News and Articles from the ‘Decorative Indoor Columns’ Category

Staining Interior Wood Columns for Timeless Beauty

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Interior Wood ColumnsInterior columns provide both decorative and functional benefits unlike any other architectural element. Their timeless beauty can adorn a grand entrance way or staircase or be used to frame bathtubs, mantels, bookcases, windows, foyers, kitchen counters,  and doors. They can also highlight focal points or divide space and create borders while maintaining the airiness of a room.

The popular trend has been to paint these columns in high-gloss white. Today the four popular types of columns for new construction or remodeling are:

1.  Wood Columns

2.  PVC Columns

3.  Fiberglass Columns

4.  Aluminum Columns

Unlike columns made of other materials, wooden columns can be stained to bring out the natural beauty and grain of the wood. It’s easier than you might think. Most wood columns already come stain-sanded but you may want to do some light sanding to assure a glass-like smoothness. Follow the manufacturers recommendations carefully.

We’ve found it’s good first step to apply a clear liquid conditioner to fill in the pores and enhance the grain. Allow the conditioner to thoroughly dry before applying a stain of your choice. If you apply a clear topcoat, you’ll be amazed at the depth and beauty this will add to your wood columns (Tip: Always keep a wet edge when staining, and never stop halfway on the column – Go from top to bottom in long, straight strokes).

How to Select Decorative Wood Columns Using the Five Orders of Architecture

Saturday, February 26th, 2011
Decorative Wood Columns

Architectural Wood Columns

For centuries decorative wood columns have stood for strength, beauty, and authority. Today, they continue to grace the exteriors and interiors of some of the most beautiful residential, commercial and government buildings in the world.

The load bearing potential of wood columns makes them great for interior or exterior applications. In addition to the structural benefits of wood, rich wood columns can bring style, warmth and a feeling of security to any structure. Unlike columns made of other materials, authentic wood columns can be stained instead of painted, offering stunning aesthetics.

Those wishing to add decorative wood columns to a home or business, as accent or for structural purposes, should consider the five orders of architecture that have endured throughout the ages and choose the style that best suits the project and décor.

Architecturally correct wood columns like those made by Hartmann-Sanders, manufacturer of the largest selection of authentic architectural wood columns in the industry, are based on the three Grecian and two Latin orders of architecture, which are: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. The shafts of both round wood columns and square wood columns may be plain or fluted, with the flutes being of either Doric or Ionic design.

1. Tuscan is the Latin order Vignola, noted for its massive simplicity. It comprises the fewest parts and appears capable of bearing the heaviest loads. Classically, the shaft length is seven times its diameter and plain rather than fluted.

2. The Doric column is next in strength and simplicity to the Tuscan. Quite often it is seen without a base, in imitation of trees. Classically, the shaft length is eight times its bottom diameter. Doric shafts may be plain or fluted by 20 shallow channels. The Romans adapted this Greek order by creating more decorative bases and capitals.

3. The classically correct Ionic column shaft is slightly more than nine times its bottom diameter in length, so it is more graceful than the Doric. Its easily recognizable capital is decorated with spiral volutes both in the original Greek and adapted Roman design. The shaft is often decorated with 24 semi circular flutes separated by flat edges or fillets.

4. The most slender (ten times the bottom diameter) belongs to the Greek Corinthian order and its adaptation, the Latin Composite. The Corinthian order features an inverted bell capital decorated with two tiers of eight stylized acanthus leaves, topped by volutes. The shaft is plain or fluted in the Ionic style.

5. This order is the Roman adaptation of the Corinthian order, with an even more ornate capital. It uses the same proportions for base, shaft, capital and entablature as the Corinthian order; the shaft, again, is plain or fluted in the Ionic style.

From the design of the capital to the proportions and shape of the column shaft, Hartmann-Sanders follows the standards of classic column design with exactness. For more than 100 years Hartmann-Sanders has been manufacturing the finest quality wood columns available, and helping architects, builders and do-it-yourselfers choose the perfect wood columns for the job.

Round Architectural Columns – Symbols of Strength for Centuries

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Round Architectural Columns

Round Architectural Columns

For more than 2,500 years round architectural columns have served as symbols of strength for some of the world’s most magnificent structures. Round columns have traditionally signified a civilization’s wealth, power, prestige, sophistication, and endurance.

In ancient Rome load-bearing round columns were used to support such iconic buildings as the magnificent Roman Pantheon, the Greek Parthenon, the beautiful Colonnades, the library at Ephesus in Turkey, the beautiful Maison Carree of Nimes Provence in France, the Temple of Bacchus Baalbek, Lebanon with its forty-two unfluted Corinthian columns, and the Market at Leptis Manga in Libya, North Africa, where dozens of classical round columns now reach to an empty sky with the remains of crumbled buildings at their feet.

The popularity of round columns throughout the Roman Empire continued into the next millennium, down to today. Another example is Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, completed in 1626 AD. Its stoic columns still stand like sentries protecting the treasures within.

Much closer to home in time and place is our own presidential residence, the two hundred and ten year old White House in Washington DC and the famed Lincoln Memorial dedicated in 1922. Both structures are supported by the enduring strength and beauty of classical round columns. Throughout the US countless banks, city halls, theaters, grand hotels and other buildings of prominence bear round columns.

Today, columns come in all styles and sizes for purposes that range from structural support to simply decorative elements. Although some round columns are still made of masonry and marble as in ancient times, the majority of today’s round columns are now produced in more modern materials such as fiberglass or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Both round fiberglass columns and round PVC columns can generally handle higher loads than square columns under a variety of adverse environmental conditions. So it seems that weather for load-bearing capacity, beauty or symbolism the long tradition of round architectural columns has definitely stood the test of time.

For more information about architectural columns visit the industry leader, HB&G Columns, at

Enhance Your Home With Decorative Indoor Columns

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Interior ColumnsIn the past, interior columns were mainly used to cover structural supports. More recently however, architects, designers, decorators and homeowners alike have discovered that using decorative columns to enhance and define interior space can make a powerful yet subtle statement for any home or office.

Decorative columns are affordable and relatively simple enhancements to any décor. Indeed, both functional and decorative columns add sophistication and architectural detail to an otherwise plain space. But knowing how and where to use them can make all the difference

“Columns provide both decorative and functional benefits unlike any other architectural element,” said Tim Bobo, Marketing Manager for Dixie Pacific. “They can frame windows, foyers, entryways, kitchen counters, bathtubs, mantels, book cases and doors. They can also highlight focal points or divide space and create borders while maintaining the airiness of a room. And since many of today’s columns are made of fiberglass, they are easy to paint and detail while being virtually maintenance free.”

Interior columns consist of three parts: the capital (column caps), the shaft and the base. The uppermost portion of the column is called a capital. This piece is often detailed with designs and carvings. The shaft is the post itself. This can be ornate or simple, round, square, fluted or tapered and is available in a variety of standard or custom heights. The base is the bottom portion of the column, which can also be ornate or simple.

Decorating options for columns are limited only by your imagination – and don’t be afraid to use color. “White columns are nice, but not if they just blend into the woodwork. If you’re going to accentuate your interior space with columns be sure to make them stand out and grab your attention,” suggests Bobo.

There are numerous painting techniques available today that can help focus attention on your columns. But before you decide which one to use, look at your column from all angles and consider every room the column defines, including hallways. Then choose a faux paint style and color to complement these surrounding areas.

You might even want to consider using more than one color to define a column. For example, if the capital or base is very ornate, try accentuating this feature with darker paint – even a metallic paint. You might also want to consider marbling. This easy technique produces a subtle yet classic finish. Stenciling and crackle painting are also easy and fun to do. Each method creates it’s own special look for your column.

Whatever style you choose or however you decide to paint or finish your decorative interior columns, they are sure to add lasting elegance and beauty for years to come.

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