Armchair Builder

Coffered Ceiling & Cove Lighting

Living Room Coffered Ceiling

This guest post is brought to you by Gus Hans, a successful owner-builder in Kentucky.  Gus built a gorgeous custom home on a  five acre piece of land.  He agreed to share a couple of his own custom home details with us.

I thought it would be a good idea to share the coffered ceiling project that worked in our dining room.  We have a 42 x 16 clear span area which encompasses our living room, kitchen and dining room.  In order to separate the three living areas, we chose not to close them off with protruding walls but instead, changed the look of the ceilings.  The living area has coffered ceilings constructed of HDF (high density fiberboard) attached to 2×4 anchors.  The contrasting color inside the coffered ceiling squares provides a nice look for the room (see picture above).  This custom home detail can give an otherwise ordinary space a warm, high end look.

Dining Room with Cove Lighting

For the dining room, we wanted to use indirect cove lighting to add to the light from the chandelier while eating and also to provide adequate lighting to travel throughout the rooms at night but not place a glare on the television.  We really like the look of the cove lighting behind the crown molding which is installed 8-12″ from the ceiling but noticed the light usually terminates at the ceiling.  To combat this we wanted  a coved corner which would provide an aesthetic feature during the daylight hour as well as carry the light further into the ceiling at night.

The first idea, not mine, was to use 36″ aluminum coil to create the cove.  On a new, unsettled house and foundation it only took about three weeks to have numerous bends and wrinkles prevalent in the cove.

The second attempt, proudly my idea, was to purchase clearance 4×8 sheets of laminate and attach the laminated side to the studs.  The back of the laminate has multiple grooves which would accept drywall mud.  The laminate is inherently flexible enough to move with the house without cracking. We used only enough mud to cover the grooves and a high quality caulk to fill the seams.  Crossing our fingers, we have yet to find any cracks!  Coffered ceilings and cove lighting are just a couple custom home details you may want to consider for your new building project.

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2 Comments for Coffered Ceiling & Cove Lighting

Michael | January 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

Great pictures Rick! Thanks for sharing with the group. When you say laminate, is this the same material used for countertops?

Gus | January 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Yes it is,this was especially hideous though, hence the clearance special! There was definitely a sweet spot at install between too close of a cove that snapped the laminate and too loose that was, well, too loose. We found that ripping it in half for a 24″ finished piece worked great.