Designer Tricks to Make Your Mobile Home Ceilings Appear Taller

Mobile Home Community
Marje / Getty Images

Most older mobile homes have a standard 7 foot high ceilings. While this serves as a cozy atmosphere, it can be a major décor challenge if you want your home to feel larger and more spacious.

Interior designers often use a crafty mixture of trickery and illusion to change a room's appearance when remodeling or structural change is not possible. They also have a bag of tricks to make a low ceiling appear taller. Here are a few of those tricks.

  • 01 of 13

    Vertical Wall Panels

    vertical wall panels
    A.T. White

    There's a reason wood paneling was popular for so long. The vertical lines trick the eye into looking down at the floor or up toward the ceiling.

    If your mobile home has wood paneling and you want to update it without losing the eye-drawing effect use a light paint color. While it's fine to remove the battens that cover the adjoining seams and tape or caulk them, don't fill in or cover the other lines made into the paneling. The more vertical aspects you have on a wall, the better.

    Wallpaper and decals are another great way to add vertical lines to your room.

  • 02 of 13

    High Gloss White Ceiling Paint

    gloss paint on ceiling
    Biwa Studio

    Apartment Therapy states that glossy ceiling paint adds a reflective sheen to the surface and helps it seem taller.

    However, another blog states that matte ceiling paint is better for low ceilings because it helps the surface disappear. Personally, I think the high gloss makes a bit more sense, but you may want to test both to see which works best for your home. 

  • 03 of 13


    A door opening
    David Samuel Robbins

    Mobile homes often have odd door sizes that are shorter and more narrow than a site built home. This is the case for both interior and exterior doorways.

    If you have room to add a taller and wider door, you may find that it creates the illusion of a bigger space and makes the home seem more like a site built structure. 

  • 04 of 13

    Art and Photo Groupings

    Go vertical with wall decor
    Jeremy Samuelson

    Art, photos, and another wall décor can add height to your room if it extends toward the ceiling. You want an arrangement that is tall and narrow. 

    Grouping several small objects together in a vertical fashion works great to take the eye up. 

    Continue to 5 of 13 below.
  • 05 of 13

    Chandeliers or Hanging Lights

    Ceiling lights should be close to the ceiling
    Paul Viant

    Professional designers recommend that ceiling lights are flush and the use of ceiling fans be avoided for low ceilings.

    Since we know that ceiling fans are a great way to help circulate the air in a mobile home, find a fan that doesn't hang down very far from the ceiling.

  • 06 of 13


    Hanging curtains close to the ceiling

    Curtains can help make your low ceilings seem taller if you hang them close to the ceiling.

    Interior design experts advise that curtains should be hung no less than two inches from ceiling or wall trim. They also advise that the curtain rods be out of sight or as minimal as possible.

  • 07 of 13

    Narrow Trim

    Narrow wall molding
    Don Klumpp

    Wide trim can make a ceiling seem lower than it is. While trim is a great way to add detail to a room, choosing narrow trim works best for low ceilings so that it room doesn't appear top-heavy.

  • 08 of 13

    Chair Railing

    Chair railing
    Todd Pearson

    Chair railing should never go above 1/3 of the total height of the wall.

    If you ask most people what height chair railing should go they will say 36" but that's assuming your room has 9-foot ceilings. A mobile home with 7-foot ceilings will need 28" chair railings.

    Chair railings aren't used to protect the wall from chairs, but rather to divide the walls proportionally. Dividing the wall by 3 provides that proportion perfectly.

    Another smart technique to make a low ceiling seem taller is to paint the walls above the chair railing the same color as the ceiling. Add a dark color below the chair rail to ground the room.

    Continue to 9 of 13 below.
  • 09 of 13


    Low back furniture
    Stephen Simpson

    Furniture works best for small rooms and low ceilings when it is proportional.

    Using the rule of thirds is a good idea to get the correct proportion. Take the height of the room and divide by three, your sofa and chair backs should be as close to that number as possible.

  • 10 of 13


    Use mirrors to make a ceiling appear taller
    Stephen Simpson

    Mirrors have been used to make small spaces seem larger for centuries and it works just as well for low ceilings.

    Floor length mirrors are best. You add another vertical line to the space and have the added bonus of reflection.

  • 11 of 13

    Ombre Paint Techniques

    Use ombre paint technique with dark on bottom, light on top
    Comstock Images

    Ombre designs are making a huge comeback in home fashion. The ombre painting technique is a great way to make a low ceiling appear taller.

    Simply use a dark tone on the bottom and go lighter as you go upward, blending the tones to make a natural color progression.

  • 12 of 13


    Ryan McVay

    Uplighting, whether from wall sconces or lamps, is a great way to add height to a low ceiling. Bright light attracts the eye almost instantly, use to your advantage by pointing it up toward the ceiling.

    Continue to 13 of 13 below.
  • 13 of 13


    Use bold colors on floor
    Don Farrall

    Color is a powerful tool for home décor. Light color tones can make a room appear larger because it allows light to bounce around the space.

    Adding bold color to your floors with rugs or carpet is another trick to make a low ceiling seem higher. Bold, bright colors on the floor work to ground the room and drawing the eye down, which somehow tricks the brain into thinking a room is taller.

Is it Magic?

The best designers do use a type of trickery, along with proper proportion and diversion, to draw attention away from problematic areas and toward the room's best features.

It may not be magic, but it can turn a room into a magical space!

Watch Now: 3 Ways to Make Your Small Space Appear Bigger