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, however, that while small, makes a big impact is a corbel!  A corbel is typically 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!





1. Kitchen Cabinets

You can give your original, builder-grade cabinets a custom look by adding corbels at the end of each cabinet that tie into the backsplash.  In this case, the corbels aren’t being used structurally since the upper cabinets are bolted to the wall, but rather decoratively.  Even so, it’s a small detail that goes a long way toward creating a custom look!

Under Cabinet Corbels in Kitchen
{via Pinterest}


2. Kitchen Counters

Here, Courtney from Golden Boys and Me, has used decoratively carved corbels as supports for her kitchen counter overhang.  Don’t they add a lot of elegance and interest to the space?!

Corbel Under Countertop
{via Golden Boys and Me}


3. Hidden Storage

I just couldn’t resist sharing this amazing idea for spice storage in the kitchen.  If you already have a dividing wall that protrudes, why not make it functional with a pullout to revewl extra storage?!

{via Zillow}
{via Zillow}


4. Shelf Brackets

You can purchase ordinary shelf brackets at any hardware store, but a corbel is so much more interesting and completely changes the look of the shelving.

{via Pretty Handy Girl}
{via Pretty Handy Girl}


5. Desk Legs

In search of a desk {or even an entryway table}.  Consider mounting large corbels to the wall and adding a glass or wood top!

{via Better Homes & Gardens}
{via Better Homes & Gardens}


6. Room Divider

An ordinary entryway is instantly transformed to extraordinary with the additional of some amazing corbels!

Tip: Be sure to consider the size of the room and the width of the door when selecting a corbel for this use.  If it is too small, it won’t make an impact and will look like an afterthought as opposed to an architectural addition.

Corbel Room Divider
7. Fireplace

You can dress up the look of your fireplace by adding a corbel underneath an existing mantel or floating shelf, or even add corbels and a shelf to a plain-front fireplace!

{via Casa Verde Design}
{via Casa Verde Design}


8. Bookends

Kathleen from Faded Charm has the most amazing corbels that she’s using as bookends!

{via Faded Charm}
{via Faded Charm}


9. Architectural Embellishment

The beautiful shape of a corbel lends itself to creating architectural interest wherever it’s place, like the corner of this window from Jennifer Rizzo.

{via Jennifer Rizzo}
{via Jennifer Rizzo}


10. Outdoor Windows

And while we’re on the subject of windows, have you ever considered dressing up the outside of your home?  Isn’t this addition beautiful?!

{via Stonewood, LLC}
{via Stonewood, LLC}



Depending on the size, material, and amount of detail, corbels can range widely in price.  They are quite expensive when purchased from a lumber supplier, but you can find inexpensive replicas at many decor stores.  You can also shop for them at salvage yards and on Etsy.  I am currently obsessed with these nearly 4′ tall vintage beauties {and the dog’s cute, too!}.

{via Little Vintage House on Etsy}
{via Little Vintage House on Etsy}



Now my mind is racing with ideas on how I could use these amazing corbels!
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  1. Patricia Widner says:

    To make more separation between dining room and kitchen I want to use corbels Does that doorway have to be trimmed out or can they just be placed on the wall?

  2. How many corbels are too many? I want to use them to soften a very boxy house but would adding them to two interior windows and a hallway entrance in the same room look silly?

  3. Martina Deluca says:

    Hi….how did you end up using the corbels. I just bought some beautiful 4 ft ones and of course I bought them without a plan. So have been searching for inspiration :)

  4. Absolutely fabulous ideas to use corbels – they certainly add interest & detail to ordinary thing ….

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Agree! Now if only I could find an antique pair for myself!! It always seems that when I’m on the hunt for something, I can never find it. But when I’m not looking for it – there it is! :)

  5. Yes I Love the desk too! Looks like it’s floating. Great with the kitchens as well.
    Note to self….. Look for corbels when antiquing.

  6. The desk is so glamorous and it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

  7. I love corbels too! If you purchase those shown and use them, I hope you’ll blog about it. Would love to see how you use them. I note Little Vintage House, the source, is in Bolingbrook, Illinois. I used to live there! Probably as close as I’ll get to some of their wonderful architectural salvage items.

  8. Here are some coupons for the Architectural Depot . . .

  9. I love corbels! I’ve found some at Home Depot and here’s a site has lots and lots of them:
    http://www.architecturaldepot.com/ They also have lots of other wall and ceiling decorations. You’ll love scrolling through they’re site.

  10. Kim,
    What a fun post and you’ve shared so many great ideas. I’m now trying to figure out where I could use a pair…then I’d have to find them, but the search is always the fun part.

  11. Awesome ideas! Wish I could find some. Can’t wait to see what you do with them.

  12. I love all these ideas. I actually used corbels as floating sconces with candles on top in my dining room. Love to get my hands on some more.


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