Design Recipes: How to take a room to new heights


Whether a room or space has low, typical-height or extra-high ceilings, a number of design tricks can help to maximize a space’s height. Height adds a lot to a room – it can make a space feel more open as well as add a sense of spaciousness. Looking for tips? Here are some top designer hacks.


1. Add mirrors. Mirrors hung vertically or in a series can add instant height to a space.

2. Add an architectural feature such as an oversized window.

3. Place artwork vertically. Horizontal artwork can help make a room feel bigger, while art placed vertically can help make a space feel taller.

4. Use light or neutral colors in a space. Light colors can make a space feel larger.

5. Add ceiling recessed lighting when possible, as lighter spaces automatically feel bigger.


1. Paint ceilings – it will reduce a room’s height.

2. Use dark or overly dark colors in a space, as it will make a room feel smaller.

3. Use large or bold patterns; they will close in a space.

4. Overstuff a space with furniture. A crowded space will feel smaller.

5. Use elements in a space that are too tall, like oversized trees or lights, which will also close in a space.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> or visit her website at <>.

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