What is the Vertical Decorating Technique? Maximizing the Height of Your Room

Vertical Decorating Technique

A reminder to look up, the ‘vertical decorating technique’ is the practice of using strategic design methods to make a space appear taller. Using furniture, draperies, mirrors, and other decor, you can draw the eye upward and create the illusion of height in any room. Particularly in small spaces, this technique can do wonders to make your home feel more grand.

Here are some of our favorite ways to use the vertical decorating technique.


Use Floor-to-Ceiling Draperies

The way you hang your draperies can have a big impact on the appearance of your ceiling height. Instead of hanging them level with the top of your window frame, try hanging them all the way up to the ceiling. This will give the illusion of added height, making your room look bigger than it actually is. When choosing draperies for this purpose, it’s best to select a fabric that is lightweight and airy as this will help keep the material from overwhelming the space. Using bright colored drapes can further attract the eye, making your room look even taller.

Emphasize Vertical Lines 

Another visual trick is to use furniture and wallcoverings with vertically-oriented lines or patterns. While using upholstery or wallpaper with vertical stripes is the easiest way to integrate vertical lines into your space, you can also do so with furniture like this bookcase, which features a gold vertical line through its center where the doors open. Coupled with the verticality of the window frame, this piece succeeds in drawing the eye upwards. The large vase and arrangement at the top also give you something to look at that is above eye level.

oriental inspired living room
Low slung furniture

Choose Low-Slung Furniture

While it seems contradictory, another method of making a space feel taller is to choose furniture that is low to the ground. Instead of bulky couches that take up a lot of room, low profile sofas can make the walls appear larger. You can then add a large vertical work of art or tall, slim mirror above the sofa to further create the illusion of height in the room.

Use a Four-Poster Bed

To maximize height in a bedroom, we recommend using a four-poster bed, like the one pictured. Open posts draw the eye upwards and emphasize the air space. Plus, who doesn’t love a four-poster bed? They’re classic and beautiful, especially in a traditional or transitional home. If you don’t have a four-poster bed, you can also substitute them with an oversized headboard to draw the eye upwards.

Four Poster Bed
Book Cases

Arrange Books Vertically

Finally, you can use books to bring some easy verticality to your home decor. This trick works best if your books are all in the same color scheme as it will have a greater impact in drawing the eye. All you need to do is fill the shelves of a tall bookcase with books leaned against one another tightly. With a few well placed books, you can add height and drama to your walls without having to purchase a new piece of furniture or upholstery.

Creating a Larger-than-Life Look

Creating the illusion of a larger space can be accomplished through a variety of means, from using light colors on walls and furnishings to keeping furniture low and horizontal. The most important thing to remember when using the vertical decorating technique is to eliminate clutter and accentuate a feeling of sleekness and space. If you need any advice on how to make your rooms feel more expansive, please get in touch with our team of interior designers today.

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