Many basements are designed with a lower ceiling height, which makes it difficult to create a comfortable living space out of it. Older homes were designed and built to utilize the basement as a storage area. A low-ceiling basement design makes the whole area look dark and dingy.

Fortunately, you can still be a little creative to make a basement with a low ceiling look higher. With the right different ceiling types and design tweaks, you can upgrade your basement. Here are few ideas to improve your low-ceiling basement:

Go for White Walls and Ceilings

One helpful hack you can try is to paint it all white! Whichever type of ceiling you choose, consider neutral colors like white or off-white to brighten the space. Unlike light paint colors, dark colors can visually shrink your space. White ceilings add more brightness to the room and give the illusion that the area is bigger and brighter. From walls to pipes and ductwork, make sure to apply a coat of fresh white paint.

Use the Right Lighting Fixtures

A good lighting design can easily make the ceiling look much higher. Recessed fixtures, pot lights, and accent light create a very bright and welcoming atmosphere. As much as possible, avoid wall sconces, pendant lighting, and lamps that cast space-crunching shadows. Rearrange your lighting around the basement to see what works best. 

Optimize Windows

Basements are known to be dark and gloomy places. Illuminate the space by optimizing your windows. Consider sliding or awning windows to let in natural light and ventilation without sacrificing privacy. Moreover, your basement should have at least one egress window serving as an emergency escape and rescue opening.

Smaller Furniture

Scale your furniture to fit the size of your basement. Purchase smaller couches and chairs to create the illusion that there is more ceiling height. Standard and bulky pieces of furniture are not suitable for low-ceiling basements because they take up too much space. Instead, pick folding tables and chairs that you can easily tuck away when not in use. 

Vertical Wall Décor

When decorating your basement, include some vertical lines to visually lift the space and draw the eye upwards. Vertical stripes trick the eyes into seeing a bigger space and making the ceilings look higher. Hang the curtains all the way to the ceiling, add patterned wallpaper, and paint stripes on your basement wall.

Use Mirrors

Mirrors give the illusion of depth and help bounce more light across the room. To make your basement more open, place an oversized mirror just below the edge of the ceiling so that the eye is not immediately drawn to the low ceiling height.

Basement Floor Underpinning or Benching

Underpinning and basement are two techniques that can help create more space in your basement by digging down to create a bench-like structure around your foundation floor. When you excavate your basement floor, you create new walls and additional ceiling height in your basement.

Hire professional basement remodelers because these methods put your house at risk of collapsing. Some of the factors to be considered are the soil conditions, sewage system, and your allotted budget.

Relocate HVAC Beams and Ducts

Support beams, ducts, and pipes in your basement affect the ceiling height. You can reroute the ducts altogether to the outer wall. By removing all the ductwork passages that obstruct the main floor space, you will have more livable space. 

Skip the Subflooring

Most subfloors take up an extra inch or two of your floor spaces. If you have a basement with a low ceiling, skip the plywood subfloor and choose engineered wood, painted concrete, and ceramic tile instead. These types of flooring can be installed without a subfloor while providing a cozy space downstairs.

Maximize Your Basement Space With Our Help

These are just some of the design tips to improve your basement’s ceiling height. A trusted basement remodeling expert can ensure you are getting the most out of your space. At Pittsburgh Basement Remodeling, we are here to transform your basement into another bedroom, man cave, game room, bar area, or anything you want it to be. Give us a call to schedule an appointment!