Barry Dixon recommends: "Slather a reflective, glossy glaze on any lower ceiling to create the illusion of height. Conversely, if a ceiling seems too high in a space us a matte-finish paint, preferably in a cola or darker tone, or cover the ceiling with raffia or a paper." Often times a high gloss paint shows imperfections in the ceiling or plaster. The ceiling above from the Kipps Bay Designer Showhouse in 2008 uses a vinyl stretchy product called Extenzo.
James Dolenc's simple solution to a common quandary will send you running to the nearest hardware store: "3M Command Strips are fantastic to use when hanging art over mirrors, millwork panels or vintage wallcovering."