In the field of interior design, many terms are misunderstood or confused with others since they typically aren’t used in day-to-day conversation. One of those commonly misunderstood terms is the ‘finial’.

The word finial can be used to describe several different design elements, but is most commonly defined as ‘a crowning ornament or detail marking the top or end point of a design piece’.

For example, a finial is the decorative aspect on the top part of a lamp that attaches the shade to the base. A gorgeous representation of this element is shown by the crystal knob at the top of this table lamp by Currey and  Company.

A finial may also refer to the decorative end of a curtain rod or drapery pole. These come in all shapes, sizes, styles and designs as seen to the right in a sample of Paris Texas Hardware’s line.

The decorative top of a bed post is also referred to as a finial. A fine example of this is shown below in this beautiful, hand-carved mahogany bed by Jonathan Charles Fine Furniture.

Finally, in the architectural world, finials are the ornaments on the top of building structures. As pictured below, a scrolled spire is the perfect representation of this element.

It’s no wonder this term has caused so much confusion with its broad usage!

Would you like to learn more about other elements of design? Contact us with your ideas or questions.


[Photos courtesy of Currey and Company, Paris Texas Hardware, and Jonathan Charles Fine Furniture]