Tag Archives: Redbud Custom Homes

Wordy Wednesday: What is a Coffered Ceiling?

26 Jun
Coffered Ceiling in Bedroom: Redbud Custom Homes

Beautiful coffered ceiling in the bedroom: Project by Austin’s Redbud Custom Homes

There are many types of decorative ceiling treatments: coffered, tray, vaulted, beamed, and my personal favorite, popcorn-texture coated.  OK, not really.  My little cottage had popcorn texture on the ceiling when I bought it, and it was one of the absolute worst remodeling chores I did. I have very strong negative feelings towards whoever invented that stuff.

Fortunately, better ceiling treatments are in style now, and one of my favorites (really this time) is the coffered ceiling.  Basically it is a sunken panel on a ceiling, usually framed in fairly heavy beams. Right now it’s super-hot to do them in rustic or reclaimed wood, but they are often done in painted millwork in more traditional homes.

Originally, coffers were as structural as they were decorative, reducing the weight of a stone ceiling.  In fact, the earliest example of a coffered ceiling can be found from Roman times (thanks, Wikipedia). The style grew to become a symbol of craftsmanship and elegance over the years.  Unfortunately, in the last several decades we’ve largely ignored our ceilings in construction, to the point of even eschewing molding.

Adding some texture back in to a plain ceiling can be a very distinctive way to liven up your space (see some more ideas below). In addition to looking good, it can also help with noise, all those nooks and crannies can kind of sop up sounds.  Frankly, however, it seems kind of hard.  Anything involving the ceiling naturally requires a ladder and holding things over your head.  That said, I’ll probably try it in the house at some point; likely starting enthusiastically it in secret when Mr. Handsome is out of town.  Of course I won’t finish it and he’ll have to help when he gets back, he’s taller anyway. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here are a few ideas we found on the interwebs if you think you might want to try it:

How to build a faux coffered ceiling

Traditional wood coffered ceiling

Ceiling panels – this looks easiest!

From This Old House – very detailed instructions

Some more examples in different styles:

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