How to turn your Kitchen into a Masterpiece with Corbels

Classic kitchen design with carved wood corbels; kitchen design ideas

Corbels find themselves right at home in the kitchen. In fact, since the actual use of a corbel is to support weight, just think of all of the heavy pieces that are in your kitchen: cabinets, countertops, the range hood, possibly open shelving, and more. Everywhere that support is needed is the ideal place for a corbel that not only helps to balance the look but to add interesting hand-carved detail, as well.

You’ll find corbels manufactured from high-quality hardwoods and from easy-care polyurethane. Wood corbels can actually provide a support function, but a polyurethane corbel is for decorative purposes only: it won’t support the weight of a piece like a shelf or a countertop.

Wood corbels can be painted in any color to coordinate with your kitchen’s decor, or you can choose to stain the corbel to match other wood accents and to showcase the fine grain of the wood. Polyurethane corbels should be painted for optimal results; these architectural components also lend themselves well to faux finishes. When selecting your stain or the paint color for each corbel, consider choosing a finish similar to your existing kitchen cabinetry for a well-coordinated look.

As for where to best utilize a corbel in your kitchen, the list is long:

  • Under counter tops, especially those made from heavy materials such as granite or marble;
  • With islands and counter overhangs where chairs or bar stools might provide seating for family members and guests; just take care to position the corbel carefully so that it doesn’t get in the way of the seating;
  • Underneath a deep window sill;
  • As support for kitchen cabinetry;
  • Supporting an open shelf, especially if the shelf will hold items that are heavy such as cast-iron cookware; corbels can balance the look of weighty items that might appear unsupported on a plain shelf.
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kitchen island with carved wood corbels supporting a granite counter; kitchen design ideas; kitchen inspiration

For many homeowners, the most challenging part of decorating with polyurethane or wood corbels in the kitchen is selecting from the vast number of corbel styles. You’ll find designs that coordinate beautifully with any style of kitchen, from Traditional to Mediterranean to Modern and every other style in between. Some corbels are more straightforward in appearance, which means that they lend themselves well to a subtler type of accent, while other designs are more bold and distinctive. The latter style of corbel does a perfect job of making an artistic statement in its own right.

Now that you have an understanding of the myriad of ways that corbels can provide the perfect enhancement for a kitchen, it’s time to take a fresh look at your home to determine the ways in which you can utilize these architectural embellishments to spice up your kitchen.

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