Traditionally used as a supportive element for various architectural structures, the corbel’s utilitarian use saw that its decorative applications were frequently more of an afterthought. Today, thanks to the structural soundness of modern buildings and the strict codes to which they are built; the decorative application of corbels is experiencing something of a revival. But despite their modern makeover, the corbel must keep true to its original roots: while the modern corbel may not be as supportive as its predecessors, it is imperative that the corbel appears as if its application is as being an element of support, otherwise it will simply look silly. The corbel must look as if it serves its pre-determined purpose; and if it doesn’t appear to have one, then the corbel will look as inappropriate as a tuxedo at a funeral. “Corbels are special details that add a refined touch of class to the home, and should always look the part. Today’s decorative corbel is meant to enhance and accentuate what is already there; similarly as to what the push-up bra does for the woman who wears it,” says this designer.
The surge in the corbel’s popularity indicates the formation of a trend, and the trend indicates that the modern corbel often appears in hub of the home: the kitchen. Corbels are frequently spotted underneath the overhang of the countertops and alongside the hood of the stoves. Corbels are often spied alongside fireplaces, flanking the mantle. And corbels nestled into the corners of doors and entryways have become a popular place for them to reside. Corbels certainly add depth and another layer of interest to a home’s interior architecture, but it is the full range of designs and the carvings available that truly fuels the trend. “The range of designs and styles, the warmth and detail of the carvings themselves, makes it possible to highly customize your home decor, to truly make the space a reflection of you and your tastes,” explains this designer. And so it is not off the mark to say that just like the circular pattern of fashion trends, corbels and architectural details share a common thread: everything old is new again.
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