A corbel/ bracket is a structural or decorative bracket placed between a vertical wall and a horizontal surface (ceiling, counter, tabletop, roof). Corbels are made from wood, plaster or marble, and synthetic materials. Generally when they are made from synthetic materials (polyurethane) they last much longer. Worthington brackets actually have a lifetime warranty. Brackets that are made from polyurethane are not load bearing and are for decorative purposes only. You can definitely get creative with them since they can be cut just like a typical wood bracket. You can use them for shelves or even curtain rods to add a little touch of unexpected pizazz to your home.
This corbel has scrollwork, which in this case is wood carved to look like an unfurling scroll of parchment. Although it is carved from wood, you can also find these in an alternative material such as polyurethane. Wood is a traditional material. Many places are switching to polyurethane (especially historic buildings) because of its longevity.
Acting as a brace for the covered doorway of this entry, this corbel may or may not be structural.
Though corbels can be purely decorative, this one braces the balcony above it.
A raised-panel kitchen island has corbels that help support the weight of the marble countertop.
Two corbels are used to support a wood beam and crown molding, creating a fireplace mantel on this stone facade.