Decorating Tips

Low ceilings in your basement? Try these solutions

If you have low ceilings in a room, you know that it can be a challenge to make the room look big and full of light. Basements tend to feel like caves because in reality, they are. Natural light adds so much to a room.

I don’t have a basement, BUT my office is for all purposes the same as a basement. It has a low ceiling because it’s in the middle of a warehouse with no natural light. It recently flooded so I’m going to take this opportunity to redecorate it.

If you have a room with low ceilings and not much (or any) natural light, here are seven tricks that might help your basement to look and feel less like a basement.

1. Paint The Walls and The Ceiling One Color

If the walls are the same color as the ceiling it can make the space feel larger and more open.

2. Use A Light Colored Paint

Since there isn’t much natural light, use light colors on the walls and ceiling. I have seen many basement spaces that are dark colors, like the one below. This is appropriate if you want a media room, or a space that feels dark and enclosed on purpose. If you don’t stick with whites, cream (warm tone) or pale grey (cooler tone).

basement paint colors
Dark Walled Basement
light walled basement
Light walled basement

3. Use Light Fixtures That Bounce Light Off the Ceiling

If your ceilings are light colored AND you have a lights that bounce off the ceiling, it makes the space feel lighter. You can use lamps that point light up or wall fixtures like sconces.

4. Use Mirrors

Mirrors are great for any dark room because they allow your eye multiply light and space. You don’t need to have a full wall of mirrors, but using a few on a wall can really make your space feel bigger.

basement with mirrors

5. Use Unusual Lights That Aren’t All Can Lights

Lighting in small dark places is the most important thing you can do. If you can afford it, don’t just use lights in the ceiling. Try to add multiple other light sources like scones, lamps and pendants (if they fit). Every room should have three light sources, and the basement needs it even more.

basement lighting

6. Use Furnishings That Go Floor to Ceiling

Getting a piece of furniture that goes all the way from the floor to the ceiling can draw the eye up so the room feels taller. This can often mean making something that is custom or doing an IKEA hack to add some height to bookshelves. If you are thinking about doing your own custom bookshelves, check out this guide to help you plan them.

basement floor to ceiling height

7. Use Tall Plants

Tall plants, like the one in the photo above, give the eye a reason to travel up. Real plants won’t work in a basement, but there are some really affordable faux trees.

If you are thinking about renovating your basement, try using a few of these tips to make it look more light and roomy. These tips can also work in a space with low ceilings and no natural light.

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3 Comments

  1. I am glad I don’t have a basement, but if I did, I would sure want it to look like some of these! Great tips!

  2. Wonderful ideas Andrea! I’m going to remember these when it’s finally time to do something with our cave of a basement! I’m so sorry you had a flood, but like Mary, I can’t wait to see what it’s like after your refresh. Good luck and take care over there!

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