You've probably seen them everywhere, especially if you've ever traveled to Europe, but you might not know what they are called. So, what is an architectural corbel, exactly? Corbels In History Generally speaking, an architectural corbel is a structural piece of stone, wood or metal that juts out of a wall and is used to hold some kind of weight. Essentially, a corbel is a type of bracket only it is much larger and often gorgeously decorative. The corbels of 16th century Italy and France, for example, were large and sturdy enough to carry balconies. They were also richly carved and so ornate that they were considered to be artwork just as much as they were considered a functional part of the building's structure. Corbels Today Today, although corbels can still be made of wood or stone most people opt for decorative corbels made of high density foam. This foam is extremely dense and products made with this material are very durable for interior or exterior use. Unlike natural wood and stone corbels, however, it is easier to install, holds paint better (which means it can be easily customized), and is impervious to many outdoor elements, including shifts in temperature, rot, warp, bugs and more. The ease and durability of high density foam corbels is making the beauty and elegance of decorative corbels accessible to many more home owners. If you are interested in purchasing or getting more information about these corbels, contact a representative from Volterra Architectural Products, LLC today!