An Introduction to Tuscan and Doric Columns

Columns have been used as architectural elements in both buildings and homes for centuries.  There is a reason this architectural element has stood the test of time while many other trends have fallen by the wayside – columns are elegant, timeless, refined and ideal for use in any home.  Columns are the perfect way to not only add structural support and reinforcement but to also insert your personal taste and design aesthetic into your home.  While many people may have a vague image of what stone columns look like, there are, in fact, different styles of carved designs that set them apart.  For instance, there are both Tuscan and Doric stone columns that have their own unique style.

When choosing columns for your home, either Doric or Tuscan columns would make a lovely addition, but the differences in style may help you make a determination as to which is a better fit to complement your individual architectural style.  The Architecture section of describes Tuscan columns, “The Tuscan column—plain, without carvings and ornaments—represents one of the five orders of classical architecture and is a defining detail of today’s Neoclassical style building. Tuscan is one of the oldest and most simple architectural form practiced in ancient Italy.”  As well as Doric columns, “A Doric column is much plainer than the later Ionic and Corinthian column styles. A Doric column is also thicker and heavier than an Ionic or Corinthian column. For this reason, the Doric column is sometimes associated with strength and masculinity. Believing that Doric columns could bear the most weight, ancient builders often used them for the lowest level of multi-story buildings, reserving the more slender Ionic and Corinthian columns for the upper levels.”  Additionally, makes note of some of the defining characteristics of both Tuscan and Doric columns.  For instance, Tuscan columns has a shaft that is set on a simple base, the shaft is typically plain and not fluted, the shaft is slender with proportions that are similar to a Greek Ionic column, it is typically smooth with round tops, and usually is free of ornaments or carvings.  Furthermore, Doric columns are usually placed directly on the ground without a pedestal or base, the shaft is usually wider at the bottom, the shaft is fluted or grooved, and usually does not have carvings or other ornaments.  Depending on your home’s architectural features, Tuscan or Doric columns would make a beautiful addition that elevates the overall design aesthetic and gives your home a truly unique appeal.