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Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

May 15, 2017
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When most of us Singaporeans are used to a stumpy 2.8m ceiling height (blame space-efficient HDBs); anything above 3 meters is a cause for much celebration and showing off.

Sure, a lofty ceiling can bring instant spaciousness and class to any home - but what should you do to play it up to perfection? We ask designer John from Neu Konceptz for some insider tips on designing a home with high ceilings.


On Walls

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: The Design Abode
Location: Neil Road

It’s basic math (or science) - higher ceilings mean longer wall lengths. However, this additional space can make your home look under-dressed and imbalanced if left blank. Here are 3 ways to populate these walls.

Here’s What You Can Do:

1. Build Carpentry All The Way Up

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Architect: Studio JP
Location: Hacienda

John (J): If you’re concerned that your space would look broken with a cabinet or shelving unit stopping at a 2.5 - 3 meter height, go bold with built-ins that climb up to the ceiling. Whether it’s a TV console or bookshelf, this adds detail and doubles as a focal point for the viewer. Plus, it also creates additional storage points.

2. Hang Paintings or Other Wall Decor

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: The Scientist
Location: Eastwood Green

(J): Another simple way is by adding artworks to provide some visual mass to the underused space. You can go for one huge statement piece that takes up most of the wall’s height, wall mounted decor or multiple hanging frames for a gallery wall.

3. Create A Textured Feature Wall

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: Co. Prozfile Design
Location: East Coast Residence

(J): Four plain walls surrounding a high-ceilinged space can feel sparse and clinical. Implementing a feature wall using different textures or patterns can bring variety and help viewers draw focus to a space.

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Architect: 7 Interior Architecture
Location: 20 Toh Heights

(J): Depending on your style, materials like brick, granite, marble or wallpaper are good choices, as they can be installed up with no breaks. One major challenge for high ceilings is that wall materials (like laminates) don’t often come in long pieces. That means designers often have to work on piecing each slab together so that the overall pattern doesn’t look broken.


On Lights

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: Interior Doctor
Location: Miltonia Residences

Unless your space has ample windows to let sunlight in, a taller, enclosed room is going to look much darker than your usual HDB - especially at the top. That doesn’t mean you should start littering your space with as much lighting fixtures as possible! What you need is smart strategies to angling or choosing your lights.

Here’s What You Can Do:

1. Get A Higher-Watt Light Fixture...

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Architect: Aamer Architects
Location: Siglap Plain

(J): Especially for spotlights or downlights, houses with higher ceilings often use bulbs with a higher wattage (e.g. 100W), as they give off a brighter light that can shine down from a higher point.

2. And Make It Dimmable

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: Architology Interiors
Location: Jalan Chempedak

(J): Of course, a higher wattage means more electricity used as well! If you’re worried about skyrocketing bills, remember to get a dimmer switch so you can adjust the brightness of your home accordingly (and save energy).

3. Install Cove Lights

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: erstudio
Location: Jalan Singa

(J): Place recessed lighting within your carpentry or false ceilings to make those features pop and glow as your eyes wander up the space. It also helps to illuminate light up towards the ceiling.

4. Go For Large Hanging Lights

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: The Scientist
Location: Twin Waterfalls

(J): Otherwise, another option is installing huge, statement-making lamps that shine as much as its size. Chandeliers are one such example, but they only fit certain themes like traditional or classic interiors. You can try going for modern alternatives made of wood, glass or fabric.

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: Neu Konceptz
Location: Penaga Place


On Furniture

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: Cad Associates
Location: Swiss Club Road

Don’t say we didn’t warn you; it’s a whole different ball game when it comes to designing a house with higher ceilings. Think upsized - a loftier space needs bigger furniture in order to match the scale of the house.

Here’s What You Can Do:

1. Buy A Few Big Furniture Pieces

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: Architology Interiors
Location: Jalan Chempedak

(J): To make up for vertical spaciousness, larger furniture is needed to ground and provide weight to the space below. However - seek balance with everything. Consider your house’s square footage, and only choose certain objects, like your sofa or coffee table to be significantly larger. You can’t have everything huge - you would have no space to walk!


On Making Your Tall Ceiling Look... Not So High

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Architect: EZRA Architects
Location: Coastal Breeze Apartment

Okay, high ceilings are nice, but not so nice they are giving you vertigo from its cathedral-like confines. Sometimes, you just need to lower down those soaring heights a little - or at least trick your eyes to thinking it.

Here’s What You Can Do:

1. Install Hanging Beams

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: Asolidplan
Location: Eng Hoon Road

(J): The large chunks of wood help to give off an illusion of lower height, as they visually block off the remaining ceiling space on top of it.

2. Get A Trellis

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Architect: Aamer Architects
Location: Jalan Remis

(J): Not just for gardens, another sleeker, less heavy option is using a trellis to recreate the same illusion. The thin beams help to break up a high ceiling run, but the gaps in between still allow a hint of the high ceiling to be seen through.


Other Things You Should Look Out For

Think living with a high ceiling feels slightly different? That’s because it actually is. While these factors below might not be obvious at first glance, they can still impact your day-to-day life.

Sounds

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: The Scientist
Location: Eastwood Green

If you haven’t heard, taller, larger homes with ample empty space allow sound waves to bounce around more, leading to reverberating echoes which can get annoying. How do you fix that? Simple - fill up your house with furniture, wall hangings and top it off with a noise-reducing accents like carpets.

Air-Conditioning

Help! My House... Has High Ceilings

Interior Designer: Collective Design
Location: Azure @ Sentosa

Surprise, lofty spaces actually cost more and take longer to cool down using an air-conditioner. Why? More air volume. One way to tackle this problem is by installing a hanging ceiling fan that helps to circulate the air, so that it is cool enough for the air-conditioning system to efficiently work its magic.


Check out Neu Konceptz profile here.

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