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A corbel is a piece of carved wood or stone that is used to structurally support another object – basically, they are a fancy type of bracket.  Decorative replica corbels might even be made of resin or plaster.  But whether you use a structural or decorative corbel, you won’t believe how many uses there are for them around the house!

The Importance of Details

A home’s character is often defined by its details – the woodwork, trim, lighting choices, paint colors, etc.  Unfortunately, adding details to a home usually takes a backseat to the basics, leaving a limited budget for these fun additions.  One detail that, while small and cheap, makes a big impact is a corbel!


As Shelf Brackets

Designers often use decorative corbels to add interest to an otherwise plain wall. You can too! And don’t worry if all the corbels don’t match; an assortment used to support a room’s shelving shelving can become as interesting as the collection it holds.

Framing a Doorway

Corbels that frame a doorway tend to invoke a nostalgic, even whimsical feeling. They also strengthen the feeling of separation between rooms, which is handy if you’re trying to increase the sense definition between spaces.


Underneath Cabinets

Using corbels under kitchen cabinets adds a custom look to any kitchen. They can also bring a more formal, library-like feeling to living rooms, and are an easy way to add some charm to plain bathroom cabinetry.

Accent Islands in the Kitchen

When used under islands in a kitchen setting, corbels can add an elegance to the overall feel of the room. If you’re not a fan of the cool, austere, almost clinical look of some modern kitchens, corbels can be a cheap and easy way to soften the room’s look.

Bookends and Other Shelf Dividers

Corbels make excellent bookends.  This is a great use of a single corbel, if you come across just one you’re fond of. Since corbels are built to sit in corners, usually no extra mounting or adjusting is needed to make a corbel sit smoothly against a shelf. Older corbels, however, were sometimes custom made for not-quite-right angles, so you may come across a few that don’t sit flat. A little sanding or a small shim should fix this problem.