The mural apartment: tropical Study/office by S Squared Architects Pvt Ltd

How to decorate concrete columns and make them functional

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally
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When designing a home, most of us get caught up in the details of making it look beautiful by optimising views and having open spaces that give it a luxurious feel. Then, the reality dawns, especially when we consult a professional architect who advises that a large room might need a load-bearing column in the centre to make it structurally sound, or that the patio roof will need a few additional support columns in the centre to keep it stable even against intense winds. The idea of having a column in the centre of a space can be unappealing as it takes away the feeling of openness, but you can’t avoid it for the sake of your house’s safety. If you are wondering how to get around this problem, don’t worry! We present several creative design ideas that you can use to turn a dull column into a distinctive feature that blends into your home. Today, we present ideas on how to decorate concrete columns or brick pillars to add beauty and functionality to your house.

1. Room divider

When a large open plan space has a concrete column in the centre, consider using it as a visual divider that separates the spaces. In this house, the concrete column is painted white and acts as a support for the wooden beams and pillars that rest on it. The design divides the space into four mini rooms – the foyer, the living room, the dining room and a study. The white and brown tones throughout create a lovely minimalist ambiance.

For advise on structural elements in the house, it's advisable to consult professional architects.

2. Support for a recess

Mr.Ishaan's Residence,Sholinganallur: modern Living room by M/s Studio7 Architects
M/s Studio7 Architects

Mr.Ishaan's Residence,Sholinganallur

M/s Studio7 Architects

A column can serve as support for a partition wall between two spaces, like in this living room. The concrete pillar has stone cladding that adds a soothing natural touch to the space. Designing a wall with a smaller width than the column allows you to create a recess into which you can accommodate a piece of furniture without making the room appear cramped. In this home, the recess has a cabinet with a countertop and a sleek sink that could be mistaken for a modern sculpture.

Get more ideas for designing wall niches in your house.

3. Structural support in the veranda

In an external space such as a patio or a veranda, structural columns are essential to provide support for the roof that protects the seating area from the natural elements. However, you can get creative and transform the straight lines of veranda or terrace pillars by adding a few geometric design details to break the monotony, like you can see in this example.

4. Stone columns

Temple Bells - Arati and Sundaresh's Residence: eclectic Garden by Sandarbh Design Studio
Sandarbh Design Studio

Temple Bells—Arati and Sundaresh's Residence

Sandarbh Design Studio

When you need to add a roof over an external space as part of an extension project in your house, instead of looking for designs of brick columns in Indian homes, consider browsing through an antique shop for exquisite stone pillars from an old palace or temple. They will be strong enough to support a light terracotta tiled roof and will add a charming element to your patio.

5. Base for the television

Another option for making the most of a loadbearing column in the middle of the social space is to use it as the base for the wall-mounted television. The wall can be coated with a rustic wallpaper or stone cladding like in this home, to bring a cosy feel to the space. Similarly, you can decorate the wall with a finish that matches the style of your house, whether it’s classic or modern.

6. Storage niche

Amanora Park Pune - Pent House: modern Bedroom by DECOR DREAMS
DECOR DREAMS

Amanora Park Pune—Pent House

DECOR DREAMS

In apartments, it’s not uncommon to find a loadbearing column in an odd place such as just half a foot away from the external wall. In such cases, the best way to use the dead space is to build storage shelves in the niche, like you can see in this bedroom. Additionally, in this example, curtains are used to camouflage the niche to make it look like a small window.

7. A cosy border

In a large house with a double-height ceiling, columns are essential to support the structure. Placing the columns in a perfect circle to form a border for the seating area in the living room makes the space seem cosier, especially in a big house like this one. It also separates the living room from the passageway leading to the stairs. Additionally, coating the columns with a natural stone finish and installing floor lighting at the base of each pillar make a beautiful feature that adds style to the living room, besides subtly illuminating the area.

8. Storage and partition

Creating a piece of furniture that fits perfectly between the wall and the column can help to take away the attention from the placement of the support structure in the centre of a space. In this design, we can see how the top section of the wooden partition has glass so that it doesn’t compromise the natural light in the space. The bottom half has convenient storage built into the unit – perfect for organising items and keeping the living room clutter free.

9. Safety on the terrace

In a home with a terrace on the upper floor, while the view is the primary attraction, safety is an important aspect to be included in the design. When the structure has a pillar at the corner of the terrace for supporting the roof, the pillar can also be used to fix the steel and glass safety railing along the border of the terrace to keep the area more secure.

10. Decorative columns at the entrance

While structural columns are often present at the main entrance to support the porch roof or the upper floor, you can get creative and break away from the traditional design of a single column and break it up into two. The stone clad support columns in this entrance have a hollow at the centre, which is perfect for placing a planter to decorate the space and create a more welcoming feel.

11. Rustic wooden columns

The verandah :  Terrace by M+P
M+P

The verandah

M+P

In a home that is designed in a rustic style, it’s only appropriate to carry through the theme in the pillars that support the roof over the veranda. Whether you use beautifully carved wooden pillars or terracotta columns, they should blend with the other elements and enhance the rustic charm of the space.

12. An interesting fence

When you have a home with a fantastic view and don’t want to hinder it by building a high boundary wall, brick pillars like the ones in this house can serve as posts from which barbed wire can be trailed around the property to protect it. Paint the pillars in a suitable colour to add a stunning element to the exterior view of the house. In this image, the bright red pillars enhance the rustic style of the house.

Find inspiration from these creative fence design ideas.

If you are looking for ideas or designs of brick columns or wondering what you can do to hide an ugly loadbearing concrete pillar in your home, consult one of the professional architects or interior designers registered on homify. Besides giving you innovative ideas on how you can transform the column to make it a highlight in the room, they can also advise you on the type of finishes that will match the theme in the rest of your house.

Which of these ideas will work in your home? Let us know in the comments.
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