There are many different types of architectural elements that can be added to a home or building to give it additional architectural interest and enhance the overall design aesthetic. Some architectural elements are purely decorative while others provide both form and function – serving an important purpose while also adding an element of decor. One architectural element that has been around for centuries is something you have probably seen but may not have known the name of – balustrades. Balustrades are a row of balusters, which are posts or columns that support a railing. Architectural Digest explains the purpose of balustrades and why they have been around for centuries and continue to be used today, “‘The balustrade’s functions are multiple, from reducing the possibility of a person falling off a stairway to cordoning off an area for the purposes of privacy, such as the gilded balustrade that separates the bed in the king’s chamber at Versailles from the rest of the room,’ says Mitchell Owens, Architectural Digest’s decorative arts and antiques editor. The earliest examples of balustrades come from ancient bas-reliefs, or sculptural murals, dating from sometime between the 13th and 7th centuries B.C. In depictions of Assyrian palaces, balustrades can be seen lining the windows.”
While balustrades can be constructed from a variety of materials including wood and iron, stone is the traditional material and its durability and elegance have given it its timeless appeal. Today, stone balustrades come in a variety of different types of stone and carving styles to coordinate and accentuate different architectural styles. Many envision that stone balustrades are exclusively for large residences and, while they do look excellent in large residences, balustrades are not too opulent or over-the-top for smaller residences. In fact, they often add much needed character and function that helps enhance the existing architectural style. Stone balustrades can be used inside or outside. Whether you want to complete the look of a patio or distinguish particular areas of your landscape or inside a home to define areas in a large room. Carved stone balustrades will elevate the look of any space and the variety of stone colors that they are available in ensures that they will seamlessly coordinate with existing style and decor. Beyond a purely aesthetic value, the also add safety just like a balcony or hand rail would. When you invest in quality carved stone architectural elements you invest in timeless elegance and durability that can weather any elements and stand the test of time. The investment adds unique character to your home that could not otherwise be achieved and actually enhances the overall value of your home as well.