There are many ways to upscale a room and one of them would be installing coffered ceilings.
Although mistaken for tray ceilings most of the time, you would find here that coffered ceilings are more stylistic and have more sunken panels compared to tray ceilings.
If you are looking for ways to spruce up your ceiling with a vintage look, a coffered ceiling is a prime idea.
In this post, a list of some of the most notable and themed coffered ceilings are presented. While the styles are virtually limitless, it is still important that you have working ideas of what to go for. So, without much ado, read on.
Related: 34 Different Types Of Ceilings and Their Pros and Cons
What is a coffered ceiling?
Coffered ceilings are traced back to the baroque style up to the early Renaissance era when indentations in the ceiling were considered as a monumental feat especially that they were made of stone.
The use of coffered ceilings have always been associated with the nobility and the elite because the intricacy of how they are made and the materials used are expensive.
As it was before, the purpose of coffered ceilings is to produce aesthetic indentations using different grid shapes. The grid shapes of coffered ceilings come in polygonal shapes, squares, rectangles, circular and oblong.
Some of the selling points of a coffered ceiling is their design flexibility, durability, and their resistance to sagging and molds.
What is the purpose of a coffered ceiling?
You might think that the only purpose of a coffered ceiling is to give your home a vintage and dramatic appeal.
But aside from giving your ceiling a 3D look because of the sunken panels, some of its other functions include giving the room an illusion of space, insulating the room for excess sound or to make it more soundproof and also adds resale value to the home, in general.
More so, coffered ceilings are good amendments to cover structural flaws in the ceiling and at the same time offer a sense of structure to the whole room. The good thing about this is that it works well with high and mid-height ceilings.
Types of coffered ceilings
We have mentioned here that coffered ceilings are very customizable and come in various design styles. The four major types of coffered ceilings are as follows:
This is one that we could say as the waffle style. It sports small squares or rectangle grid patterns in a beam box. You can add ceiling styles to it but the more typical move would be to install crown moldings inside.
The difference of this type to traditional coffers is that they are boxed in raw, distressed wood beams with no additional moldings installed. If you are going for a country style, farmhouse look, this is the style to go for.
For something more ornate, decorate your coffered ceiling with geometric grid patterns such as triangles, octagons, and hexagons, to name a few. They are also boxed in beams and then installed with additional moldings for more drama.
This one is a style for minimalists since it features symmetrical and neat lines for the grid patterns and the beams. They are often framed using lumber and then wrapped in drywall. It is also called the coastal style.
38+ Best Coffered ceiling ideas
Now that we have covered the essentials, let us dive right into these coffered ceiling ideas which you could choose from for your home. Ideas are presented in various categories to give you more viable options to consider.
Living room coffered ceiling
If you want to intersect contemporary, chic, rustic, and traditional coffered beam boxes, this is something to splurge on.
The thick, finished beams offer the conventional yet opulent look of Roman rooms but the furniture set, and accent pieces give it a sense of contemporary lightness and airiness.
If you want a more coastal look with lots of contemporary vibrance, this is a two-toned living room with a box style coffered ceiling to draw inspiration from.
It is just so dainty looking and very regal, resembling Victorian drawing rooms.
Modern coffered ceiling
When it comes to modern coffered ceilings, the structural work is often dismissed because the focus is now given to acoustics especially in dispersing sound so that room echoes are diminished.
As for the decorative side, the minimalism of modern designs coupled with traditional boxed coffered ceilings like this provide neatness but with loads of impact.
Wood coffered ceiling
Coffered ceilings can elevate any room including this Mediterranean style, coastal vibe foyer.
The detail of the coffered ceiling is simple as it is built from the warm, rich tones of hardwood and follows the traditional waffle style.
This modern looking Sputnik chandelier is literally the crowning glory of this wood coffered ceiling. Taking up on the 1930s look of this Spanish style home is accentuated by the coffers in the ceiling too.
Kitchen coffered ceiling
If you are one that prefers the ornate and the dramatic, this one is a very elegant kitchen with coffered ceilings to take an idea from.
The geometric indentation at the heart of a supposed traditional box beam where the pendant light falls from is whimsical.
The asymmetrical shape of the ceiling also gives it a dramatic touch. And the crown molding where the intricate cabinetry is lined completes this ceiling’s look.
And if you have lower ceilings but dig coffered ceilings, using exposed wood beams with a uniform finish to that of your wood flooring would be a good embellishment for a rustic, farmhouse kitchen like this one here.
The wrought iron chandelier hanging by the beams offers a cohesive vibe for this contemporary, rustic kitchen.
Bedroom coffered ceiling
This coastal style bedroom gives you a flair of textures with this coffered ceiling. The organic tone of the wood plank in-lays and those thick, exposed beams give you a texture contrast.
The uniformity of the wood floor and the plank in-lays give this room a cohesive look and the small pendant light up there is all it took to give it a touch of elegance.
But if you want a more eclectic look, give your bedroom a color popping look and maze-style coffered ceiling.
The same geometric look is also laid in the bedroom wall to give it more angle and uniformity.
The maze motif is seen in the furniture and side trims too. Overall, it is fun and trendy, and very contemporary.
Master bedroom coffered ceiling
If you want for a more out of the box coffered look, you can always consider a vaulted coffered ceiling.
The prime characteristic of coffered ceilings would be ceiling indentation and this modern bedroom here projects that using polished, exposed beams vaulted in a Craftsman style. The use of neutrals also does not disappoint.
For a luxurious arrangement, the conventional waffle coffered ceiling with an all-white look is still one of the best choices out there to emphasize the colors of this master’s bedroom.
The tones in this room are bold and the patterns from the rug to the seating are compelling. At first look, the look could be juggled and chaotic but thanks to the all-white coffered ceilings, everything is anchored.
Dining room coffered ceiling
Since the common use of space is to have the kitchen and the dining area in one large room, installing a coffered ceiling which frames the entire area is always a luxurious feel especially to a dining area.
The traditional box beam is the best option in keeping the area warm, intimate, and very cozy. With those deep indentations, wood and glass details, you get this vintage dining room.
Speaking of an intimate dining room, you can always consider keeping the indentations deeper to give more depth and texture to a low-ceiling dining room like this one here.
It is a beautiful suburban dining room with dainty wall and ceiling color matches and a warm wood detail for the flooring and dining room.
Coffered ceiling in bathroom
Think of ancient Roman baths and those coffered ceilings against stacked stone walls and flagstone flooring and you would get how dramatic this type of ceiling is for a bathroom.
This luxurious, compact bathroom features shallow coffered ceilings but the warm glow of the sconce lights by the mirror and canned lights along the coffers’ corners give it a minimal depth but with lots of airiness.
Speaking of a compact bathroom with deeper coffered ceiling but with a lot of warmer tones.
We love the wood, glass, and mosaic details of this bathroom. The thick doors and mirrors also give cohesiveness to those deep ceiling indentations.
Coffered ceiling lighting
The lighting fixtures for coffered ceilings are also virtually limitless. Of course, canned lights are the go-to lighting for ceilings, but it does not mean that you cannot mix and match it with other lighting types.
To keep the luxuriousness of this modern, black and white living room with coffered ceilings, hidden bright lighting is used in between trims along with canned lights at the center.
And if warm lighting is what you need to soften and offer more coziness to a rustic, farmhouse room, here is another strip lighting to consider.
A central pendant light instead of the traditional canned lights here give it a very intimate look.
Faux coffered ceiling
If you have a low ceiling but you still want to incorporate coffered ceilings, going for faux coffered ceilings would be a good choice.
Faux literally means fake so if you want to give a decorative indentation in your ceiling, installing beam panels along the perimeter and crisscrossing these light wood panels around to create grid patterns would be the idea.
Here is a simpler faux coffered ceiling that is not enclosed in a tray ceiling. Although not really coffered, it still gives a minimalist feel to this chic living room right here.
Coffered ceiling paint ideas
The power of neutrals is so elegant and very versatile. But building a monochromatic style living room right here, with coffered ceilings incorporating warm glowing, hidden lights across these geometrical beams is just phenomenal.
But if you want real structural elegance, going for a combo of neutral and pastel hue is a compelling embellishment to incorporate in a traditional coffered ceiling like this one here.
The depth is on point, the waffle style gives it a good coverage of the room and the canned and pendant lights up there complement the bright, white walls.
Coffered vaulted ceiling
If you are tired of flat ceilings, a coffered vaulted ceiling could give you a lot of angled and textured dynamics.
From dome to Cathedral styles, you can have a lot of choices when it comes to coffered vaulted ceilings.
The whole stretch of this Craftsman bungalow is styled with a coffered vaulted ceiling. The Cathedral beam in between the foyer and the living room complement the coffered ceiling with more geometrical style.
The canned lights and modern candelabra chandelier plus the beige wood planks in the ceiling are all on point.
For larger beamed indentations and an angled look to your already luxurious-looking living room, going for the traditional barn style angle is a plus point.
This might be an attic room, but the vaulted coffered ceiling gives it a lot of dimensions. Let us just let this look speak for itself.
Coffered ceiling beams
Coffered ceiling beams offer a deep, upward indentation to traditional coffered ceilings. They are thicker, more 3D looking, and offer a lot of character to any room because of their compelling look.
This waffle coffered ceiling is already geometrical, but the exposed look of those ceiling beams gives it a more defined and edged vibe.
For an elegant, sunken ceiling design, these concrete, coffered ceiling beams in rectangular patterns give you a plush look that is hard to miss.
The combo of warm wood planks and the hardness of concrete are just the perfect mix that this very modern looking transitional room needs.
Coffered ceiling with crown molding
For a more seamless look in the room, installing crown moldings is an efficient choice. The effect of crown moldings in this one gives this small kitchen and lounging area a very symmetrical look.
Although incorporating just a faux coffered ceiling, we cannot deny the air of separation between the island and the kitchen in this idea.
Basement coffered ceiling
If you want to convert your damp basement into a warm family den, bar, entertainment room or man cave, installing high aesthetics to your basement using the coffered style ceiling.
This one here uses a shallow coffered ceiling with hidden, bright lighting. It covers the den and the small dining space, with the same box type accent in the basement door.
Related: These Basement Ceiling Ideas Are Perfect for Your Home
Beadboard coffered ceiling
The use of beadboard coffered ceilings are staple in shallow coffered ceilings or those using shiplap in-lays or wood planks.
Being a light material, it makes sense that it is used as a material in faux coffered ceilings or for shallow indentations. Here is a simple beadboard coffered ceiling to draw inspiration from.
Contemporary coffered ceiling
For an eclectic, contemporary look, following a geometric pattern to incorporate in your coffered ceiling is a crafty way to give your room a revamped look.
This all-white kitchen here, with those industrial lights, steel trims and herringbone accent walls all complement these multi-paneled contemporary coffered ceilings right here.
Craftsman style coffered ceiling
Craftsman style is about wood, angled ceilings and exposed beams.
If you want to incorporate such splendor in your coffered ceiling, this mosaic style coffered ceilings are an upscale and standout look in each corner.
The opulence of this look is an understatement as it intersects the vintage Craftsman feel and a lot of contemporary vibe.
Black coffered ceiling
This one here does not just feature an all-black waffle coffered ceiling, but the moodiness and vintage charm of this black coffered ceiling is accentuated by the complementing white walls.
The minimal black accents on the window trims as well as for the mirror frame and some furniture sets give it a clean, modern look that hits all the right spots.
For a lot of industrial flair, this all-black, box beam coffered ceiling makes this room a brooding charm.
The play of dark neutrals and a significant splash of white walls on one corner is a perfect transition to this industrial studio type home.
Grey coffered ceiling
If you want a coffered ceiling that screams attention in minimal details, grey coffered ceilings work best in creating a balanced look for high ceiling living rooms.
With the use of bright, canned lights and an ornate chandelier dropping from the center, the play of neutrals can turn into opulence instead of clean simplicity.
Single coffered ceiling
This type of coffered ceiling style looks a lot like tray ceilings, but the deeper indentation would give it away.
The upward indentation by the beam’s perimeters are perfect for hidden lighting and if you want to add more decorative accents to the ceiling, you can freely incorporate so. This is a simple idea to consider.
Drywall coffered ceiling
Like beadboard, drywall is a cost-efficient way to install shallow or faux coffered ceilings. They are lightweight, very durable, and can easily be installed as flat beams in the ceiling. This is how a drywall coffered ceiling kit looks like.
Related: 24 Types of Drywall Alternatives For Your Wall, Basement, Ceiling, Shed
Reclaimed wood coffered ceiling
The drama of reclaimed wood is off the charts. It can be stained, distressed to give the in-lay a rustic and coastal look, or could be painted with richer brown tones to add more warmth.
For one, this vaulted coffered ceiling in this beach house creates a stunning contrast to white shiplap walls. The rustic pendant light is all it took to add more warmth and character to this one.
Concrete perimeter and Tilton coffered ceiling using reclaimed wood? It is a match made in heaven. The idea of the fifth wall installed up there on the ceiling is what makes Tilton style a dramatic look.
The shallow coffered ceiling and the iron and glass details of the pendant light is just beyond wonders.
Coffered ceiling on sloped ceiling
Just because the ceiling is sloped would not mean that you cannot make the most out of its angled beauty with coffered ceilings.
This all-white, sloped, coffered ceiling here gives this room all its neutral, modern beauty, offering a lot of natural light against those grey walls and beige flooring.
The use of lots of canned lights and wall lights are also a good touch.
For an open, light, and airy feel to a transitional room like this one here, the use of vaulted coffered ceiling on a sloped ceiling using large, rectangular grid patterns all around has truly given this room a seamless and spacious look.
Are coffered ceilings outdated?
Although tray ceilings have become a more practical choice when it comes to ceiling aesthetics, interior designers and contractors agree that coffered ceilings shall never get out of style so no, they are not considered outdated.
No matter what room is coffered, it adds a lot of luxurious endings that can be easily pulled off.
Can beadboard be used for coffered ceilings?
As lightweight and inexpensive as they are, beadboard is used for coffered ceilings for a lot of reasons. For one, the use of beadboard is practical in leveling out an uneven ceiling with the addition of shims.
A tongue and groove beadboard is one of the best choices in a beach house or coastal vibe coffered ceilings.
How much does it cost to do a coffered ceiling?
At an average, coffered ceilings are projected at a cost of $25 per square foot. This value includes labor costs but does not cover additional materials for the trims, the finials, as well as for the paint.
With this figure, low cost coffered ceilings start at $2500 and an average cost would start at $3300.
Do coffered ceilings add value?
Yes. There is no specific percentage as to how much they add to the home’s reselling value, but brokers give an estimate of 16-20% value to a well-done coffered ceiling. So, in this category, yes, coffered ceilings are high value adding home improvements.
What is the difference between a coffered ceiling and waffle ceiling?
To say the very least, a waffle ceiling is a subtype of a coffered ceiling. The only difference is that waffle ceilings have beams that are crossing each other, creating small square pockets. Overall, the final look resembles waffles laid inside a larger box.
Box beam vs coffered ceiling
This is another thing to clear up when it comes to ceiling designs. A box beam is the same as a coffered ceiling. The box beam incorporates affixing hollow beams to create a box pattern.
Box beam is the term used for coffered ceilings combined with tray ceilings to create a multiple tray ceiling. The more contemporary term for box beams or coffered ceilings would be the Crawford ceiling.
How deep is a coffered ceiling?
The standard depth for coffered ceilings would be at 1.75-3.5-inches. Nonetheless, it is a highly customizable ceiling aesthetic so you can always adjust the depth and dimensions of your coffered ceiling depending on the area of your room and the materials to be used.
Coffered ceiling dimensions
We have covered the standard depth for coffered ceilings and now we are covering the ceiling dimensions. The average length for one would be at 3-5-inches and for the width, it would be 4.5-8.5-inches.
What is a coffered ceiling made of?
In the olden days, coffered ceilings were made of either stone or hardwood because they were built to last for ages. But now, coffered ceilings are made of rigid PVC or ceiling tiles. They ensure that the panels are lightweight, easy to install, durable, and relatively affordable.
Are coffered ceilings considered structural?
Unfortunately, no. Coffered ceilings do not bear structural load and as such, are considered as just decorative features of a home.
This is the reason why the use of beadboard, drywall, faux beams, and reclaimed wood are the most recommended materials when it comes to coffered ceilings nowadays.
Do coffered ceilings make the room smaller?
It depends. Coffered ceilings are very useful for ceilings that are 9-ft or taller because it gives it more elevation and illusion of space. Below 9-ft, coffered ceilings, especially those with thick, exposed beams could make the room cramped up. So whether you want an intimate, cramped up look or a spacious and high ceiling opulence, coffered ceilings could make up for both.
Aside from really sprucing up the aesthetic value of any room, they also offer a lot of unparalleled benefits. For one, it gives your room a sense of spaciousness.
It also covers your ceiling’s structural flaws and makes your room virtually soundproof and insulated. On top of that, it adds reselling value to a home.
With all that we have considered here, coffered ceilings are definitely worth the shot. You just must choose the best idea that would fit your home.