By now you already know that there's a lot you can do to boost curb appeal and stage your home to make it more appealing, and these small investments can bring in big returns in the form of a quick sale and great price. But what about the structure of your home itself? It's often too costly to make major architectural changes, but there's a lot you can do to fake it.
If your house has low ceilings – especially common in homes built from the 1950s through the 1980s – you may find that buyers balk, since today's houses are all about open floor plans and and a high, open atrium. You can't rebuild your house, but you can try some clever tricks to add some visual height to the space and make those ceilings disappear.
Add Some Color
According to basic color theory, cool colors recede, which can make your ceiling appear farther away than it actually is – perfect to add a little visual height to your space.
While painting a ceiling sky blue may be too unusual for the average buyer, you can paint your ceilings a shade of white or pale gray that has a cool cast; that is, the mix contains a few drops of blue.
Remove Dropped Ceilings
If your home has dropped ceilings, it may be worth the effort to remove this dated look to freshen up your space before selling your house – you'll gain valuable inches of head room when you do. While in some cases you can certainly remove the dropped ceiling on your own, you may need to call in a contractor to replace the drywall that was covered up. While you're at it, you may decide to add new ceiling lights for a full upgrade.
Change up the Lighting
If your low ceilings are here to stay, you might consider replacing a domed ceiling light with recessed lighting to create a smoother look and preserve every possible inch of head space up there.
To keep the room from feeling dark and claustrophobic, add extra floor and table lamps to illuminate dark corners – and leave them on before your showings. Don't forget to use the brightest bulbs your fixtures will support, unless things start to shift from bright to harsh.
Replace Window Treatments
To create more verticality in your space, look to the windows. Hang long curtains that extend from the very top of the wall all the way to the floor, which will fool the eye into thinking your windows are bigger and your walls are taller. To make this fix affordable and to let in lots of light, you may want to just move the rods up and replace existing curtains with inexpensive sheer panels.
Wall Treatments to Make the Room Seem Taller
There are many things that you can do to your walls to create the illusion of height and space. Vertical stripes, for example, can make a room seem taller by drawing the eye upward. Paint vertical stripes on your walls, or install vertical stripe wallpaper. Don't want vertical stripes on every wall? Chose an accent wall for your vertical stripes, and leave the rest of the walls in one solid color.
Another way to draw the eye upward is to install open shelves high on the walls, near the ceiling. Use them for decorative purposes only, and install attractive items that are enjoyable to see. Alternatively, you can also paint a thick horizontal stripe near the top of the wall, close to the ceiling. Like the open shelving, a horizontal stripe can draw the eye upward.
Pick the Right Furniture
If you're staging your home, consider choosing low furniture to be in proportion with your house's ceiling height. Danish modern couches and dining sets are designed to be long and lean, which makes your ceiling feel higher because your focus will be lower to the ground. You can also create long, horizontal lines by adding a single shelf and arranging artwork in a line just slightly lower than you normally would, which will create the illusion of more space above.
These tricks for making low ceiling appear higher are inexpensive investments and should be easy enough to do in a weekend or over a few afternoons. Try one or more of these tips to open prospective buyers' eyes to your home's potential and get them to fall in love in no time!
The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage
The #1 Real Estate Team in Tennessee and #2 RE/MAX team in the World!