Small rooms can appear larger if the ceilings are high or if you have a vaulted ceiling. Changing the ceiling height is not usually an option, however, when you’re trying to create that spacious feeling in an existing room. Not to worry — stretch the distance between your ceiling and floor with a few design tricks. Does this Spark an idea?
Hang floor-length drapes at the ceiling line instead of just above the window to make windows taller and ceilings appear higher.
Hang window blinds at the ceiling height. The newest blind trends that draw the eye upward include natural-fiber Roman shades and fabric blinds that contrast with the wall color.
Cover drapery hardware with a large, deep cornice made of lightweight wood and covered with batting and coordinating drapery fabric. Make the cornice deep enough to allow the hardware to work smoothly; allow for a width sufficient to cover the drapes on each side of the window. A cornice that covers the wall from the ceiling to the top of the window offers the maximum effect of vertical lines.
Let the drapery fabric pile onto the floor to give the sense of weight to the floor, making it appear farther away from the ceiling.
Use vertical patterns for drapery. Bold stripes give you the most striking illusion of height, but even subtle patterns of similar colors -- a pale blue pattern on pale blue fabric, for example -- offer a sense of additional height. Avoid horizontal patterns.
Paint a white ceiling a different color to draw the eye upward. Blue colors give a sense of being outdoors and offer a sense of vastness. If the floors are light-colored wood or carpet, dark ceilings draw the eye upward, elongating the space.
Paint vertical stripes on the walls. Again, the stripes can be bold or subtle. Make tone-on-tone stripes by using a semi-gloss paint and a flat paint of the same color in alternating stripes.
Paint one large color panel on a wall. Pick a color that works as the backdrop to one or several pieces of art. Design the panel to be as narrow as three feet or as wide as five or six feet. Stretch the panel from ceiling to floor, or tape it off and paint it as a rectangular box — positioned vertically, of course.