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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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