10 Creative Ways to Deal With Load-Bearing Columns
Often unavoidable in open floor plans, columns are an unsightly structural necessity that can be turned into a design asset with the right design. Read on for some creative ideas!
1. Light it up
Open up the column and integrate downlighting, uplighting or a lit display box to showcase a sculpture or piece of art.
2. Decorate them
Showcase an ornate pattern or carving on the column and treat the column itself as a work of art.
3. Make a central column tactile
Since it’s going to be in the center of your home’s activities, you might as well make it touchable. Consider wrapping rope around a wooden column, or covering a more basic column in an interesting material to give it a softer presence.
4. Cover it in stone
A good idea for bringing some of the material from the home’s exterior inside, covering a large masonry column with stone introduces a hard, textured material that contrasts with the softness of the interior.
5. Turn it into a media center
If you’re not sure where to place your TV in an open floor plan, consider turning your structural column into a media center. Even if you don’t position your TV there immediately, it might be a good idea to incorporate electrical outlets near the column for the future.
6. Make two nearby columns into a bookcase
For those with two columns that are close together, consider using them to create shelving and lighting for display or storage space. If you have other built-in furniture in the room, you could cover them to match and no one would even know they’re structural.
7. Make a wine rack
By encasing the column and installing some cubby shelves, you have the perfect spot to store wine, CDs or anything else small enough to fit in the cubbies.
8. Turn it into a room divider
If you have a row of columns between two spaces with different functions, consider adding some low storage to act as a room divider. Solid shelves work well, or for a more airy and modern look, consider an open, floating shelf system.
9. Create seating around the column base
You can create a customized seating spot that encircles the entire column, or a simpler solution is to stretch a bench between two columns for an extra spot where people can sit. This is perfect for an entryway or mudroom so guests are able to comfortably take shoes off and on.
10. Create contrast between materials
Treat your columns like you would a feature wall and cover them with a contrasting texture or color that adds interest or pizzazz to a room. This is especially effective in spaces with minimalist decor.