Coffered Ceilings 101

One of the best ways to add character and drama to a room is with architectural mouldings. This can be done with traditional crown moulding, wainscoting, panelling and even columns and beams. But if you really want to add drama and make a bold statement, you need to think higher.

What is a Coffered Ceiling

The term “coffered ceiling” refers to a series of sunken panels – either square, rectangular or octagonal – arranged in a grid design on a ceiling. The recessed sections are usually deep enough to create a box-like effect. Coffered ceilings are often associated with elegance and luxury, but depending on the material you use and whether or not you go the DIY route, they can actually be quite cost-effective, and in many cases, can even add value to a home.

Covered Ceiling in Living Room

Where to Put Coffered Ceilings

Coffers have been used in ceilings for centuries, and while they were traditionally found in specific rooms such as offices, libraries and dining rooms, we’re now starting to see them more often in living spaces such as great rooms, bedrooms, and even kitchens. And while traditional in design, these types of ceilings can be used to great effect in transitional and contemporary homes.

Kitchen with Coffered Ceilings

Ultimately there’s no limit to where you can put these types of ceiling details. However, keep in mind that a coffered ceiling will always have the most impact in larger spaces and rooms with high(ish) ceilings – where the detail and craftsmanship can be truly appreciated.

Scott McGillivray Dining Room Ceiling

In Scott’s house, he took the idea of a coffered ceiling to the next level. Instead of squares and rectangles, he opted for a curved design that is mimicked throughout the entire house. Using foam composite instead of wood, the team from Mouldex Moulding was able to customize the design to Scott’s exact specifications, creating an intricate one-of-a-kind design.

For more photos of the decorative ceiling designs from Scott McGillivray’s house please visit

Top two photos courtesy of Skit Inc.

Kitchen photo courtesy of


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