Monday, November 3, 2008

Coffered Ceilings

I’ve always loved coffered ceilings. Especially in a library or study where the rich woods of the paneling extend up to the rich moldings and details of the ceiling. Coffers give a room grandeur and formality.

A coffered ceiling is a ceiling that consists of recessed panels, in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon in a ceiling, soffit or vault, which is usually trimmed with ornamental motifs. They were used in Greek and Roman architecture as far back as the 6th century as both a decorative element and as a means of lightening the load of a heavy marble or stone ceiling and were usually reserved for the rich or the Gods.

Today, coffered ceilings are available to everyone and can be bought in kits or can be handcrafted like they were in ancient times.

This dining room, owned by James and Lisa Cohen was designed by architectural designer James Nigro and Manhattan-based interior designer Alexa Hampton. Although not a true coffered ceiling, the architectural detailing on the ceiling, along with the finial-type detailing that hangs down at the cross-sections, gives this room an English aesthetic and a coffered look. Above the marble fire surround hangs a painting of the future Elizabeth I, a copy of the Royal Collection portrait that the Cohens commissioned.

From Architectural Digest, February 2007.

This library features a beautiful coffered ceiling with detail trim inside. The warm palette chosen for this room plays off of the rich wood. Clarence House shade stripe. Quatrain desk. Mimi London ottoman suede.

Interior Design by Mary E. Nichols
From Architectural Digest, May 2006

There is nothing more that I like than being surrounded by books. This breakfast room offers the perfect setting with its high coffered ceilings and gothic arches over the french doors. Hung from the center of the bookcase behind the dining table is Auguste-François Bonheur’s oil The Head of a Ram. Fabric on Regency chairs, Brunschwig & Fils. Drapery sheer, Pollack.

Interior Architecture by Richard Williams Architects/Interior Design by Solís Betancourt
From Architectural Digest, April 2008

Another view of the room above. Gothic chair fabric, Beacon Hill. Notice the recessed tilt lights emphasizing the sculptural pieces.

I love the corner detailing on this ceiling. I pretty much love everything about the room! Very cozy! The low table is from Lewis Mittman. The sofa fabric and chair, ottoman and pillow paisley from Old World Weavers. Stark carpet.

Interior Design by Scott Snyder
From Architectural Digest, May 2006

This Tuscan living room gives you the feeling that you are in Italy or Napa Valley. The walnut ceiling and over-sized chimney piece really make this room feel large. Notice the bead-board like wood used in the ceiling. Another detail to draw your eye upward. Ushak rugs from Mansour.

Interior Design by Craig Wright
From Architectural Digest, March 2007.

In the entrance hall of this Manhattan penthouse, designer Juan Pablo Molyneux mirrored the coffered ceiling onto the marble floor and used recessed lighting in the ceiling to add extra sparkle.

From Architectural Digest, April 2006

Molding treatment matches the custom built-in cabinets found in the library or office - coffered ceiling treatment in cherry to match the cabinets

Check out the detail used on this ceiling, by Eli Sperry Cabinetry.


This coffered ceiling is available from Midwestern Wood Products Co. in an easy-to-install modular system that gives you a coffered ceiling instantly. Fantastic!

From Wow! This room is fantastic with it’s ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and gilded chandeliers.

Dennis and Kimberly Quaid’s bedroom in Los Angeles. They used a large coffering detail in the center of their bedroom to give this room additional height and a focal point.

Interior Design by Everage Design
From Architectural Digest, November 2008

Limestone-clad walls and a matching faux finish on the ceiling give this bedroom more architectural interest. Chandelier and night table lamps, Carlos de la Puente. Stark sofa and drapery fabrics and carpet.

Interior Design by Penny Drue Baird
From Architectural Digest, February 2008.

Recipe to Try!

Broiled Stuffed Pepper Wedges

(Snatched from

Broiled Stuffed Pepper Wedges


Colorful bell pepper wedges, stuffed with cheeses and broiled

Yield: 4 servings


1/2 cup chive-and-onion cream cheese spread
1 tablespoon chopped black olives
2 medium bell peppers (any color)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese


1. Cut each pepper into eight wedges.

2. Combine cream cheese and olives in a small bowl.

3. Spread about 2 teaspoons of mixture on each pepper wedge and sprinkle with chedder cheese.

4. Line a baking sheet with foil, and place wedges on top. (The foil will prevent burned cheese that sticks to the baking sheet!)

5. Broil in oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and peppers begin to blacken slightly. Serve warm or cold.

Broiled stuffed pepper wedges

Broiled stuffed pepper wedges

Additional Notes:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 6-8 minutes

Have a great week everyone!


Anonymous said...

Ooh! Lovely pics Becky. I love coffered ceilings too. When we lived in Brooklyn, the Huz and I loved to take a stroll past all the old brownstones at night, peering in the windows and admiring the interiors..some of our faves had lovey coffers, including one that had painted them peacock blue with bright white trim. It was so striking!

Looks like a fab recipe too...I might have to try it to bring to the election results watching party I'm going to tonight :)

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVE coffered ceilings... and actually coffered walls are nice too!
Your treats look YUMMY!

Ashley said...

Those peppers look TDF!!! yum

My Notting Hill said...

Looks like a terrific recipe! Will plan to try it - thanks.

Unknown said...

Hi Rebecca,

My company made the white coffered ceiling with the circle in it. One of my customers saw it and sent me the link. I appreciate the exposure. This coffered ceiling is actually a suspended ceiling system which is easily installed and affordable. If you would be interested in more info and/or photos, contact me at Our website is Thanks again for choosing our product for your blog. ~ Carrie - Midwestern Wood Products Co.