last one is seriously the bedroom of the week.  The end tables are gold leaf perfection and available here (link).

See how all of the headboards veritably brush the low ceilings and yet no one is turned off by any of the architecture of these spaces?   

5) Use long tall design accents.  Tall thin trees, sculptures, and other design accents help to lengthen the walls. 

I know right?  Completely obsessable sculpture by Tomohiro Inaba.  It’s called Legs.  I’m smitten.

6) Use uplighting. 

By now that you get anything that can force the eye to travel north is the trick.  Light certainly does that as well.  Triple whammy here is the tall tree in the corner, the very thin and tall lamp, and the light said lamp shoots upward.

Let me know if you’ve got any other tricky situations.  I can probably help.  Holla at your girl by leaving a comment here.  Maybe I’ll do a blog post about it.

Low Five,

Jamie