31 Coffered Ceiling Design Ideas

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Featured Image: Masterpiece Interiors

The ceiling is probably the last part of the house people look at when they are inside. However, it doesn’t mean that you should put less effort into it when designing your home. Your ceiling can perhaps make the most significant impact in your house, so you should design it the way you would other parts of your home. Some people consider the ceiling as their “fifth wall,” so they extend the finishes on their walls to cover this part of their home. Ceilings just used to be utilitarian, hiding wiring, ductwork, and pipes. Now, however, they are taking center stage, sometimes even setting the design scheme of a home.

Check out these 31 coffered ceiling ideas and see for yourself!

TRANSITIONAL

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Rittenhouse Home

Improve the style and appeal in your home with this lovely ceiling.

TRADITIONAL

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Dale Gardon Design

You can transform your ceiling into a work of art, even if it’s all white.

DIAGONAL

Debbie Sykes Interiors

Nice combination of white and dark-colored paints for an elegant appeal.

TIMELESS

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Tad Davis Photography

Elegant coffered ceiling with warm lighting for a dramatic effect.

TRENDY

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PPDS Design & Interiors

The white ceiling stands out with the dark blue walls in this home office.

CIRCULAR

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Delicious Kitchens

The show-stopping coffered ceiling was custom designed for this traditional kitchen.

MEDITERRANEAN

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Design ARC

The dark wood coffered ceiling gives this room depth and makes it unique.

RECLAIMED

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John Bynum Custom Homes, Inc.

We love how the reclaimed wood in the ceiling adds a raw and rustic feel to the room.

SLEEK

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Christian Rice Architects

The minimal and sleek detailing gives this home entry a contemporary flair.

BLUE

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Duet Design Group

The dark paint on the ceiling gives the space a more warm and inviting feel.

Why Use Coffered Ceiling? 

When coming up with ceiling design ideas, you have to consider the following: the style of your home, your budget, and the aesthetics you want to achieve. Once you have the first two, you now have to choose from different types of ceilings. A conventional ceiling is one you often see in most homes. It has a flat surface, making it easy to decorate. However, it can also be too simple and boring. Another typical ceiling design is the suspended ceiling. Just like a conventional ceiling, a suspended ceiling is flat, but it is installed below another existing ceiling, usually to conceal mechanical fixtures and wirings.

Suspended ceilings are generally made of lightweight tiles, with metal grids to keep them in place. They are commonly white, but decorative panels are also available if you want to add style. If you want your ceiling to be more stylish, then you can try having a coffered ceiling, also sometimes referred to as a coffer ceiling.

Any room can look good with a coffered ceiling, such as the kitchen, dining room, living room, and bedrooms. They are expensive, but in case you do not use a vaulted ceiling but would like your ceiling to stand out, coffered will perform the job. For flat ceilings, coffered is one way to truly make them stand out. We absolutely like the coffered ceiling look, though it is not that common.

GRAND

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Dewson Construction

The bright sparkle in the ceiling adds glamour without being too loud.

FRESH

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Sollid Cabinetry

Enjoy dining with family or guests in this bright and refreshing kitchen.

GLAMOROUS

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Whitten Architects

This beach-front living room looks classic with the black and white color combo.

DYNAMIC

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Clark Gaynor Interiors

Ceiling inset coffers are Benjamin Moore’s Pearl Finish and the wall color is Aura Matte.

What Is A Coffer? 

“Coffer” got its origins from “kophinos,” an ancient Greek word literally meaning “basket.” In Latin, the term is “cophinus,” which also means basket. The old French adopted the Latin word to refer to different types of containers with hollow interior. For example, “coffer” and “coffin” are French derivations. “Coffer” refers to a chest box for holding money, while “coffin” is a box for the deceased.

In architecture, the term “coffer” refers to “indentation,” or sunken, hollowed panels. Unlike conventional or suspended ceilings, coffered ceilings are not flat. They are constructed by framing ceiling indentations with beams arranged in grid patterns. These patterns may be square, rectangle, or other polygonal shapes. The coffers can be deep or shallow. If you want to add visual weight to your room, go with a deep coffer. Choose a shallow one if you want your room to feel light. 

Coffers have been in use for a very long time. The Palace of Versailles, which was built in 1631, has coffered ceilings. However, coffers have been known to date back to as early as 7B in Italy, and even earlier in Chinese and Islamic architecture.

Coffers have been used decoratively, often to hide beams or to add symmetry. Aside from making a room look larger, coffering adds texture and elegance to ceilings. That is why they are popular, not just in public buildings but also in private houses.

ELEGANT

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Carl M Hansen Companies

The white ceiling looks elegant with Chocolate wall color by Restoration Hardware.

STYLISH

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Old World Stoneworks

The ceiling features recessed can lighting and dramatic crown molding.

FARMHOUSE

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Noelle Interiors

This modern farmhouse kitchen looks relaxing with the white and blue color theme.

FRENCH COUNTRY

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Erin Sander Design

This modern French Country living room features a wood ceiling and classic chandelier.

CLEAN LINES

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Abruzzo Kitchen & Bath

Clean-lined transitional kitchen in Chicago with white ceiling and gray cabinetry & backsplash.

INDUSTRIAL

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Denise Bosley Interiors

The mix of reclaimed wood and black paint for the ceiling looks trendy and stylish.

What Is A Coffered Ceiling?

Coffered ceilings, also known as caisson ceilings, cross-beamed ceilings, plafond à caissons, lacunaria, or zaojing, were initially designed for stone ceilings to be lighter. For example, the Pantheon in Rome, a former temple that is now a Catholic church, used coffering to make its load lighter. Now, a coffered ceiling is considered “it” in the world of architecture because of the visual interest that coffering can add to any room. It can also improve the acoustics of a house.

Made up of grids of sunken panels with moldings, coffered ceilings produce a waffle-like pattern. They are commonly found in high-end, luxurious homes and are made with carved stone or prized wood, but now they can be found in any homes, especially since coffered ceiling tiles have become available. These ceilings in residential homes, however, are less decorative than those in large public places like courthouses or churches. Still, they create an impressive focal point.

Some confuse coffered ceilings with tray ceilings, but the two are different. Tray ceilings, often found in big, suburban homes, are used to make a small dining room or kitchen look larger without changing the room’s footprint. Also, tray ceilings have just one large sunken surface, while coffered ceilings have many, covering a room’s entire ceiling area.

Coffers are also different from latticework. Though lattice is made by crisscrossing building materials that create patterns similar to those of coffered ceiling, a lattice is designed for air to flow through windows and screen.

CONTEMPORARY

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DKOR Interiors

Beautiful and stunning space—the ceiling has a glossy white finish.

LUXURIOUS

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Joni Spear

The designer used a blue patterned wall covering for the gorgeous ceiling.

INTRICATE

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Ruth Richards Interiors

This exceptional kitchen features coffered herringbone brick and beam ceiling.

LIGHT WOOD

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RCL

The combination of light wood materials and white paint makes this room refreshing.

What Are The Things To Consider 

For coffered ceiling ideas, you have to consider three things: ceiling height, faux or functional beams, and installation costs.

Height is critical in coffered ceiling design. Coffered ceilings draw the eye upward, but pillars expand downward, occupying some overhead room. With this, a coffered ceiling design is highly recommended in rooms with high ceilings, those higher than at least nine feet. It may feel excessively cluttered if coffers are added in a room with low ceilings. Remember that the deeper the coffers you want them to be, the higher your current ceiling should be to guarantee that the bottoms of beams pillars do not intervene with headspace overwhelm a room visually. 

Often, coffered ceilings in modern residential homes are not load-bearing, which means that they do not support weight. One special case would happen while adding a second story to a farm home: homeowners may utilize coffers to cover essential support beams. Most coffered ceilings are purely ornamental, developed totally from empty faux beams. In the event that you need huge and deep coffers, you need to have extra ceiling support because even faux beams may add an excessive amount of weight. 

If you intend to have coffers on your ceiling, realize that the work requires advanced knowledge in carpentry and excellent skills in structural work. Otherwise, you have to hire an expert. The professional fee will depend on the design details and wood materials that you will choose. For example, stained cherry or red oak is more expensive than a painted pine.

WHITE + GRAY

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Fleeger Inc. Design

Contemporary dining room with capacity and extra seatings for family or friends.

HOME OFFICE

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Jim Tetro

Lovely arch ceiling and dramatic lighting for this contemporary home office.

EXTRAVAGANT

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Fabrizio Construction

What a fantastic work of art! The jaw-dropping ceiling is absolutely gorgeous.

BRIGHT

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Turret Collaborative

This friendly space looks bright and airy with the white ceiling and bubble light fixture.

EXCEPTIONAL

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James Schettino Architects

This contemporary living room enjoys a bright space with lots of natural lighting.

DARK WOOD

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Valerie Grant Interiors

This elegant, classic, and timeless space features white and dark wood ceiling.

Coffered Ceiling Installation

Regardless of whether you choose to build a coffered ceiling yourself or hire a professional to execute your designs, the first stage happens on paper. You must select the quantity of coffers and the width and depth of your beams. To have a uniform look, first, try to make sense of the best possible ceiling and coffer dimensions. Once you have planned the design, use chalk lines to represent the beams’ position, thus transferring your design to the ceilings.

Observing the standard technique for installation, you should place them main base beams first, running opposite to the direction of the ceiling joints you currently have. Then, wrap the base beams with extra wood to copy the appearance of heftier beams. The beams should support the rest of your ceiling, so it is imperative to join them securely with a nail gun and adhesive.

Using the same materials you used for your main base beams, create base crossbeams to complete a grid pattern. Do not attach base crossbeams as they should be parallel to the joists. Use a nail gun and adhesive to connect the crossbeams to the main base beams’ inner edges. The final product will have the pattern of a checkerboard. This will be the skeleton of your ceiling. 

You will build the faux beams in the last stage. To make this process easier, paint or stain the wood before installing it. You can directly frame the faux beams’ bottoms and sides on the base bars depending on your design and material. As another option, the faux beams can be created as three-sided boxes to be installed above the base bars. Then, if applicable, you can install the inside coffer trim any way you want.

Conclusion: 

Remember that every part of your home is essential. Your ceiling design means a lot with regard to your home’s roominess, layout, and resale value. In any case, the best ceiling styles depend on your room’s height and your home’s overall architectural design. If you have a high ceiling and you want to add drama to your home, coffer ceilings are the best. Coffered ceilings are not limited to particular shapes, meaning they can be in any room regardless of its shape. Also, they can be made utilizing various materials, including different types of woods, plaster, urethane foam, and fiberboard. Because coffered ceilings are resistant to mold and mildew as well as sagging, they are the ideal ceiling option. Coffers are also easy to clean and maintain. Coffered ceilings often come installed upon the construction of a home. However, they can be included when renovating or redesigning your home.

A coffered ceiling can enhance the style and appeal of any room or space. Therefore, in case you want to add character or make a bold statement, a coffered ceiling is highly recommended for you.

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