Interesting ceilings are a simple way to draw attention away from a negative feature… temporary solutions might include, thin plywood sheets—flat or arched, stamped tin ceiling, wood slats, masonite…
According to Loos, “every room needs a specific height”… well maybe not every room, but it is true that the vertical dimension has a direct impact on the experience of a space. As anyone who has visited a seventeenth century house with six and a half foot ceilings knows, a foot vertically has a much greater impact on how a space feels, than does that same foot of space when stretched out in plan. At the same time an extra foot -a nine foot ceiling versus an eight foot ceiling- can give a room an unexpected loftiness.
Austrian architect Adolf Loos once declared: “I do not design plans, facades, sections, I design space. Actually there is neither a ground floor, an upper floor nor a basement, there are merely interconnected spaces, vestibules, terraces. Every room needs a specific height -the dining room a different one from the pantry- therefore the floors are on varying levels. After this one must connect the spaces with one another so that the transition is unnoticeable and natural, but also the most practical” *
More important even than actual heights are percieved heights and proportional relationships. The experience of moving from a “low” space of a 7’ 6” foyer into a “high” living space of 8’ 6”, gives a sense of breaking out of a confined area, or moving from a temporary space to a habited space. On the other hand, when that same 8’ 6” ceiling belongs to a room where the width is much larger than the height, say 30’ 0”, a heavy or even opressive feeling can result where the ceiling feels too low for the space.
* Villa Müller, A work of Adolf Loos, Leslie van Duzer, Kent Kleinman, Princeton Architectural Press, 1994