A pilaster is a rectangular or column-shaped device used to support shelves or cabinets. When referring to a pilaster, it is usually in reference to the mounting pillars inside a cabinet that hold the shelves. Pilasters are commonly made of metal and allow for adjustable shelf height by relocating the hanging hardware up or down into pre-cut holes.

However, the term pilaster can also refer to a decorative piece that is affixed to the outside corners of base cabinets, resembling a table leg. These decorative pilasters are typically ornate and intended to add a hand-carved look to a cabinetry run. It’s important to note that not all pilasters are made alike, as some are intended to bear a load like an actual table leg, while others are crafted from softer wood meant to be attached to the face of a base cabinet to create the illusion of hand detailing.

Incorporating pilasters can be a great decorative detail in a large kitchen, but smaller kitchens can also benefit from load-bearing pilasters. Pilasters are also helpful in supporting natural rock countertops or creating seating areas in kitchen counters.