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Columns in the interior of apartments and houses | Room Planner Blog

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Columns in the interior of apartments and houses

Columns in modern interior design: what types of columns are there and from what material? All this, as well as advice on the use of columns in the interior design of an apartment on the Room Planner.

Types of architectural columns

Whether gracing the inside of a home or the outside, columns can be a stunning addition to any building. Take a closer look and you will realize that there are a wide variety of column designs.

The most popular column designs used in modern architecture fall into 5 categories known as the 5 Orders of Architectural Columns. The first three are of Greek origin while the last two are Roman.

  • Doric – Short, faceted and heavy columns with simple circular capitals. They can either have a flat surface or be fluted. The first Doric columns did not feature a base.

  • Ionic – The thinnest of the 5 types, Ionic columns are usually flued but can also be plain. They have large bases, the tallest of the 5 categories, as well as two opposed scrolls.

  • Corinthian – The latest of the Greek columns are also the most elaborate, often decorated with scrolls, flowers, and leaves. The shafts are fluted and similar to the Ionic style.

  • Tuscan – Simple like Doric columns, Tuscan columns are slim and austere, devoid of carving and ornamentation. They project strength through simplicity.

  • Composite – Composite columns bring together features of the Greek Ionic and Corinthian designs. They will have the scrolls of the former and the leaves from the latter.

Each of these styles has a distinctive look which can add a touch of class when paired with the right home design.

Choice of architectural column material

In the Greek and Roman eras, columns were made exclusively out of hard natural materials such as marble, granite and other stones that occur naturally. While great for bearing loads, these materials were extremely heavy and expensive. Their hardness also made them difficult to work with.

An exterior or interior column does not have to be functional in a modern home – many architects today include them purely for decoration. As such, there are fewer restrictions on the materials that may be used to construct these columns.

When a designer has to design columns for interior, they have to consider the 3 parts of a column:

  • Base – The base bears the bulk of the weight and therefore has to be bulkier and wider than the rest of the column. Material choice depends on the ability to withstand pressure more than design.

  • Trunk – The majority of a column is made up of the trunk. The material choice is a cross between load bearing and design preferences.

  • Capital – Located at the very top of the column, this is where the most elaborate decorative elements of the structure are located. The material chosen should be easy to work with.

Now that you understand the parts of a column, you can begin choosing the material. Here are 5 of the most common choices for column designs for interior.

  • Natural stone – Rarely used today because of its cost and complexity of construction. It can be a powerful statement in a luxurious home.

  • Concrete – reinforced concrete is versatile and affordable. It can easily be adapted to the shapes and designs of any interior. With a final layer of finishing, it can be transformed into any design and color.

  • Metal – Simple to design, easy to paint, and reasonably cheap, metal is one of the most feasible options for modern interior column design.

  • Brick – While the shape can be restrictive, brick columns blend seamlessly into a house interior that has been constructed of the same material. Plaster and paint make it even more adaptable.

  • Wood – While not always quite as strong as some of the other choices, wood has a remarkably earthy look that can elevate an interior. It can also be carved easily with elaborate and intricate patterns.

Internal and external application of columns

Whether they are a decorative column interior or a cosmetic addition, interior decorative columns can transform a room from ordinary to extraordinary. Floor to ceiling columns add a level of wonder and beauty to any space.

In a large room, they can work as zoning tools, breaking up a large, open space into specific areas that are intended for specific activities. This segmentation also makes planning your décor easier as it breaks up the huge canvas of the space into manageable bites.

With the range of affordable and malleable materials, interior columns are a practical tool to add a touch of decorative class without breaking the bank.

External columns are usually less decorative and more structurally important than internal columns. Because of this, they tend to be wider and more substantial. They are commonly used to add a dramatic touch to the front of the home, particularly the driveway and porch.

Fortunately, home owners today have the luxury of materials that can bear significant loads while still remaining affordable.

Installation of architectural columns

Architectural columns, both internal and external are far easier to install today because of their lightweight construction and segmented design.

In most cases, the installers will use a simple plumb line to align the base and the capital to the vertical at the point where the column is to be situated. There may be some adjustment required for the final fit. This can be simple for pain columns but extra care has to be taken where decorative elements are part of the design.

Mounting plates are then used to attach the column to a structural element before it is fastened at the top and bottom with L-brackets. Caulk is applied to protect the column against moisture and infestations.

The task is made even easier when they are used as a decorative addition instead of a critical structural element. Galvanized drywall screws and construction-grade adhesive will attach the column to the building.

In either case, a two-man team can complete the installation of a column in half a day.

Tips for using columns in apartment interior design

As we touched on earlier, columns are a great way to break up a huge interior into zones. They can also be used for other practical interior design purposes.

  • Cover – They can hide an unsightly part of the room, for example, pipes and cables.

  • Practical use – A large block of space can be used as a mini wall to mount a TV or artwork

  • Attention – Draw attention to a magnificently-intricate column as the center of attraction

There are so many other uses of columns that you can apply. Learn about it with the free Room Planner App.

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