Tips for picking the correct style stone columns for your house or project.

Stone columns are a unique addition to any property, and they can significantly enhance the facades and interiors of homes, commercial properties, and public buildings. Beyond their severe, inspiring look, stone columns have always symbolized strength, wisdom, and classical beauty. So, if you are looking to renovate your property’s entrance and create impressive aesthetics, columns are an excellent option.

Nonetheless, the many styles and materials on the market can make choosing intimidating – keep in mind the following tips for picking the correct stone column style for your home or project.

Choose the Right Style

Deriving from Ancient Greek and Roman architecture, columns have proven themselves to be timeless pieces. Once adorning the villas of emperors and temples, columns have survived the test of time and have become a superb detail to have to your modern, rustic, Georgian, or Colonial home or project.

While each stone column style has its own appeal, it is essential to understand the difference between them and pick a design that fits your project’s style. Here are some of the main Classical Order’s stone column styles available today:

  • Ionic – Ionic pillars are usually taller, slender, and more dynamic than Doric. Their scrolled capitals make them impressive, but they are more streamlined than Corinthian columns.
  • Doric – Doric columns are shorter, heavier, and either fluted or non-fluted. The capital is usually round, giving these columns an austere look.
  • Corinthian – These pillars are usually tall, slender, and fluted. They usually boast elaborate capitals that are finely carved.
  • Tuscan – inspired by the Doric style, Tuscan columns are simple, plain, and more austere.
  • Composite – Composite columns are a mix of Ionic and Corinthian styles, and they boast exclusive details such as leaves and scrolls.
  • Solomonic or Spiral – Solomonic columns are very different from these styles, and they boast a twisted shaft that creates a uniquely dynamic look.

When picking the right stone columns style for your home, you might opt to create visual contrast or enhance your home’s classic look.

Learn About the Different Colors

Each column style might be more suitable for a specific type of natural stone. However, some of the options to choose from include:

  • Cantera stone – meaning “quarry” in Spanish, this type of volcanic stone is highly resistant and versatile. Depending on the type of Cantera stone used, you can enjoy many different tones and textures. Cantera can make each column a one-of-a-kind piece.
  • Limestone – this is a sedimentary rock born from the elements found in the surrounding environment. Some limestones will boast minerals such as aragonite, or they might derive from coral fragments.
  • Travertine – This is a sedimentary, extremely porous rock that can be found in mineral or hot springs. Travertine can come in a variety of tones, from white to cream.
  • Marble – Marble is a timeless, exclusive rock that derives from recrystallized carbonate minerals. Each piece of marble is unique and will give your columns a distinguished and exquisite look.

Create Balance With the Right Size

Columns can elevate the aesthetics of your project’s interiors, exteriors, or facade. They might take on a structural or just decorative purpose, but it is crucial to identify the style, color, and size that best fit the surrounding environment.

With the help of your trusted architect, take into consideration your home’s proportions, and make sure to create a balance with the surrounding space. Indeed, too small columns might make the building seem out of proportion, while thicker columns indoors might look overwhelming.

If you are unsure about the right size or style for your stone column, ensure to speak to a professional who can guide you in this journey.

6 Stone Columns Styles


When you think of columns you might have one particular image that comes to mind.  But, in reality, there are many different column types that are incredibly unique.  When choosing a column type for your particular architectural style, there are different stone column types from which to choose that will better accentuate your style and seamlessly blend with your architecture.  Below are 6 architectural stone column styles.

6 Stone Column Styles

  1. Doric
    • Doric columns are a very traditional architectural style that has been round for many years. Generally, Doric columns are consider wider/stouter than other column types.  The column type is usually not very ornate and tends to be somewhat plain compared to some other column types.  Also, the shaft of a Doric column is usually somewhat fluted and tends to be thinner on top and wider on the bottom.
  2. Tuscan
    • Tuscan columns, similar to Doric columns, are not known for being particularly ornate. Rather, they tend to be somewhat simple. Unlike Doric columns, Tuscan columns are not fluted.  Tuscan columns are more slender than Doric columns.
  3. Ionic
    • Ionic columns stand on a base of what appears to be stacked discs. Also, ionic columns are usually fluted and are often said to be a more feminine column style, particularly when compared to Doric columns. Ionic columns’ signature style is that they are adorned with a pair of scrolls at the top.
  4. Corinthian
    • Corinthian columns are one of the more ornate column styles and have been used in many countries for centuries. They traditionally have a grooved shaft and are often decorated with things like leaves, flowers, scrolls and more.  Corinthian columns tend to be more slender and sleek than other column types.
  5. Composite
    • Composite columns combine the styles of Ionic columns and Corinthian columns. Composite columns tend to incorporate both leaves and scrolls, making them a more ornate style that is often found in more ‘lavish’ settings.
  6. Solomonic
    • Solomonic columns are a very unique column type when compared with the previous 5 styles we have discussed. Solomonic columns have a scroll or twist design to the shaft that gives them a very distinct appearance.  The columns appear to twist or corkscrew in such a way that they are sometimes described as ‘spiral’ columns.  This style has been around for centuries and is considered an ornate/ornamental style that is often seen in lavish settings.




Introduction to Stone Columns and Pilasters

When it comes to architectural stone elements, you are probably familiar with columns but you may not be quite as familiar with pilasters.  Or, at least, you do not know that you are.  Both columns and pilasters have been around for centuries.  Columns and pilasters have a relatively similar appearance but there are some unique features that set them apart.

One of the primary differences between a column and a pilaster is that a column is generally rounded while a pilaster are generally flat and rectangular in nature.  Columns are round supports that provide a structural element that supports the weight of architecture such as beams or arches in residential or commercial settings.

Unlike a pillar which is a rectangular, non-curved structural element, a pilaster is a rectangular, non-curved architectural stone element that is most often installed into or against the surface of a wall.  Pilasters can serve the purpose of being either an ornamental or structural column.  Architectural stone pilasters can be carved and custom crafted to provide any style or aesthetic appearance that you want so that it seamlessly integrates into the style of your home.

In addition to a freestanding, curved column, and a rectangular pilaster installed against the wall, there are engaged columns as well. elaborates on the difference between engaged columns and pilasters for further clarification, “An engaged column is a curved shaft that is built directly into a wall. It’s just like any other column but is physically connected to and part of the wall itself. This is an aesthetic way to break up the monotony of the flat surface, but also an important structural element. Engaged columns are load bearing, holding weight from the ceiling as well as acting as buttresses that reinforce and support the actual wall.

Now let’s look at pilasters, which are also features that are built into or attached to a wall. Pilasters have bases and capitals just like columns, but they’re rectilinear, shaped like elongated rectangles, and not shafts. That’s difference number one. The most important difference, however, is that modern pilasters are almost completely ornamental. Some may add some structural support to the ceiling, but they do not reinforce the wall at all. Their attachment to the wall is decorative, imitating the engaged column and breaking up the monotony of the flat surface but not filling the same structural role. So, it’s a very different kind of architectural feature.”  Whether you want to install a stone engaged column, traditional column, or pilaster, Architectural Stone Elements can custom carve any stone element to your unique specifications and needs.

A Step-By-Step Guide for Choosing & Installing Custom Stone Architectural Elements

There are many places from which you can buy architectural stone elements.  But, if you do a little research you will soon see that all of the places are not created equal.  In fact, many do not sell quality stone or custom design their architectural elements.  Additionally, many of these sellers are simply that – sellers of stone.  That is all they do.  They do not visit your site to help you design, layout, and custom-create your stone elements.  They do not help you with the logistics for delivery and installation of your architectural stone creations.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we are there for you at every step of the process to ensure complete satisfaction with your custom designs.  Below is a step-by-step guide for choosing and installing your custom stone architectural elements with Architectural Stone Elements.

A Step-By-Step Guide for Choosing & Installing Custom Stone Architectural Elements

  • Site Visit or Architectural Software Integration of Designs
    • Depending on what stage of construction your home is in, we can either walk through the site with you to help determine how to best integrate custom stone elements or our on-staff draftsman can integrate custom architectural elements with your construction plans in architectural software. This helps you see how and where custom stone elements will be used to elevate the architectural aesthetic of your home.
  • Selection of Stone Elements
    • There are a variety of stone types from which to choose and we will help walk you through the selection of your stone elements. Our staff has visited many quarries and knows how to choose only the finest quality stone for your custom architectural stone project.
  • Stone Fabrication
    • A machine will not be executing the detailed designs of your custom stone elements when you work with Architectural Stone Elements. Our artisans will design every sculptural detail of your custom stone elements and will hand carve your stone for the finest quality custom craftsmanship.
  • Delivery and Installation
    • Our clients never have to worry that they will be left to wonder how to get their stone elements safely delivered or what to do with them once they have been delivered. We will arrange safe delivery of your architectural stone elements, as well as safe, high-quality installation to ensure your architectural stone elements look their best.  Custom architectural stone should be treated carefully and installed correctly for both safety and protection of your investment.

4 Ways to Incorporate Carved Stone Into Your Home

Natural stone is beautiful and elegant, providing timeless appeal wherever it is used.  It is no wonder that it has been used for centuries all over the world and those applications continue to look stunning even today.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we pride ourselves on providing clients with the best natural stone available for a variety of applications both indoors and outdoors.  We work with homeowners, builders, architects and engineers to help bring their architectural stone needs to life.  Whether you want to incorporate Cantera, Limestone, Marble or Travertine, we can help you find the style and color that you want.  Natural stone can be used in many different architectural styles, from Old World, to Classic Mediterranean, to Tuscan, to Traditional to Contemporary!  If you love the look of natural carved stone and are looking for some inspiration for how you can implement it inside or outside your home, below are 8 different ways we can help you bring natural stone into your habitat.

  1. Columns
    • Columns offer a certain kind of grandeur that is hard to achieve with anything else. Columns can be purely decorative or they can provide actual structural support.  Natural stone columns are durable and strong enough to provide structural support but are also beautiful to behold.  We carry a selection of styles including Doric, Tuscan, Ionic, Corinthian, Composite, Solomonic and more!
  2. Corbels
    • Corbels, similar to columns, can be either decorative or provide structural support. There are a wide array of styles available that range from elaborate and formal to simple and contemporary.  Additionally, if you prefer to custom design corbels, simply bring your sketch or picture in and we will reproduce the stone of your selection.
  3. Firepits
    • There is nothing quite like gathering around a fire pit and enjoying the tranquility of the crackling flames. Firepits can be incorporated in your landscape to elevate your experience in your backyard and add value to your home with a carved stone fire pit that perfectly complements the architectural style of your home.
  4. Fireplaces
    • A stone fireplace is the perfect centerpiece to any room and will immediately draw the eye. At Architectural Stone Elements, we carry a vast and exquisite selection of stone fireplaces to beautifully accentuate any architectural style and add value to your home.  Whether you prefer more classic or ornate styles, or you are interested in a more modern or contemporary style, we have the perfect stone fireplace for you.


Introduction to Stone Coping

Stone coping has been used for centuries in architectural design.  Coping stones are traditionally used to cap freestanding walls or as edging on pathways or around pools, giving the walls a finished and polished look while also protecting the walls from damage.  Coping stones are available in a variety of colors, styles, sizes and finishes to coordinate with the architectural aesthetic of the structure.  Coping stones often do not get as much credit as they deserve but they are the component of any architectural design that gives it is completed and polished look.

Coping stones can be designed to be flat and simple in style, or can be curved, end-style, horizontal-curved, vertical-curved, or customized to meet any unique needs you might have.  While coping can be made of a variety of materials, including metal, wood, brick or more, stone has been used for centuries and continues to be used today for good reason – it stands the test of time.  Not only does it stand the test of time in structure and strength, but in aesthetic appeal.  Natural stone weathers beautifully and is capable of standing up to even the most extreme of elements while continuing to do its job.

At Architectural Stone Elements, we are a world-class purveyor of hand-carved stone art.  We typically use Cantera, limestone, travertine, and marble in our work and we can seamlessly integrate your stone coping with any other architectural elements, including other natural stone elements you may be implemented.  We use only the finest quality stone to ensure that you are supremely satisfied with the finished look.  Simple installations of architectural stone can look understated and beautiful but what truly elevates the look is when there is dimension and texture.  It adds uniqueness that cannot be otherwise achieved and both perceived and real value to your home.  Curved coping can also be used to help move weather elements such as rain or snow gently off ledges and walls so that it does not gather and cause damage.  When natural stone coping is used around pools, it offers a beautiful warmth, texture and sturdiness that cannot be achieved with other materials.  Stone proves to be a valid option because it is long-lasting and is sure to give your pool the spa-like oasis feel that any homeowner or commercial property would hope to achieve.  Stone coping may not be the first thing you think of when choosing architectural elements, but it is important to not forget such a beautiful finishing touch that will elevate the look and reinforce the structure of architectural elements.



Introduction to Plinth Blocks

There are a lot of architectural elements that homeowners are familiar with due to their popularity or trendiness.  One element, a plinth block, may not sound familiar but it is an important transitional element in décor.  You may have seen a plinth block before and simply not known the name for it.  Typically, plinth blocks appear at the bottom corner of door casings or at the bottom of trim that surrounds an entryway.  The purpose of a plinth block is to create a subtle yet pleasing transition between the trim that surrounds a door or entryway, and the trim that is around the lower part of walls. SFGate explains the history of plinth blocks, “”Plinth” is an architectural term used to describe a support for a column or base. The plinth was originally designed as a load-bearing component, but has since been relegated to a design element serving as an aesthetic enhancement, typically on both sides of a doorway opening at the bottom. The plinth block installation is basic. The vertical trim or molding butts into the top, and the horizontal baseboard butts into the side. Plinth blocks are wider and thicker than the conjoined moldings to allow for a reveal, lip or shadow line between the block and trim.”

Natural stone plinth blocks are the ideal way to add support, visual interest and an elegant transition between stone moldings around the base of the wall that connect with moldings around doorways or entryways.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we carry a selection of plinth blocks in a variety of stones and colors to seamlessly coordinate with any home’s architectural style and décor aesthetic.  Whether you prefer a contemporary style or a traditional style, we have something to suit your needs.  When decorating a home, there are certain things that take it to the next level, give it that custom look and ultimately, make it look complete.  A transition from molding around a door to molding near the floor can look clunky or unfinished without a plinth block.  The thickness of one molding may not match the thickness of the other and the styles may be different, making it look strange but with the addition of a plinth block suddenly it looks like a smooth, complementary transition with a high-end finish.  It is the small touches that often make all the difference and elevate the aesthetic of a home and plinth blocks are no exception.

Types of Stone and Colors for Home Architectural Elements

We have often mentioned the unique beauty of natural stone that is the result of the varied nature of natural stone color and pattern.  At Architectural Stone Elements, not only do we offer our clients a selection of different carving styles to seamlessly coordinate with any architectural and decor style, but we carry a vast selection of colors and patterns.

First, we offer a gorgeous selection of Cantera stone.  The word Cantera is Spanish for “quarry”.  Cantera stone is quarried igneous stone that is then carved into exquisite forms by expert craftsmen, which gives it it’s immense value.  Each region in North America has its own unique Cantera stones that are produced in different colors, hardness and textures throughout.  Because it takes millions of years for this stone to be formed, it is an incredibly valuable resource.  Cantera stone comes in shades including neutral tans and beiges, as well as reds, greens, and other earth tones. Beginning in the 16th century, Cantera stone rose in popularity and became the prime choice for the building of monasteries and churches in Europe.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we want to provide our clients with the highest quality materials which is why we mine selected areas and quarries.  This customized carved stone is in very high demand and we ensure that our Cantera stone is handled by only skilled craftsmen that know how to properly handle such valuable material when hand-carving it into architectural and art pieces.

In addition to Cantera, we also offer a beautiful selection of limestone.  Limestone is a sedimentary rock that is composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite.  Travertine is also a type of limestone.  Limestone is typically available in whites, tans and cream colors.  What truly sets limestone apart is the wide variety of texture and tint that it exhibits.  This high density beauty is a top notch architectural stone and can be used in a variety of applications which is why it is often chosen over granite or sandstone.  Travertine has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, and cream-colored varieties.  And Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock composed of re-crystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.  With our vast selection of such lovely and unique stones, and their colors and patterns, we can help any client find the ideal natural stone to suit their needs and enhance their home’s architecture, decorative style, and value.

How To Use Columns In Your Home

Columns have been used in architecture for centuries and continue to be popular today.  There is a reason for this – columns are timeless in their beauty and elegance.  Today, there are a variety of column styles available so that you can incorporate that same timeless beauty into your home while also enhancing the architectural style of your home.  Some may think columns only belong in opulent homes with a very distinct, classic architectural style but, this is not the case.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we are proud to offer a wide selection of columns that can increase the aesthetic quality, as well as the monetary value of a residential property.

If you are considering adding columns to your home, whether remodeling or designing a new build, there are countless options available to you.  For example, Cantera Tuscan columns, made from natural stone, can come in a variety of shades /colors.  As a superior building material, Cantera stone is ideal for use in columns because of its durability and beauty.  Additionally, Tuscan and Doric columns may seem simple in their form to some, but what adds a truly special touch of depth and dimension is the varied hues of the stone.  While columns can be constructed of a variety of materials, natural stone has beauty in its uniqueness that cannot be replicated by other materials.   Further, Cantera stone columns can be made even more unique with the addition of additional features such as a Corinthian capital.  Corinthian columns with fluted shafts add a graceful elegance and eye-catching appeal to an already stunning architectural feature.

Architectural columns constructed of natural stone are versatile and durable, capable of being used both indoors and outdoors.  They can be purely decorative or can be used as actual support for the structure of your home. Natural stone columns make a wonderful adornment to an entryway, surrounding stairways, under balconies, to add a visual separation that creates “rooms” for a space that may be very large, or  to highlight or draw attention to certain indoor or outdoor architectural features.  Columns can be used around the outside structure of a home or throughout landscaping as a “hardscape” element that adds balance to the surrounding softscape, or around pools or gardens to support shade structures.  Columns are often used in custom homes but they can be added to homes to give it a more unique, custom feel that not only adds perceived value but tangible value as well as beauty and elegance that cannot be achieved through other decor.

Create the Ultimate Entry to Your Home with Carved Stone

They say “don’t judge a book by its cover” but the reality is – first impressions really do matter.  This is true in life and this is true in architecture.  Many real estate agents will tell you that while staging the inside of a home with beautiful decor is important when showing a home, the exterior of your home is the first thing a potential buyer will see and it will set the tone for their experience once inside.  This is true whether or not you are selling your home.  To enter your home your guests must first approach your home and walk through the front entry.  If it is lackluster, boring, or unattractive it will set the tone for their experience.  Even if the inside of your home is stunning, your guests will remember that boring or strange front entry and it will skew their experience negatively.  When you have invested time and money in the architectural style and decor in your home nothing should detract from that beauty.  Rather, a front entry should introduce your guests to your home in a positive way and set the tone for what their experience will be once inside.  If you want to truly stun your guests and introduce them to the elegance and beauty of your home the ideal way to do so is with a carved stone entry.

A cookie cutter door is adequate but is adequate really the statement you want your entry to make?  Carved stone has been used for centuries by the elite and royalty because it is not only durable but incredibly elegant.  There are many ways to incorporate stone into the front entry of your home.  The path can consist of beautiful stone pavers.  The steps to your home can be made of stone, the rails or columns can be made of stone.  But, the true showstopper is a carved stone entry that surrounds your front door.  This can be made of a variety of different stone types and colors and can be cared in an assortment of patterns and styles to uniquely coordinate with your home’s architecture.  Cantera, limestone, marble and travertine are some of the stone varieties that provide beauty and durability along with style to your front entry. While you may think of this as an exclusively classic or rustic look it can be done with modern architecture as well. And, while it will seamlessly integrate to existing architecture, it will also enhance the overall look of your home by adding depth and layers of texture for increased visual interest.