Pillars and columns are found very often in open floor living rooms. They provide stability and support for the upstairs level in the lack of actual internal walls. These pillars bear the load and are structurally important to the entire building. Therefore, homeowners are discouraged from removing them or changing them, even if they don’t look beautiful.
What you can do instead is learn how to decorate pillars or how to hide a pillar in the living room. Instead of an annoying eyesore, you will have an impactful architectural feature. Ready to learn how?
How to hide a pillar in the living room?
Truth to be told, there is little you can do to hide a pillar in the living room, at least not without sacrificing additional space. We suggest the following:
- To encase the pillar inside a plasterboard partition
- To integrate it within your decoration scheme
- To highlight it and make it a centerpiece.
In addition, we will provide you with a variety of column decoration ideas to mask the load bearing items in the living room. Give them a look!
Make the column surface blend in
Image source: Décor Aid
The easiest way to hide load bearing columns is to ensure they blend with the background. This means you should paint them the same color as the walls, and they won’t be noticeable right away.
This is also a very cost-efficient idea for the entire column, as you don’t have to buy additional paint or decorative items.
Make the column surface stand out
As opposed to our first approach, let’s keep the pillar in plain sight for a more dramatic look. Paint it in a bold contrast color, ideally darker than the rest of the walls. The room will look vibrant and bright, and the pillar will make it more elegant.
Darker colors or nuances work perfectly in modern and contemporary settings, as most living rooms tend to be at the moment. If your walls are white and you are not sure which color to use, go for charcoal dark gray. This color works in every setting and can blend easily with any shade. The same goes for royal blue, dark green, or brown.
Adopt a two-tone style to paint the column
Image source: Arlo & Jacob
This room divider trick works the best for discreet pillar settings. We recommend it to homeowners who would like to make the most of this accent feature, but still don’t want it to attract too much attention.
A very balanced solution is to paint it in a two-tone theme, with a lighter tone on the upper half, and a darker one on the bottom half. This way, you will ground your living room and keep it airy and bright.
Image source: Anthony Company Builders LLC
Wallpaper or mosaic tiles are also great column decoration ideas, and they don’t break the bank. You can use them to enhance the minimalist and modern look of your living room.
If you are after a contemporary scenario, we recommend subway tiles or mosaic tiles. These are usually more expensive, but a little research can help you find more affordable options. You can also save on the installation and apply the tiles yourself.
Image source: Designer Elements, L.C.
You can also brick the pillar completely and give the living room a drastic change. This is particularly recommended for urban and rustic living spaces. If you find a completely bricked column a bit much, try applying the bricks only partially.
Keep in mind that real bricks add more volume to a large column, and you can replace them with brick-effect tiles.
Use wood material
You can also beautify the room pillar with wood material, regardless of how the room is decorated. A wood bar can create a natural and fresh vibe, and the wood texture can enhance the artistic spirit of the room. We particularly recommend this solution for minimalist rooms with a lack of natural elements.
Image source: MIKEL LARRINAGA Arquitectura Interior & Decoración
A wooden support beam breaks up an otherwise monotonous living room, and you can’t go wrong with it!
Attach a mirror
Image source: Space Harmony
Instead of a wall mirror, think of wrapping up the entire column in full-size mirrors. The reflective effect of the glass will make the pillar ‘disappear’ in the room, and will add up some visual space if your room is small and fully furnished.
If the wide column is on the side of the room, you can repurpose it and add other wall decor items, such as a floor-to-ceiling cabinet for storage. We recommend this approach for columns that are at least half a meter deep and 0.8 meters wide. Moreover, we encourage it for those who have a rectangular column.
If the storage cabinet is smaller than the pillar, make sure you clad and finish the remaining parts of the original column with the same materials. Those among you who are more creative can even try combining materials to make the room less monotonous.
Decorate with ropes
Image source: Rikki Snyder
Some homeowners are lucky enough to have the original wood beams and columns in the room. For them, there isn’t much left to do, except perhaps to improve the column design.
For an even more rustic and nautical scenario, try embracing the column with rope. You will love this simple and affordable DIY fix for your pillar.
Image source: Su Misura
Certain living room pillars are placed close enough to the wall for you to create a unique shelving unit. This way, you can make optimal use of the storage space and personalize the room, as if it would be with a detached, private reading nook. A great idea would be to enrich the area with a rocking chair and a folding table, and you will enjoy spending time there even more.
This is an idea you should consider if you have more than one column in the living room. Imagine how awesome a shelving unit would look between two stone pillars or thick slabs of wood! It would be the perfect display area for your books, sculptures, or memorabilia!
Use the pillar
Image source: Ed Ritger Photography
This is easier said than done, but if you build around the pillar for some extra storage, you may be onto something. The pillar can be just an accent to an otherwise optimized cabinetry section on its sides or be surrounded by circle shelving. Both arrangement ideas are simply fantastic.
And while there is little you can do to decrease the pillar, your extension possibilities are wide open. You can recreate the shallow and narrow columns and align them with other furniture pieces. Good examples include carved wood cabinets or a sturdy dining table. At best, you can use them as natural room dividers.
Display wall art
Image source: Russell Taylor Architects
Most homeowners decide to use pillars for wall art or a wall lamp, which doesn’t come as a surprise. When the pillar bears load in the middle of the room, there is little you can do to adjust the pillar to the room, without having to adjust the room to the pillar.
We, therefore, recommend you consider attaching your favorite art prints or already used tapestry. Modern choices include also metal signs or large single mirrors.
Even better, paint the room pillar in an impactful bold color and attach art to it. This is a very interesting decorative detail that can easily turn your pillar into the centerpiece of the room.
Decorate pillars with plants
Take a step towards nature and decorate the load bearing columns with plants. The room will look fresh and natural, and you will solve the typical household problem of not being able to find space for plants.
Plants can be arranged in many different ways. If they trail around a column in the middle of the room, you will soon have one of the most interesting living rooms you have ever seen.
For example, you can wrap the plant twigs all around the pillar for enhanced elegance. Make sure there is a little bit of space between the rolls so that the decoration project is effective.
If you find this too complicated, get some beautiful pots for your plants and hang them on the pillar. This looks particularly nice and natural on a rectangular column, so give it a try!
Use the pillar for lighting
Image source: Stanton
As mentioned, a wall lamp can look adorable on a living room pillar. You should foremost be looking at battery-operated sconces. You can install these yourself, and forget about complicated wiring.
Image source: Peared Creation
A wall lamp will also be easy to attach, so try it out. You will not only improve the look of the column but also secure an extra lighting source in the living room.
Leave columns unfinished in industrial and rustic living rooms
Image source: TKP Architects
We gave you plenty of ideas on how to hide a pillar in the living room. Sometimes, however, pillars can add value to the living space. All you need to know is how to use them.
If you want a retro note in your living room or are considering a more industrial design scenario, leave the column unfinished. You will be surprised how gorgeous the column will look, and how much it will contribute to your rustic style decor.
Add even more interest with decorative items and accessories that also belong to the industrial scenario. A rustic wall lamp or wooden wall art will be more than helpful!
If you liked this detailed article on how to hide a pillar in the living room, you should check out these on decorating a living room with wood paneling, hiding the office in a living room, or filling the empty space in the living room.
We have plenty of other living room-related articles, such as hiding exercise equipment in the living room, creating a foyer in an open living room, arranging plants in the living room, storing blankets in the living room, and decorating living room shelves.