This architectural style stands the test of time as one that delivers drama, elegance, and an emphasis on spaciousness.
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A coffered ceiling is a pattern of indentations or recesses in an overhead surface. In architecture, a “coffer” is a sunken panel in a ceiling, including the interior surfaces of domes and vaults. If a surface is “coffered,” it is not smooth. The architectural detail has been popular since Renaissance architects imitated Classical Roman techniques. Modernist architects often play with the depth and shape of the coffer.
Coffers have been used in ceilings for centuries. Sometimes they were used to disguise the architectural engineering, where one beam or brace would be structurally necessary but others were built nearby for visual symmetry and to hide the necessary beam. Although hollows are sometimes used for structural weight distribution, coffers have always been used decoratively. Historically, a coffered ceiling can make a room look larger and more regal, as it does in the Palace of Versaille.
The Deep Coffer is the most popular depth and uses a 4-5/8″ crown. It takes up 4″ from the face of the grid to the back of the coffer. If you are suspending the grid from a drywalled ceiling, you will need 7″ of vertical space. This will allow you room to angle the coffers up thru each.
Medium Coffer takes up 1″ less vertical space than the Deep and is often used in rooms with ceilings at 8′ or less. It uses a 3-1/2″ crown. It takes up 3″ from the face of the grid to the back of the coffer. If you are suspending the grid from a drywalled ceiling, you will need 6″ of vertical space. This will allow you room to angle the coffers up thru each.