In case you're unfamiliar with the term, coffers are sunken panels in the ceiling, usually in the shape of a grid. The design detail dates back at least to ancient Rome, if not farther. You can even see them adorning the ceiling of the Pantheon.
Coffers were originally used as a structural element, working as support beams for the building.
Today, on the other hand, most paneled ceilings are strictly decorative, and do not actually play a role in the structural makeup of the home.
We saw coffers all over the place in our roundup of Houzz Readers' Favorite Kitchens, including the one shown here.
And why not try them outdoors? Here's a handsome porch with coffered details.
And here's a closeup of that same porch. I love how they included a skylight in several of the squares.
Another outdoor installation.
White, rectangular-shaped coffers are probably the most popular rendition of the style.
But different shapes and colors give the detail a more personalized note. Choose a bright shade and you're sure to draw the eyes upwards.
This kitchen combines square coffers with a beadboard background for even more interest overhead.
Whether grand and detailed...
... Or simple and subtle, coffers give a ceiling the extra oomph it deserves.