Martin’s short list of “Hard-to-fix mistakes”
In response to a recent Q&A post, Martin Holladay offered a short list of “hard-to-fix mistakes”. The one that really caught my attention was numbered,
3. Building a house with low ceilings.
I’ve been closely following GBA now for about two years while planning a small house in SW New Mexico. But of all the articles, links, Q&A posts, etc. that I’ve since read, this was the first time I noticed ceiling heights mentioned in such a way. I realize that cathedral ceilings are all the rage, and that 10 and 12 foot ceilings are highly desirable in the housing market. But I have a hard time with such general advice as, low ceiling are a mistake.
I wonder if anyone would be willing to argue in favor of low ceilings, not throughout a entire home, but rather in particular rooms. And what really is commonly considered “low” ceiling height. I understand that ceiling heights have steadily increased over the last 50+ years, but so have houses in general. Shouldn’t ceiling height be proportioned to the size of the room, and it’s level of commonality or intimacy?
I have the highest level of respect for Mr. Holladay, and I really appreciate his advocacy for small well designed homes. But small and simple-in-shape seem to me to go well with lower ceiling heights than one might expect when entering the type of energy pigs we call McMansions.
Would anyone dare to encourage an 8 or 9 foot ceiling in a 900 square foot modern cottage? What about a 7 foot ceiling for a small bathroom or sunroom within this same house. Would anyone go as far as to suggest a variety of ceiling heights for different wings of a home?
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