But the brilliant trick she employed to disguise the too-low ceiling was to paint the walls and ceiling the same color (Farrow & Ball, Elephant's Breath). Painting the ceiling white and the walls a different color would have created a horizontal line. The eye would use this line to establish the height of the ceiling. Instead, walls and ceiling blur together, making the ceiling look higher than it really is.
About this calculator: This tool will give you a ballpark estimate of the cost to finish your basement. There are a LOT of variables associated with determining an exact value. This calculator does as good a job as can be expected given a single input variable: square footage. Obviously your cost will be determined on your exact choice of design, number of rooms, type of rooms, number of bathrooms, quality level of materials, who does the work, who manages the work, etc, etc.
Sourcing supplies, clearing debris, and doing prep work can all help you save on basement costs. Consider what skills you have and talk with your contractor about what will shave money in each area. You may have the tools and strength to demo walls, which can save you several hundred dollars. Sourcing the materials for the pro takes this task off their labor time and saves you money. Doing prep work and finish work is also a way to cut down on total cost. Painting the walls yourself at the end of the project could save you hundreds of dollars. Negotiate all these aspects before signing your contract.