During a kitchen remodeling project, artist and remodeler Dana Ball of Art Guy Design, in Scottsdale, Ariz., removed a wall to open the kitchen to the adjacent living room and found a structural post that had to remain.
He decided to highlight the post by tiling it, tying it in with the kitchen backsplash pattern. “We could have removed the support, but the impact would not have been worth the cost,” Ball says. “Instead, I shrouded it and made it an aesthetic anchor in the space.”
Ball covered the existing post, made of two 2x4s, with Sonotube forming tube — a cardboard product used for cylindrical concrete forms — by cutting it lengthwise and wrapping it around the wood frame.
He ran electrical wiring inside the tube, securing it with 2x4 furring pieces between the post and inner side of the tube, and poured 10 inches of grout at the base. He wrapped the exterior with chicken wire and adhered the tile to that.
Ball cut into the upper section of column to fit in a floating transom with a cherry frame, which houses lighting. “This false ceiling around the perimeter of the kitchen helps anchor the cabinetry on either side and brings task lighting down to a more usable distance,” Ball says. The transom also helps transition from the higher living room ceiling and creates a cozy feel in the kitchen.