The Secret Art of Coffering

November 20th, 2012 § Comments Off on The Secret Art of Coffering § permalink

Coffer: noun, architecture: a decorative sunken panel in a ceiling, dome, soffit, or vault. (

Coffered ceiling: noun
1) an arrangement of coffers, typically in a grid, to form a decorative ceiling
2) a beautiful yet time consuming pain in the ass

Dad and I spent an entire week constructing the ceiling. We first skinned the entire ceiling in 3/8″ thick plywood to provide a solid base to build on. We then furred out for the beams to ensure there was enough of a reveal for the coffers. There was not enough space between the window casing and the ceiling to install a typical 6″ deep coffer so instead we decided to do a shallow coffered ceiling – about 1″ deep – this gave us enough height to install a two piece crown.
Once the beams were installed we fit drywall inside each of nine coffers. Next I trimmed each coffer with a custom cove moulding. The two piece crown moulding was installed last (you can see the first half on the wall already) and is the same that has been installed in the rest of the second floor.
Three coats of primer and two coats of Farrow and Ball Wimborne White finished off the ceiling. My neck still has a kink in it.20121120-071537.jpgThe secret to a good coffered ceiling is math, lots and lots of math.

Back Bedroom Demolition

November 13th, 2012 § Comments Off on Back Bedroom Demolition § permalink

The back bedroom has always been an awkward room – there is a chimney bump out in one corner, a closet that was built into the room in the opposite corner, and the bedroom door is on an angle in another corner. The result of all this is that a bed will only fit in one position in the room and even then there was not much room to move around it.

We demolished the closet and dropped the plaster ceiling. You can see the beautiful pink outline where the closet used to be.

20121113-071044.jpgWe discovered an old closet that had been covered up by the closet we demolished. The old closet opening had been covered with a piece of drywall.

When the house was converted into apartments in the 30’s/40’s the back staircase was partially removed and this extra space was converted into a closet in this upstairs bedroom. When the staircase was rebuilt in the 80’s the bottom part of the closet had to be sacrificed to provide enough headroom when coming up the back stairs. Some time after that the closet was boarded up and another closet was built in front of it.

20121113-071848.jpgThe plaster walls in this room were in pretty good shape so we decided to leave well enough alone. Aside from stripping the paint and a few patches the trim was also in great shape.

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