HOW TO MAKE LOW CEILINGS APPEAR HIGHER: our unique approach
When we started working on this old house located in Bellevue, WA, one of the trickiest problems to address, was the low ceiling. This is a very common problem in mid century homes of the Pacific Northwest. You can install new cabinets (which we did), you can optimize the layout of the kitchen (we did this too), and you can even add or move windows and doors (yep, this was done here as well) but what you can’t do is add height to the ceiling. So, what did we do? We dropped the ceiling even more! Yes, just a little bit.
This unusual move gave us an opportunity to solve these two issues:
We dropped portions of the ceiling strategically around the main floor, which allowed us to insert white reflective stretched ceiling panels in the formed cavities. This immediately made a huge difference in perception of the space, making the low ceilings appear higher. Not only the ceiling looked much taller, but the amount of light in the room significantly increased because of the light reflective ceiling material.
The client wanted to open up the first floor. We removed the wall that separated the kitchen and the living room. But, this created another challenge: we were left with a large area of low, dull ceiling. Dropping the ceiling and introducing the stretched material created implicitly defined zones that added subtle definition and dimension to each area.
Take a look at the before, during and after pictures: