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Coffered Ceiling Design Ideas

An architectural feature that dates back to ancient Rome is trending now — and installing your own can add serious value to your home. Ready to look up? Read on.

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Photo: Tiffany Denise Photography . From: FORBES + MASTERS.

Ancient Architecture

Don’t let the crisp, contemporary look of this ceiling fool you: Architects have been deploying exposed beams to distribute weight and create dramatic coffers (or indentations) since the Pantheon rose in Rome more than 2,000 years ago. The feature roared back to popularity during the Renaissance and has long been associated with opulent and classically inspired interiors.

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Photo: Skout. From: sKout.

Modern History

The latest coffered ceilings don’t usually perform structural work; they’re now used to disperse sound and reduce echo in rooms with high ceilings and wooden floors, where acoustic quality can be an issue. Their decorative impact, in turn, is practically (and fancifully) limitless.

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Photo: Daniel Christopher. From: Thurman Design Studio.

Angle of Repose

This tone-on-tone white ceiling is rotated 45 degrees to create triangular panels that contrast gorgeously with the right angles on the four-poster bed and dramatic sliding door. Those angles appear again on the upholstered leather bench; clever, no?

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Photo: Baird & Warner, a member of Luxury Portfolio International. From: Baird & Warner and Luxury Portfolio International®.

Tradition With a Twist

Complementary shades of velvety gray paint update the oh-so-classic, floor-to-ceiling carved details in this masculine study. The coffered ceiling also lends the soaring space a feel of intimacy.

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