What is a Volute?

A volute is a spiral or scroll-like ornamentation.


In the world of interior design and architecture, a volute is a distinctive feature known for its spiral or scroll-like form. This decorative element is traditionally found in capitals at the top of columns, particularly in Classical architecture, such as the iconic Ionic and Corinthian orders. However, its application extends beyond column capitals to various decorative details throughout interior and exterior spaces.

Volutes can be crafted from a range of materials including stone, wood, plaster, and metal, each offering a unique texture and aesthetic to the design. Their intricate curves add a touch of elegance and historical reference to a space, making them a popular choice for adding architectural interest and depth. While rooted in ancient design principles, volutes have been adapted over centuries to fit a wide array of design styles, from traditional to contemporary.

The appeal of volutes lies in their versatility and the sophisticated atmosphere they contribute to a space. Whether incorporated into furniture designs, embellishing doorways, or adorning light fixtures and decorative objects, volutes serve as a visual anchor that draws the eye and adds complexity to the design.


In interior design, volutes are often seen adorning fireplace mantels, staircase railings, and furniture legs, bringing a classical touch to these elements. They are also found in architectural features, such as door surrounds and column capitals, where they add a sculptural quality. Designers might use volutes to tie a room's decor to a specific historical period or architectural style, or simply to add an element of visual interest and craftsmanship to the space.


  • What architectural styles commonly feature volutes?

    Volutes are most commonly associated with Classical architecture styles, especially the Ionic and Corinthian orders. However, they can also be found in Baroque, Renaissance, and Neoclassical designs, among others.

  • Can volutes be used in modern interior design?

    Absolutely! While rooted in classical architecture, volutes can be adapted and simplified for modern and contemporary designs. They offer a timeless element that can add depth and interest to minimalist spaces.

  • Are volutes only decorative, or do they have functional uses as well?

    Primarily, volutes are decorative elements meant to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a structure or piece of furniture. However, in some applications such as staircase railings, they can also serve a functional purpose by providing a comfortable and ergonomic grip.

Practical Application

When incorporating volutes into your design, consider the overall style and theme of your space to ensure they complement rather than compete with existing elements. For a subtle touch, look for furniture or decorative items with volute details. If you’re aiming for a dramatic classical impact, incorporate volutes in architectural features like column capitals or staircase railings. Balancing the intricate design of volutes with simpler, clean lines elsewhere in the space can create a harmonious and sophisticated look.