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A question on interior columns @ entry to room

jonrossen's picture

This is more of a design question and it's pertaining to a detail that I've seen in a lot of older houses.  I have an old Craftsman-hybrid house that has a few unique details common to that period. However, my house was built more as a simple, working-class house,  more like a 'cottage' than an upscale house for it's time.  The detail that I'm asking about is one that I've seen in more upscale Craftsman houses and want to add it to mine.

The detail is one you often see at the entry to a main room such as a living room or dining room.  The entry to the room typically will have a large entry opening with no doors, perhpas 5' to 8' wide with height at typical door height.  At the sides there is a small partial wall that extend out from the sides of the opening.  On top of those two partial walls are columns that rest on the top of the partical walls and terminate at the top of the opening.  Is there a name for this detail?  I've seen tons of them in various design and building books and there never was a 'term' used to describe it.  Just wondering if there is a formal or informal name for this type of detail.

I'm in no rush to get this done and have a general idea of the dimensions.  What I may do before I start drawing up the elevations in AutoCAD is to get some cardboard and make a mock-up to get a feel for what height and width the partial walls on the sides should be to create the optimal look.

Any ideas or suggestions would be welcomed!

Jon (post #216578, reply #1 of 2)

jonrossen wrote:

This is more of a design question and it's pertaining to a detail that I've seen in a lot of older houses.  I have an old Craftsman-hybrid house that has a few unique details common to that period. However, my house was built more as a simple, working-class house,  more like a 'cottage' than an upscale house for it's time.  The detail that I'm asking about is one that I've seen in more upscale Craftsman houses and want to add it to mine.

The detail is one you often see at the entry to a main room such as a living room or dining room.  The entry to the room typically will have a large entry opening with no doors, perhpas 5' to 8' wide with height at typical door height.  At the sides there is a small partial wall that extend out from the sides of the opening.  On top of those two partial walls are columns that rest on the top of the partical walls and terminate at the top of the opening.  Is there a name for this detail?  I've seen tons of them in various design and building books and there never was a 'term' used to describe it.  Just wondering if there is a formal or informal name for this type of detail.

I'm in no rush to get this done and have a general idea of the dimensions.  What I may do before I start drawing up the elevations in AutoCAD is to get some cardboard and make a mock-up to get a feel for what height and width the partial walls on the sides should be to create the optimal look.

Any ideas or suggestions would be welcomed!

sorry for the quoting but the damn site I moderate won’t allow me to be the first stink'n one to reply w/o doing it this way.

google arts and crafts collonade and you should be able to find all your answers.  Also look at “Golden mean or ratio” as this formula for sizing may come into play.

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Thanks for the tip.  Just (post #216578, reply #2 of 2)

Thanks for the tip.  Just did a google search and found tons of examples.  Will start sifting through them.  Interesting to note that most or a lot of what is mentioned are not merely partial height walls with columns on top. They are built in bookcases, cabinets, etc. I don't have enough thickness / width for built in cabinetry but I may be able to figure out something to make that work.  Thanks again.

-jonR