Last week, reader EJ submitted this question to our Ask a Decorator column:
My kitchen has a high vaulted ceiling which requires a support pole from floor to ceiling, The pole is at the end of the island and is centered in the kitchen. The builder boxed the pole with simple stained lumber. There is not an option but to live with the support pole, do you have any idea of what can be done with this pole to make it more attractive in the space?
Interior Decorator Jackie Moyer, ASID, AIDP had an idea for EJ’s kitchen dilemma:
A pole is a pole unless it is a decorative column. I suggest you dress this one up a bit. There are several ways to do it. Consider just adding flat molding to form panels as in the sketch (exaggerated to show detail). This would add an architectural touch to the pole while keeping it simple. I would retain the same stain. The idea is to make the pole look better, not draw attention to it.
If you want to go a bit further, you could box in the ends of the cabinets on one or both sides of the column, add some shelving, and fill with spices or other decorative items. By bringing the cabinets out to the depth of the column it would blend into the cabinetry, and make the space functional while adding interest to the plain, flat end panels.