Creating an Entryway with Pizzazz by Using Pilasters
For many homeowners, the front entryway is simply a portal into their home and nothing more. But did you ever consider that your home's entrance is your first chance to convey your sense of style and set a welcoming tone for your visitors?
One of the simplest ways you can spice up an ordinary entryway is through the use of a pair of pilasters. These vertical embellishments flank the door and help to define the entryway while also adding an interesting decorative element. Pilasters look much like a vertical column that's been cut in half the long way and then embedded into the wall surface, giving the look of a column without all of the installations that a real column entails.
Sometimes the pilaster on either side of the door is sufficient, and other times you'll notice crossheads across the top of the doorway so that the combination of pilaster and crossheads frames the entry. Either option can help to transform the look of the entryway without an investment of much time, money, or effort. Additionally, the wide variety of different pilaster styles means that there are excellent options for every architectural style of home.
Since pilasters give the appearance of bearing weight without actually doing so, they can be easily installed around any doorway. You'll often find pilasters on the exterior facades of Georgian and Greek-style homes as well as other traditional styles of architecture, most commonly either surrounding the doorway or at the home's exterior corners. You'll also find that these interesting embellishments can also be used in other places such as a fireplace mantel.
Pilasters are available in a variety of heights, so you'll easily find an option that suits your doorway or wherever you're intending to install them. Some pilasters are even adjustable, which means that you have the luxury of not having to be exact in your measurements and can still enjoy a stunning result. Just to let you know you can top your pilasters with a crosshead or entrance pediment.
For a subtle look, you can paint a pilaster the same color as the exterior wall of your home; this will enhance the facade with just a touch of detail. More frequently, you'll find that pilasters are painted in a trim color; white is one of the most common pilaster colors that you'll see.
Whatever the style and color that you decide to choose for your beautiful pilasters, you'll be amazed at what a difference something so simple can make in enhancing the look of your home's exterior.
Pilasters are classical trim details for the interior of the house as well as for exterior. Pilasters appeared on exteriors of different style houses. Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, and Italianate, to name a few, all made use of these architectural details. Pilasters were designed to look like square pillars that supported the corners of a house. Most pilasters were projected just slightly from the facade of the building. In this respect, pilasters look and function like ornate corner boards.
Usually, a pilaster is a very wide board with a fluted surface that rests on a base and is topped with a capital. Depending on how substantial they are, pilasters project from the wall about 1 to 4 inches. Some of these components are relatively plain, but many grand examples can be found on luxury houses. These can feature Corinthian capitals that look like inverted bells surrounded by leaves.
Pilasters aren't used only on the corners of a house. Sometimes pilasters are evenly spaced across the front facade to create a bas-relief version of a portico or colonnade. Much more common is the practice of installing fluted pilasters on the sides of the front door. Paneled pilasters are also used to support the backside of small entry porches.