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Picture Ledges – The Best Decorating Tool?

Posted on Tuesday 9th March 2021   |   News

Picture Ledges – the best decorating tool?

We know from experience that many people are nervous of committing to a gallery wall in their homes as they fear it won’t look as nice as they want when it is complete and all the holes have been hammered into the wall! And what happens if they live with it for a bit and then decide they don’t like the pictures or the custom frames uk anymore? 

The mere thought of taking it down and starting again may be enough to convince you to move house instead! Well fear not, if you like the idea of a gallery wall but are nervous about committing to it, there is an alternative. The picture ledge. A great way to fill empty wall space, create a focal point to a room and make a statement with art but with less commitment than a gallery wall.

You can restyle picture ledges time and time again

The biggest advantage of hanging a picture ledge rather than a gallery wall, is that you can change the art you place on there as many times as you like. Without any of the faff of filling nail holes and repainting the wall. If you are not happy with the way you have arranged the pictures, then just swap them around. If you get a new picture in a snazzy 8x10 frame, just pop it on straight away. If you get bored of looking at the same picture's day in and day out, change them around or take them down and start all over again. The possibilities are endless.

If you are the kind of person who likes to constantly freshen things up, then a picture shelf could be your new best friend. 

They can help you create a focal point in a room

Yes, a gallery wall or a large piece of art can be a great focal point for a room, but the easiest way to create a focal point is to use a picture ledge. They not appear more grounded but can pull a lot of the other elements in a room together as well. 

They can be really effective when placed in the centre of a wall above a bed or sofa. They can also look great if placed either side of a fireplace in two recesses. Another eye-catching idea is to place them above each other, evenly spaces apart, to take up the whole space on a wall – from floor to ceiling. 

They are not just for pictures

Ok so they are called ‘picture ledges’ yes, but you don’t have to use them just for pictures. In fact, we will let you in on a little secret, they often look better when you don’t just use them for pictures. Most rooms in your home will benefit from a little green, so why not place a small plant on your picture shelf as well? 

They are also ideal for displaying decorative plates as well, thanks to the lip on the front of the shelf. You can also use them in more practical ways as well, such as for a clock, notebooks and pens in your home office. Or for a mirror and some pretty toiletries in the bathroom. Next to your bed with a cute lamp on. The possibilities really are endless.

Their slim shape will fit anywhere

We have already mentioned the fact that picture ledges are great for placing above a bed or sofa, as they are so slim there is little chance of you banging your head on them. However, this also makes them suitable for areas of more heavy traffic as they will take up less space than a console table or bookshelf for example. 

So, they are ideal for using in hallways in place of heavy pieces of furniture. You could even leave space on them to drop your keys as you enter the house, and leave a pretty lipstick on for freshening up as you walk out the door. 

Now that we’ve convinced you of the benefits of a picture ledge, let's talk a little about how to style them. 

  • Use a spirit level when putting them up, so that you can make sure you have a nice, straight finish. Ask someone to help you to hold the shelf up in place before you screw it in, so you can stand back and make sure it looks right before it’s too late
  • If you are putting it above your bed or sofa, measure where your head reaches on the wall when you sit up – just to make extra sure you don’t bang your head on it all the time
  • Once your shelf is up, start by adding just one key piece to it that you want as your focal point – a print or framed photo for example. Position it slightly off-centre as things always look better that way – slightly asymmetrical and not perfect.
    • If you are putting two or more shelves together above a sofa or bed, then group things in odd numbers. This is an old visual merchandising trick as things tend to look more relaxed and less ordered this way. You want to make it look as if you have just placed things on the shelf artfully, and not as if you have spent hours and hours arranging them!
    • If you are putting picture frames with glass in them, or large pictures on your picture shelves then you may want to think about secure them to the wall with a bracket or nail as well – just to make sure they won’t fall off
  • Once you have your main focal piece in place, cluster some things around it – like some books or a plant – or both. Create gaps between some items, and overlap some items, to make it all feel like one cohesive scheme. It creates some depth this way, and adds interest for the eye, rather than making it feel flat and boring. 
  • If you want to you can go one step further and match the colours of the thigs you are placing on the picture shelf – by picking up a colour in your main focal piece with the lettering on a book for example. Little subtle design tweaks like this can make all the difference
  • Don’t feel like everything has to be confined to the ledge either. Drape a plant off the front of it, pin some pictures around it, or clip a light to it. 
  • Finally, make sure you bring some personality to it. Make it a little special so that it elevates your home and improves the moments that you spend there. 

If we have inspired you to put up your own picture ledge and fill it with your favourite pieces, don’t forget that are here to help you make your art look its best – from 8x6 photo frames to a3 poster frames. 

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