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Coffered Ceiling Ideas: All the Details + Gorgeous Photos

A coffered ceiling can take a boring room and make it gorgeous and sophisticated. Typically ceilings are often overlooked in design but by adding a coffered ceiling you really create a focal point that will not be forgotten!

Coffered ceilings can be square, rectangular, or even octagonal shapes. There are few rules as to what you have to do with a coffered ceiling. That’s what makes it such a fun and unique design element.

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Yellow walls with very traditional furniture, a coffered ceiling in white and a baby grand piano.
Source: Tilton Coffered Ceilings

What is a coffered ceiling?

Coffered ceilings are inspired by early Renaissance and Baroque architecture where the roof beams were exposed showing off the way they cross at different angles. In today’s homes, a coffered ceiling is an architectural feature meant to capture that elegance and sophistication.

A coffered ceiling is a group of sunken panels on the ceiling. Historically these ceilings were a feat of architecture being made of stone. Today we use wood or PVC panels to create the same look and feel.

What is the point of a coffered ceiling?

Coffered ceilings are used to add drama and sophistication to a room. They draw the eye upward and create a chik, elegant space.

They can be used in any kind of design style which makes them a classic design element. And any room in the home can have a coffered ceiling.

In modern homes with open floor plans, coffered ceilings can help define a space and create separation. This helps break up a large space into two living spaces.

One great benefit to coffered ceilings is they absorb sound. If you have all hardwood floors or tile in your home and it’s a very high ceiling with an open concept floor plan then your home might get pretty loud (especially with kids). Coffered ceilings can absorb some of the sound and keep it from bouncing around, therefore preserving some of your sanity!

Lastly, this feature can give a room a complete facelift. Adding detail to the ceiling really changes the look and feel of a room. So if you are needing a change, consider adding a coffered ceiling!

White shiplap walls, a white coffered ceiling and gold light fixtures in this casual living room, dining room and kitchen.
Source: Chrissy Marie Blog

What room should have a coffered ceiling?

Any room can have a coffered ceiling as long as the ceiling height is nine feet or higher.

Because the materials to build a coffered ceiling will come down many inches from the ceiling it is recommended that they not be used in rooms with only eight-foot ceilings. The coffers will come down too far and protrude making the room feel smaller than it is.

The standard ceiling height for many homes is eight feet which is a real bummer that you cannot use this type of feature. But there are many other things you can do to your ceiling to add interest to your home. Check out my post on DIY Ceiling Ideas for ways to add a fun design element to that fifth wall.

Will a coffered ceiling add value to my home?

As a professional Real Estate Agent I can tell you will all honesty that yes, a coffered ceiling will add value to your home. How much value? Well that depends largely on where you live.

I will say that any architectural feature that is appealing to buyers means they will want to buy your home over another that doesn’t have anything special to it. The more appeal you have to buyers means the more that they will want to buy your home and that will drive the price up!

Are they still in style?

Coffered ceilings are one of those design details that is classic and timeless. They have always been in style and will always be in style.

If you want a more modern look then what you need to do is have a more streamlined look to your coffered ceiling. Don’t add additional moldings that will give it a more traditional feel. Keep the look sleek and streamlined for a more modern look.

What to consider when designing a coffered ceiling.

There are many things to consider when designing a coffered ceiling. The first thing is how large the beams should be. If you have very high dramatically tall ceilings then you can do very large chunky beams. If your ceiling is only nine feet then you want to stick with something more shallow to keep the open feel of the room.

Another thing to consider is lighting. I recommend adding a chandelier in the center of the room and recessed lighting in the rest of the room. Having too many light fixtures hanging down can draw the eye away from the coffered ceiling and that really should be the star of the show.

What materials you use is another thing to consider. You can do all wood beams for a very rustic look or have the wood painted so it blends in with the ceiling. Maybe you want to have the beams one color and the ceiling panels in between another color.

Painting the entire ceiling a color (what about black!) can really create drama! This will really draw the eye up and make the room something really special and unforgettable.

Coffered Ceiling Ideas – Real Life Photos

White walls and whit4e coffered ceiling with dark gray ceiling panels an da ceiling fan in the center.
Source: HGTV

This photo is a great example of having a coffered ceiling with the ceiling inset painted a different color. This adds so much drama and interest. It really draws the eye up.

A monochromatic white room with touches of silver in the ceiling panels.
Source: HW Interiors

This photo is similar but the color is more muted. The whole room has a very monochromatic feel with the whites and light grays but the details in the ceiling and the built-ins adds so much sophistication!

A family room with wood floors and an area rug, all wood shelving and a wood coffered ceiling.
Source: Rosewood Custom Builders

This is the epitome of a masculine room. All the wood is gorgeous and as you can see they took the wood onto the ceiling with the all-wood coffered ceiling.

A dining room with rustic wood floors and table, white upholstered chairs and a coffered ceiling with beadboard on the ceiling panels.
Source: Designing Idea

The rustic wood floors and rustic table are tamed down by the white coffered ceiling and white upholstered furniture. This ceiling not only has coffers but it also has a beadboard detail on the ceiling panels. This is absolutely gorgeous!

An all white family room with a huge fireplace between the family room and dining room and tall ceilings that are coffered.
Source: Next Luxury

These are some seriously high and dramatic ceilings! This room can handle very large beams and ones done in a large-scale pattern because of the size of the space.

A bedroom with navy walls, cream headboard and curtains with a white coffered ceiling.
Source: Next Luxury

This very traditional room has all the elements of a stunning coffered ceiling. Notice the single chandelier in the middle of the room with the recessed lights in the other panels. I also love the color of the walls here and how they pop with the cream and white in the linens and ceiling.

A family room with dark hardwood floors, a white coffered ceiling with gray on the ceiling panels.
Source: Next Luxury

Here is another example of a coffered ceiling that is very traditional but the ceiling panels are a slightly different color. That adds a little touch of modern to the space.

A grand staircase in an entryway with molding on the walls, blue carpet on the stairs and a white coffered ceiling that has a curve to it.
Source: Next Luxury

Talk about a grand staircase! The molding on the walls alone gives this space a luxurious feel but the added coffered ceiling takes the room to a whole new level.

A kitchen with white marble on the counters and backsplash, dark hardwood floors and a wood coffered ceiling.
Source: Gambrick

This very modern kitchen has a lot of hard surfaces. By adding dark wood beams the space now feels a bit warmer and the rustic nature of the wood beams juxtaposes the modern nature of the countertops and backsplash. This contrast gives the room character and style!

Other decorating posts you might like:

A grid of different coffered ceiling ideas pin for Pinterest with text overlay.

As a licensed Real Estate Agent and an avid home decorator, I strive to give my clients the very best I can when it comes to staging, selling, and decorating their homes. I have lots of experience with paint color choices and love to DIY my home so I can have everything just the way I want it. I share my ideas and projects with the world in the hopes that I can help others have their homes just the way they want as well.

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