Corbels were first built by the French, but the word corbel came from a Latin word. The Latin word is corbellus. Corbellus means a beak-like appearance.
Most of the earlier corbels were made of stone. The stone corbels would usually look like granite. There are some that were made of wood. They were good for decoration on window sills, along the side of building, or around the doors. They could be plain, but most of them had images carved into them. The images range from unique designs to humans to animals. You have an endless choice of images to have carved in the corbel.
On many older buildings in France and other places, corbels will be lining the way a few feet below the roof. The corbels would have a table on top of them. This table is what housed the gutter. It put a little more decoration in the building.
In medieval times, corbels were used for the arches. They helped support the upper stories. There was also spaces between the corbels. The areas were used to drop objects on attackers. As years passed, the corbels were for decoration purposes only.
Modern Use of Corbels
Corbels haven’t changed over the years. Most corbels are hand-made. They are used for decoration in different places throughout the house.
Homes with kitchen islands will usually have corbels to support the countertop. Sometimes it will contain four. There will be one under each corner of the countertop. However, there are some that have them along the bottom of the countertop along where the kitchen island seating is located for support.
The mantels above fireplaces generally have corbels under them for support. Sometimes the fireplaces will have one on each side of the shelf for decoration. It makes the shelf standout more than if it was plain.
Countertops in some homes are lined with corbels. These corbels are countertop overhangs. They are used for decorating the countertop.
Decorative brackets on the cabinets and drawers are generally metal. These are also known as corbels. Many people would rather have these brackets in their drawers and cabinets because it adds decoration throughout the kitchen.
A corbel can be used as a small shelf as well. Many people put them along the wall in halls. There will be a space between the corbels. These corbels will be showcasing small keepsakes or pictures.
Some houses have bay windows. These bay windows jut out on the outside of the house. On the inside at the entry of the bay window there will be an arch at times. On each side of these arches, there will be a corbel at the top. These corbels are in place to support the arch.
Corbels come in many sizes. They range from small such as shelves all the way to corbels that are a few feet tall. The possibilities are endless since most of them are hand-made.
The installation is easy. Some of them you have to screw down while other are stuck in place by an adhesive. The way you install them depends on what they will be used for.
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