In our previous post we discussed how a high ceiling can make a huge difference in making a small space feeling larger. But here in Hong Kong we don’t all have the luxury of a double height ceiling. Luckily there are subtle ways that can help. Here are 5 tips to make small spaces taller

Tip 1: Choose low-rise furniture with exposed legs

When I first came to HK, I always thought it was odd that the sofas, console tables, and beds were often so low to the ground while walking around furniture stores (Muji, a personal favourite). But it makes perfect sense. At home we mostly sit and the lower to the ground we are, the higher the ceiling will feel. Exposing the legs will help your furniture lighten their overall volume.

Sofa Image via Muji

Muji

Tip 2: Paint the ceiling white or a lighter color than your walls

Its important you paint your ceiling down to the top edges of the walls too. This automatically creates a ‘heightened’ effect. It is pretty cheap to buy a can of paint and your landlord won’t even notice the change! If you have a wall crown plate on top, paint it the same color as your ceiling.

Tip 3: Consider your curtains carefully

Hang your curtains about 4-6 inches above the top of your windows. This will instantly create the illusion of height. If you have window shades, tack on curtain treatments wider than the window, tricking the eye into thinking its really wide. Consider only thin vertical patterns or a detail on the top of your curtains (very important for those with the dreaded HK windowsill). White or light pastel colors are recommended for super small spaces. This may seem like a hassle, but 1 hour of doing this will give you at least a years worth of visual splendor.

red curtains

Houzz

Tip 4: Vertical mirrors

They reflect light which heightens the home. Don’t place it directly opposite to where you sleep/sit because its bad Feng Shui. Of course we recommend storage behind the mirror!

Tip 5: Statement framed artwork and pictures placed high. 

Gallery walls are trendy, but will add visual clutter in a small space (same goes for furniture). One large piece defines the space more. A good rule of thumb is to measure your wall and measure your artwork. The frame should be in proportion with your artwork. Consider the artwork and the emotion you want it to evoke. Do be careful for loud artwork as it can crowd the space. Cool thing with picture frames, you don’t even have to hammer a nail into your walls anymore, 3M has some strong removable adhesives just made for picture frames.

Large painting in living room

Martha Stewart

Hope these tips will have enhanced your ceiling height!

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