Interior columns have long been hailed as an integral part of the structure and architecture of homes. From ancient periods when they were used to support Roman temples and lavish homes to the supportive and ornamental role they play in spaces today, columns are an indispensable part of interior decor.

As supportive elements, columns bear the weight of the roof or floors above. As such, load-bearing columns will be cemented into the foundation and cannot be moved even when planning an open layout or expanding the open space area.

Decorative columns give the impression of support and are made from material such as polyurethane which is strong but cannot hold up any weight.

Just by their physical size, interior columns are hard to miss, and therefore a significant portion of a room’s decor. Having columns, however, does not mean that they have to be straight and boring. There are numerous styles from the simply-lined Doric and Tuscan columns to the more intricately detailed Corinthian styles.

Decorating a column does not have to end at choosing the style. There are tons of creative ways to spruce up the columns, making them an even more alluring focal point.

1.   Add a charming detail such as a striking capital

Columns come in three parts; the shaft, the base, and the capital. A simple, decorative idea is to select a column with a spectacular accompanying capital that speaks for itself. With such a breathtaking detail, there will hardly be a need to add any more embellishment.

2.   Accentuate the column with trim such as crown molding

Half and flat columns are fitted against the wall so they protrude slightly without needing to stand alone as round columns would. Crown molding fitted at the top of the capital will enlarge the surface framing the wall and ceiling and enhance the visual appeal.

Aim to match the column style to the crown molding to avoid colliding features. A heavy detail on the capital will probably not go well with an equally carved crown molding set in a completely different style.

Play around with different ideas before settling on the two pieces and making a heavy investment that will yield an unsatisfactory finish.

3.   Use paint

The choice of paint goes a long way in creating the perfect accent wall and in this case, the perfect blend between the column and the walls.

The question to consider here is whether to paint the columns the same color as the walls or not.

Painting the column the same color as the walls will create a continuous look to the room. It will also be easier to do as the hue will be similar. For even more uniformity, match the column to the wall trim as well.

For a contrasting look, consider using different paint tones. While it is possible to go wild and use vastly opposing color shades, keeping them within the same family creates a more harmonious feel that is easy on the eyes yet still striking. Try two tones such as varying shades of gray, or a gray column base accompanying white walls.

5. Layer the column with extra material

Add color and texture to the column by layering it with other materials such as brick, wood, or tiles.


Tiles come in inexhaustible sizes, colors, and textures. Go an extra creative length by opting for tiles that can be mixed and matched rather than traditional tiles.


Wood adds a warm and cozy feel to any room and is a magnificent decor element. Consider wood paneling to cover the columns and match it with other decor pieces around the space.

Alternatively, try a cheaper option that creates the same effect such as wood-style wallpaper or peel and stick wood panels.


Brick dramatically transforms a room to give it an urban or rustic finish. Layer the whole column exterior with brick or invent a more pronounced contrast by partially layering the column.


Like brick, a stone layer over the column quickly alters the appearance of a room giving it a modern feel. Try a thin stone veneer that resembles tile layering or faux stone panels. Alternatively, consider stone wallpaper that shows off the remarkable beauty at an affordable cost.


Marble is a handsome addition to kitchen and bathroom countertops. It provides an equally marvelous addition to columns and will add a touch of class to the space.


A mirror is often an understated aspect of interior decor that makes for a superb focal point. Covering the column with a mirror will tastefully disguise the column as it will reflect the rest of the room.

6. Make it functional

Depending on the location of the column in the room, give it an aesthetically pleasing function such as shelves placed at different levels. A column will also provide good support for a countertop or as a base for a bookshelf.

Give these functional spaces a spruce up by touching them up with paint or using wood finishing.

7. Use it to display works of art

Square columns are a great surface to display works of art such as paintings or photographs. If you had not settled on an accent wall, consider adding well-thought-out pieces of art to it. This will draw attention away from the column itself and onto the masterpieces it holds.

8. Use plants

Columns, especially on the house exterior such as a patio are a great surface around which to layer climbing plants. For the same look inside the house, artificial plants or vines will probably be better suited as they will need less care. On the outside, try using columns to support a lush garden within which you can set up a cozy terrace.


There are no limits to how inventive you can get with decorating the interior columns. Find what will complement the room best and use other features such as the furniture for inspiration. 

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