Sarah Susanka, author of the popular “Not
So Big” home-design books, devotes lots of space in her eighth book
“Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really
Live,” to ceilings.
She urges owners of homes with vaulted ceilings to consider lowering them so the house has what she calls, “visual layering.”
Ceiling height is something that people
don't understand, Susanka says. If you make all ceiling heights 9 or
10 feet tall, it becomes monotonous.
She recommends differentiating space by
adding soffits that don’t reduce the space, but do define the area and
differentiate it from neighboring areas.
Just as punctuation helps us to extract
the full meaning of a sentence, spatial layering serves the same
function for our eyes, separating the space we're looking at into
bite-sized pieces without obscuring the experience of the whole, she
writes in the book.
In the case of small rooms like powder
rooms, she recommends creating a “beltline,” a horizontal division in
the wall space created with molding or wainscoting that makes the
small, high-ceilinged space feel less like a cell.
Source: Chicago Tribune, Mary Umberger (04/19/2009)