How to Create an Illusion of Height in a Small Space

A combination of lighting, picture-placement, and curtain-hanging strategies will create the illusion of height, making your room look more spacious than it is.

1. Hang the pictures in your room 2 or 3 inches (5 to 7.5 centimeters) higher than eye level to draw the eye upward.

2. Use indirect lighting to illuminate the ceiling. (A light-colored ceiling reflects light better.) Torchères and lamps with heads that can be aimed upward will allow light to hit the ceiling and bounce off, bathing the rest of the room in soft light. This creates an illusion of height, making your room seem bigger.

3. Raise the curtains. You can help create the illusion of a higher ceiling in a small room by hanging the curtains higher. Instead of placing curtain rods at the level of the window frame, install them up against the ceiling (or at the crown molding edging the ceiling, if you have it). Then hang long curtains that reach the floor. This super vertical treatment will add a sense of height to the room. Drape the curtains to hide the wall above the window or put a scrim under the curtain to hide the wall.

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