The age-old craft of ornamental plaster is a beautiful design choice. For a long time, this historic medium was part of the decorative styling for many upscale homes. Many Neoclassical and Greek Revival style houses were not considered finished without ornamental embellishments sculpted in plaster. Over time, many of these designs have become unkempt or lost altogether. However, there are still some key places in the home where ornamental plaster can be found. Check out the list below for some ideas of where to look.
Common Places to Look for Ornamental Plaster
1. Crown Molding
When fitted with a decorative cornice, crown molding displays ornate designs that clean up the area where the walls meet the ceiling. It helps lift the space, drawing your eye upward. This makes the ceiling feel higher and adds to the aesthetic of a room.
Ornamental plaster can be found in multi-layered ceiling medallions. These decorative disks are typically attached to the base of a ceiling lighting fixture and can include floral patterns, circles, or a lace-like design.
3. Column Capitals
Stately columns are topped with decorative heads known as capitals and often feature ornamental plaster. The design mediates between the column and the load and adds a lavish touch of old-world elegance.
In architecture, a coffer is a series of sunken panels in the shape of an octagon or square. Coffers are typically found in ceilings, soffits, or vaults. It was a popular decorative style in Roman times. Ornamental coffers offer a unique sense of history worthy of preservation.
A fireplace is a staple in many homes and is often the centerpiece of a living room or elegant parlor space. In older homes, fireplaces can sometimes be found with ornamental plastering, giving these functional fixtures an opulent look. Keep an eye out in any mid-18th-century home for a fireplace topped with antique plasterwork.
If your home contains ornamental plasterwork or you would like an elegant piece crafted for you, reach out to the experienced plastering contractors at Old World Plastering. Located in Cincinnati, OH, owner Greg Colina ensures that each project will receive outstanding quality work tailored to your exact specifications. With up-to-date technology and unrivaled craftsmanship, this family-run business offers a range of services from rehabilitating ornamental design work to bringing damaged plaster back to life. Visit their website to view some of their work and call (513) 481-1122 to discuss your preservation needs.