The history of building architecture has passed through significantly five orders. Do you know there is only one architectural feature that is capable of determining a building’s style of construction?

Yes, it is the posts or pillars/columns. 

Natural Stone Pillars

What Is a Pillar?

By definition, pillars are vertical elements, which may take part in supporting the building structure or simply remain as decorative elements in a design. Pillar mostly attached with other building elements or remains standalone.

If you compare a pillar with the human figure,

  1. It has a head/cap known as capital,
  2. It has the foot colloquially called the base,
  3. It has a vertical body/shaft midst of head/capital and foot/base.

I hope these are sufficient terms to introduce the anatomy of a pillar or column in a general sense.

What Is a Pillar?

How to Determine Five Orders of Architecture Based on Columns?

Let’s come back to our original topic.

How pillars or columns help us to determine those five orders or styles of architectural design?

Let me explain it briefly.

  • Doric Order – The order or style characterized by short and heavy pillars around the capital.
  • Ionic Order – It has thin/slender pillars/columns with a large base and scrolled capitals. 
  • Corinthian Order – Again it has a slender shaft but with flutes carved elaborately.
  • Tuscan Order – It is the simplest in design, unfluted and a plain base as well as capital.
  • Composite Order – It is nothing but a mix of Ionic & Corinthian styles or orders of architecture. 

Please bear in mind the style of a structure’s front columns or pillars helps us to identify the classical order of architecture of a building. 

Fortunately, modern architectural practices have adopted this classical element to contemporary building designs to add visual interests or create visual contrast. 

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Why Natural Stone Pillars?

In the prehistoric era, humans were living in stone caves. So, in the historic era, they have begun construction of their homes mostly from natural stones available in their vicinity.

Thus, stone pillars came into existence as the structural element to support the house structure above, be it a roof or a next level. 

Later on, we started living in homes made from woods or a mix of woods and stones. It has given birth to wooden posts or pillars. Perhaps, it is the reason that columns are mostly found in round shape while posts in a square or rectangular shape.

What Is the Difference Between Posts & Columns?

In a general sense, posts are narrower than columns and have a wooden appearance. These are only the differentiating parameters otherwise, lines between posts and columns are almost blurred and used interchangeably today. 

What Are the Main Functions of The Pillars?

Obviously, at the initial stage, pillars or columns remained as the structural components to bear the load of overhang or roofs of the porch. If you notice a visible foundation beneath the pillars, consider them load-bearing pillars.

Many standalone pillars were created with the sole purpose of decoration. So, they were highly ornate and crafted heavily with contemporary designs.

Today, architects create columns with a mix of purposes. So, they are load-bearing at structural point of view yet decorative due to carefully designed base, shaft, and capital.

Apart from these two core functions, pillars offer designers some additional advantages in the building designs. For instance,

Interior Pillars:

Interior Pillars Interior Pillars 2 
  • For spacious buildings, interior pillars can remove the cavernous feeling and add a sense of elegance.
  • If you opt for an open floor plan, architectural columns add the separation line between living areas without creating any partition wall.
  • If you wish to add some luxurious details in the main foyer, arts & crafts style columns can serve your purposes well.
  • Interior columns also helpful to décor a master bath as well as offer a visual separation of different utility areas.
  • In a spacious kitchen by adding one or more pillars you can visually separate the dining area from the cooking area.

Exterior Pillars: 

Exterior Pillars
  • In a covered patio design, the pillar provides structural support.
  • Architecturally, when we create a minor sunroom at the main entrance of a building, it sets back on a 3rd plane. In this design columns at the front porch continue the strong symmetry of the façade and also add some visual depths in the design. 
  • If you have a flat façade, you can add a portico, made of pillars extended out.
  • Slender and simple farmhouse-style square pillars in a pair can help a designer to add depth to the porch design.
  • When a designer arranges pillars on the outer periphery of a half-circled portico, you can gain some width along with depth.

What Is the Right Style of Natural Stone Pillars to Choose?

Indeed, it is confusing if you know different styles of stone pillars are available in the present market. To help you out, I am giving some comparison info.

Square Pillars vs. Round Pillars

It depends on your design of the building and the location of pillars in it. Arts & Crafts style bungalows and Dutch Colonials are predominated with square columns.

Fluted Pillars vs. Non-fluted Pillars

When the shaft of a column or pillar has a series of vertical grooves or narrow channels running across the length, it considers a fluted designed pillar. It is the most ancient way of decoration so found in many historic buildings with Corinthian order. 

However, modern homes prefer non-fluted or plain surface pillars with glossy surface finished stones. Some have shafts fluted but base and capital remain plain in design.

Tapered Pillars vs. Non-tapered Pillars

The majority of classical columns are tapered in shape. They are tapered at the top and the mean width of a column is decreasing from bottom to top. The reason behind this is the obviously structural and architectural point of view.

Tapered Pillars vs. Non-tapered Pillars

In classical eras, the buildings were quite tall and large. Decreasing width of stone pillars cuts the overall load at the top still remaining load-bearing.

Similarly, by cutting bulk at the top you are creating a more streamlined appearance from an architectural point of view. 

Commercially Available Natural Stone Pillars to Increase Your House Look and Value 

Up to this, we have learned about stone pillars as literal knowledge. Now, I am going to introduce it as a commercial commodity with some market terms.

Portico Pillars:

In spacious bungalows, the porch of a hotel or restaurant, and the façade of public places look gorgeous when we add tall and cylindrical columns in a row at a set distance.

Portico Pillars

Here white marbles with black bands and glossy surfaces look marvelous at a glance.

Portico pillars are maybe a single identity-forming and supporting the porch at your main-front entrance. 

Some designers use a pair of columns on either side of the porch and create open space to form a porch or portico as an extended area with steps to ascend it.

Cladded Stone Pillars:

Cladded Stone Pillars

In modern architecture, pillars are made of RCC structure to bear the load. All four sides have cladded/covered with stone slabs or stone veneer to enhance the overall aesthetic and lifespan of stone pillars.

Pilaster Stone Columns: 

Pilaster Stone Columns

By definition pilaster, stone columns are either a decorative extension of the wall that gives the illusion of columns, especially at the front door, or a load-bearing structure merged with attached walls.

Stacked Stone Pillars:

Stacked Stone Pillars

As its name implies, it is made of stone pieces stacked on each other. They may be simple stone cubes or carved cylinders forming a round pillar. The careful placing of stone pieces enables the pillar to support the structure above.

Standalone Stone Columns:

It is a purely decorative stone element representing the shape of a column or pillar. It has a base to support the shaft and capital above.

Standalone Stone Columns

The purpose behind the erection of a standalone column is to enhance the beauty of the landscape, in due course, often a decorative object made of stone placed on the top/capital of the pillar.

Landscape Stone Pillars:

Landscape Stone Pillars

The landscape stone pillars ornate the landscape besides providing structural support to the utility elements in your landscape like a pergola, gates, arbors, and trellises. 


They could be erected directly from the ground or placed on the retaining stone walls.


World of Stones USA is the perfect destination to get a variety of landscape stone pillars with custom orders.

Carved Stone Columns:

As we have seen before that different orders of architectural designs emerged mostly in the Mediterranean eras under the influence of the monarchy of the time. So, they have mostly crafted stones with the purpose of deluxe designs.

Carved Stone Columns

Shafts have strong flutes or dominant carving. The same heavy embellishment being visible on the base and capital as well. 

Heritage Carved Stone Pillars:

Heritage Carved Stone Pillars

Our world heritage sites are full of crafted columns richly ornate with their contemporary arts and crafts skills. They are supportive yet heavily ornate with minute carvings of various symbols.

Gate Stone Pillars:  

The access of your property is your main entrance/gate of the landscape. So, it must have adequate elegancy to welcome your visitors and add some value to your property.

Gate Stone Pillars

Stone cladding or stacked stones are better alternatives to create a value-adding pillar supporting the gate framework.

If you have used the same stones in wall cladding, it gives a seamless appearance and beautifies the entire landscape.

What is the best place to get the best quality of natural stone pillars?

Definitely, it is World of Stones USA in Maryland. You will find the best quality stone columns or natural stone products to create or clad the pillars in different areas with different needs.

Do you think the high-quality natural stones used in the construction of stone pillars or stone columns are adding anything to the selling value of your property?

If so, World of Stones USA has myriads of styles and designs to produce on different types of natural rocks.

Now, come online and place your order with your custom design or take advantage of our free consulting services by stone experts. You will find natural stone pillars increasing the looks and value of your property to the next level!

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