Styrofoam Quoins for Your Castle
The old cliché is that your home is your castle. Did you ever dream of living in a castle? Have you ever considered giving your home the look of a castle? If your home is made of brick, block or stucco, it is entirely possible to achieve this look. The secret to turning your home into your castle is the judicious use of quoins. With the careful and creative use of corner quoins, you can make your home into the castle you always dreamed of, be it modern or medieval, gothic or Victorian.
In the days of real castle building, quoins were the larger stone blocks that gave solid support to the corners of the castle walls. Usually they were a rectangular block shape that was rotated so the longer face showed on one face of the wall in one row and the other face of the wall on the next row. This set up an offset for the remaining blocks on each row of the castle walls, adding to their strength.
Today, corner quoins are used primarily for decorative purposes, but they also serve the purpose of protecting the corners of your home from damage. Chipping a corner when moving past it with a wheelbarrow or furniture means re-coating both walls to avoid an unsightly patch. Patching that corner so it looks like the damage never happened can be a complex and expensive process. But if a quoin gets damaged, a new quoin can be installed and painted to match the others for much less time and expense.
There are many ways to use quoins to express your sense of style and add to your home’s curb appeal. Some people like the look of beveled edges on their quoins. These can be placed one on top of the other without spacing. Others find that square edged quoins spaced an inch or more apart—up to about half the height of the quoin—suit their personal style or budget a bit better.
The arrangement that most reflects a medieval castle is to use quoins that are a bit longer on one side than the other, whether beveled or squared, and alternating the long and short sides as they stack up the wall, creating a hounds-tooth pattern. This look can be taken even further if you have an arched entryway or garden passage. Placing quoins along both sides of the arch up to a keystone can give the illusion of real stone construction. These quoins can be either trimmed to appropriate angles, or placed so the joints between each quoin form a small wedge.
You can find quoins made from a variety of materials. They can be cast concrete, stone, various types of resins, or even wood. Several manufacturers, Decoramould for example, make corner quoins from Styrofoam with a reinforced concrete coating. These have the advantage of being lightweight for easy installation due to the styrofoam, yet durable enough to withstand the ravages of time. They can be painted in a solid color, or through the magic of faux finishing techniques, they can be made to look like nearly any type of stone that fits your décor. These quoins are available in a variety of edge styles and sizes so that you can design your castle in the way you have always dreamed.