Building Interior Wood Square Pillars

Our new house is everything we want in a home. The flow is perfect, the ceilings are high, the kitchen is ginormous, the basement outstanding, has a beautiful lot and more than enough space for our family. The bones of the home are incredible. No detail was overlooked in the building of this beautiful home. It has taken us years, but we have finally found our dream home.

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But…no dream home is perfect when you first move into it..unless you are building from the ground up. In our case, we bought a resale so we also bought the prior owners’ taste and decor.  To make this house our dream home, we are remodeling, renovating and redecorating, one room at a time.

Such is the case in our family room. Number one project – update the columns!

The columns leading into the room are a corinthian style, they are fluted and have elaborate capitals decorated with acanthus leaves and scrolls. While they can be beautiful with the right furniture and decor, they weren’t suiting our taste. We want a more modern and contemporary style that square pillars offer.

Take a look at the before pictures.

fullsizeoutput_70b1There are many prefabricated pillars and columns available on the market today to choose from, but what’s the fun in that? We wanted custom square pillars to suite our 9′ space.

Removing these babies was no easy task. They are made of plaster and very heavy. The capital, (top piece) is separate from the column which is attached in 2 pieces. To remove the columns, we (and by we I mean my contractors) used a hammer, and broke apart the 2 pieces attaching the column.

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IMG_5462As you can see, these columns are structural, covering support beams, and not just decorative. The 16″ x 16″ base of the column is concrete. We decided not to try to remove it but instead sanded down the rough spots which created an enormous amount of dust!

IMG_5463For this project, we used WindsorOne primed boards. I had a difficult time determining the size of the pillars. We ended up with 10″ pillars, after cutting and installing 12″ ones and decided they were too big and boxy.

IMG_5464This is a picture of our 3 sided pillar ready to be attached. For a project like this, you will definitely want a heavy duty nail gun and compressor (HERE).

IMG_5467The 3 sided pillar is nailed into the 2″ x 4″ boards at the top and bottom of the structure.The 4th board is nailed on after the 3 sided pillar has been attached in place.

IMG_5536Once the 4th side is attached, we started building out the molding on the top and bottom of the pillar. As you can see, the hole in the concrete base is large, but it’s not a problem since we will be adding several pieces of trim to the base, which will cover the hole.

IMG_5537The first pieces we attached are 11.5″ primed boards.

IMG_5538Then we added 13″ boards on top of the 11.5″ boards.

IMG_5539As you can see, the hole is disappearing, covered up by the trim.

IMG_5540Last piece we added was a small piece of cove molding around the base.

fullsizeoutput_70b2For the top molding, we started with 12″ base molding around the pillar, then added on 6″ cove molding, and finished with a 20″ square trim top piece. I love using cove molding (HERE), it has such a beautiful clean concave curviness. It can be dressed up by adding additional pieces to the top and bottom, making it as ornate as you want. It’s very common in a Craftsman or Arts and Crafts Style home, but looks beautiful in any style home.

IMG_7521This is a close up of the bottom pillar trim.

IMG_7520This is a close up of the top pillar trim.

Lastly, we use a router to give the edges a softer appearance. The pillars are beautiful and I love the clean and simple look.

fullsizeoutput_70b0Be sure to check back for more home ideas, as we continue to remodel our family room….updating the fireplace, ceiling molding, lighting, paint and furniture!

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