Design opportunity awaits overhead.

Though the humble ceiling has long been ignored, smart designers are realizing that the expansive surface can also be a decor opportunity, with strategically employed coffers and beams adding a sculptural component to a room without sacrificing square footage. Below, five creative ways to rock the look. (Photo: Phil Crozier.)

1. Line ‘Em Up

The outside of this Craftsman-style home is traditional, so designer James McIntyre incorporated classic mouldings and coffered ceilings into the living room. But by painting them the same colour as the wall and ceiling, the space leans toward modern. See the rest of this Calgary dream home. (Photo: Ema Peter.)

2. Mix Master

For this Vancouver renovation, designer Bruce Carscadden paired painted structural steel beams with cedar paneling to keep the industrial look feeling light and bright. See the rest of this ultra-cool project. (Photo: Barry Calhoun.)

3. At an Angle

The coffers in this white-on-white kitchen from the team at Kelly Deck Design reflect the same diagonal angle as the backsplash. See more from this beautiful transitional space.white living room (Photo: Tracey Ayton.)

4. Swirls, Swirls, Swirls

Vancouver designer Victoria McKenney channelled classic European elegance for this bright sitting room, but the real star of the space (a swirling, decorative design) is located overhead. Learn more about how to get this look. (Photo: Elaine Mark.)

5. Big is Beautiful

For this Saskatoon den, Atmosphere Interior Design built oversized coffers from MDF and painted them white to pop against the grey grasscloth backdrop. See more tips for getting the look.

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