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All pilaster designs in The Joy of Moldings Pattern Book

Delicate Fluted PILASTER-101

fluted pilasterTraditional Style, 1754

Can you see it?

Can you see the capital of a very small pilaster behind the coffee pot and supporting the figurehead?

I didn’t even notice it until after I got home and was sorting through the pictures I took here in Whitby Hall, James Coultas’ splendid American Colonial home that’s now on display in the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The pilaster is located in the very back of a very special wall niche with an ornate shell, display shelves and doors.

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pilaster doric orderTraditional Style, Doric Order

A pilaster is nothing more than a column cut in half and then placed against the wall.

It is not a load-bearing element like a column, it is decorative only.

However, a pilaster must appear to be supporting another architectural structure. In this example the pilaster is supporting an architrave, also a decorative architectural element.

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How to Make PILASTER-104 for About $13.61 ea.

diy pilaster columnTraditional Style

This simple Tuscan style pilaster was the perfect way to separate the colors in our open floor plan kitchen.

It can be made from affordable materials you find locally.  In fact, for this project we went to Lowes and found everything we needed in stock.

This page shows you step by step how we made ours.  It’s really easy!

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How to Build PILASTER-103 for About $35.67

how to make diy pilaster for door trim moldingTraditional & Victorian Styles

Think of a pilaster as nothing more than a column flattened against a wall.  Some are fluted, some are flat and some, like this one, have inset panels.

The inset panels add that extra detail — elevating the door surround they are installed on to senior status in the home — so save them for more public rooms (Read more about Architectural Subordination here.) especially easy and affordable to build.

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