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.


I’m drawing your attention to this architectural detail for one reason: I want you to think about where in your home you can sneak in some clever little detail like this.

A detail that is perhaps missed when someone new enters your room and passes an admiring eye over your moldings.

build-in china hutch

Don’t fret if you don’t have the means to have a custom carved ornate shell created just for your wall niche.

This wall niche, sans the ornate shell, would still be beautiful with these same moldings installed.

And many homes have existing wall niches just crying out for some molding attention.

american colonial architectural detail


Molding & Millwork Inventory

Building the pilaster would be very similar to building PILASTER-104, where you’ll find a step by step tutorial.

I won’t bother calculating the price of making a little pilaster like this because it would cost so little money, so what would be the point?!

pilaster capital

1. Pilaster Capital PM-009

This is our old friend the ovolo molding profile.

More about PM-009 here >>

2. Capital Neck MDF-200

I’m using 1/2″ thick mdf for this illustration, but you could use whatever flat-stock fits your pilaster shaft.

More about MDF-200 here >>

3. Capital Collar PM-001 or PM-013

Either of these profiles would work well here.

More about PM-001 here >>

More about PM-013 here >>

pilaster base

4. Fluted Pilaster Shaft CA-003

You can use a pre-made fluted casing like CA-003, you could router your own or use flat-stock with no fluting.

More about CA-003 here >>

5. Pilaster Base PM-013

PM-013 will work great here. I would modify it by trimming off that little flat at the bottom of the profile.

More about PM-013 here >>