This type of classical ceiling has been around since the time of the Romans, and can still be seen today inside the Pantheon in Rome. A coffer is described as “a sunken panel in a ceiling, including the interiors of domes and vaults”. The word can be traced back to the Greek word kophinos, which means basket. Inspired by crisscrossing beams, finished coffers are normally accented with layers of decorative crown molding that elevate the entire look, adding to the overall effect of depth, luxury, and opulence.
While the use of square or rectangular-shaped coffers is more prevalent, octagonal shapes may be used as well. Usually attributed to manors or grand architectural structures, the coffered ceiling design may seem intimidating, especially for those who live in smaller spaces. However, when properly executed, coffered ceiling can work unexpected wonders. In this particular home, keeping the ceiling white pares down the heaviness of the coffers and allows them to blend in with the panel moldings on the walls and the bulky furniture in the room.