Plays tricks on the eye to make tiny rooms feel more spacious – One of the interesting things that tall ceilings does is lead your eye upwards. It can fool your senses by making a space look bigger even though the square footage might not be. You’ll see (and feel) this effect every time you enter a tiny apartment with very high ceilings. On the other hand, you will also come across apartments that are double the size (or larger than 1,000 sqft) that somehow make you feel claustrophobic even though there’s a ton of room to move around. The problem with a lot of the larger spaces that are being built these days is that ceilings heights are going lower and lower. The minimum should be 8 feet, but some developers drop their ceilings even further to accommodate pot lights or sprinker systems (rather than drilling them into the concrete as they should) bringing down certain parts of the house – like the kitchen – down to 7 feet. And it doesn’t feel impressive or grand the way a smaller apartment with soaring ceilings does. I made the mistake of buying an apartment with 8 ft and 7 ft ceilings and when I tried to sell it I really had difficulty doing so and the property sat on the market for quite a while as it made the space feel dark and cramped despite the floor to ceiling windows. While 2 places that I lived in that had 9 and 10 feet ceilings took a few weeks and one day to sell, respectively. Such is the power of ceilings height that it can be awe-inspiring to people and makes any space look much more roomy and expansive.
2. Allows for taller (or more) windows which lets in more light & more air – When you have higher ceilings, there’s more room to incorporate larger windows (except if your room is located in a basement, which means you can only have narrow or skinny windows at the top half of your living space). And when you have larger windows more sunlight can come through, which means that it will be easier to heat your room during those cold winter months. And once it gets hot, it will be easier to cool your room during warm summer months as a greater volume of air can pass through, making it unnecessary to rely on mechanical aids (air-conditioning electric fans, heaters,) to regulate room temperature. However, do take note that taller ceilings can sometimes lead to higher electricity or gas bills as there will be a larger volume of space to heat and cool. This happens mostly in older homes which are poorly insulated, have improper ducting and have drafty doors and windows. Newer homes where the higher ceilings have been taken into account don’t necessarily generate higher energy bills, as the greater volume of space has been taken into account and calculated into the engineering plan. In addition, sunlight exposure has been taken into account so the orientation of the house, window placement and insulation have also been optimized to make the home energy-star rated.
3. Allows you to decorate more simply as the view outside becomes the main attraction – One of the great things about houses with tall ceilings (and windows) is that you don’t have to use a lot of visual trickery to make your space visually attractive. There’s no need to put too many decorative objects on table surfaces, in corners or even from the ceiling. The view becomes the star of the show, which means that whatever people see on the outside from within the house has to be carefully taken into account. If you have a hedge or a garden, this means taking care of these so that you have a pleasant view of greenery whenever you look out your window. If you have a view of a body of water or the beach then your eye can soak it all in and enjoy the scenery. In fact, some people choose (or reject) a space based entirely on what they see, which is why having another tall building where you can see into your neighbour’s living room isn’t very appealing to a lot of people because they can also see into your home (which doesn’t make it feel as private as when you have clear uninterrupted views of nature, the water or the big blue sky) so keep that in mind when you buy property. You can also decorate much more simply, except your furniture and accessories also have to be higher quality. When you have a top notch view, you have to have top notch furniture to complement that view. If you don’t know good from bad, you may want to hire a professional designer with a discerning eye to tell you which is which.
4. Provides more room for some interesting design features – If there’s one thing that tall ceilings can give you is the ability to do some really cool and interesting things. While large spaces give you the benefit of room to move around and do things, tall ceilings add drama to any space. You can build custom floor to ceilings shelves like the one pictured below or hang beautiful light fixtures like sparkly chandeliers or mobile sculptures when you have the benefit of tall ceilings. Pendant light fixtures can actually be works of art in themselves, especially if they’re one of a kind. In fact, you can check out your favourite hotels or restaurants to see what types of light fixtures they use and ask the manager or owner if they can identify them. If they don’t know simply take pictures and then go to your local lighting importer to see if they can bring in the exact same fixture that you like and hang it up for you. Italian companies like Artemide or American ones like RH are a good place to start. Ylighting is another place to find light fixtures from all over the world. People like to be moved by beautiful objects and when you have a tall ceilings make sure to utilize that advantage to incorporate something inspiring or dramatic at least. Again if you’re not sure how to choose a light fixture that suits your space, make sure to call someone who can help.
5. Improves functionality by allowing you to do (and have) more space to do things – When you have tall ceilings, you have the power to do what occupants of low ceilings can’t: which is to build upwards. Lacking enough bedrooms to accommodate more human beings (or even pets)? Build upwards. When you have ceilings that go up to 16 feet or more, you can add a loft over the kitchen typically where you can create a separate bedroom for yourself (or a second person). And then you have the bonus of adding some drama as you can peer over your ‘bedroom’ at the living room space below, which certainly adds an interesting dimension to anyone’s existence. I grew up in a split level house so our “second floor” wasn’t actually real. It was simply elevated 3 feet from the ground. In the case of a apartment with 16 foot high ceilings, you can have a true second floor by building a loft bedroom. Not only that you can also build some cool and interesting things like a bookcase that spans the entire height of your living room and then you can use a ladder with wheels that moves sideways on a fixed track so that you can reach for any book that you need. And you can fill the wall where your sofa is cloest to with more art that goes to the ceiling almost. And you can even install in some nice thicker-than usual crown moulding to add some interesting visual detail. There’s so much you can do especially since you have more real estate to do it with.