Make your ceiling look higher in association with Farrow & Ball

The experts at Farrow & Ball explain how to use paint colour to add a sense of height to a room

dining room with table and floral wallpapers
(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

When it comes to paint, the obvious choice isn't always the best one. Painting a cornice the same shade of white as the ceiling might look like the most logical thing to do, but it has drawbacks. It can make your room look lower than it actually is because it tricks the eye into thinking that the ceiling starts where the wall colour ends. To boost a room's perceived height, consider painting the cornice in a shade that sits between the wall colour and the ceiling's.

Choosing progressively lighter hues creates a feel of vertical growth that will make your ceiling look loftier. For example, if you select the warm beige tones of Farrow & Ball's London Stone (colour card number 6) for your walls, the buff notes of Archive (227) would be perfect for the cornice and the rich off-white of Joa's White for the ceiling.

Using paint to give an illusion of vertical space is even more important if you have a picture rail, which could otherwise break a room's height. The best way to do this is either to paint straight over the rail, or to use a lighter tone for the portion of wall above the rail. For example, for walls painted in the rich hue of Sudbury Yellow (51), the paler Cream (44) is the ideal complement to use above a picture rail.

For more information and to request a colour card, visit

Thea Babington-Stitt
Assistant Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 10 years. 

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.