7 Tips to Style a Picture Ledge

If you’ve visited with me before, you’re probably aware of my love of wall art. I have several frames that I use for seasonal art throughout the year. I’ve shared my single large painting in the living room and also a small collections of art on a gallery wall before.  Today I’m sharing my research into using a picture ledge in my home to create visual interest. Making a gallery wall  is a great way to display art.  Arranging prints on a wall isn’t always easy, but putting up a ledge and playing with the arrangement of frames is. Besides no more holes in the wall, I can add and subtract as needed!

Photo via Pottery Barn

Nothing makes a house feel more like home than an enticing display of contemporary wall art. The big question is do you make a gallery wall or do you use a picture ledge? Today we’ll look at 7 ways to style a picture ledge which may help you make your decision.

If you love order and simplicity, the classic row of pictures on a ledge is perfect for you. Choose either all black and white photos or color photos with the same color scheme. Pick the same size photo, orientation and frame and mat color to create this cohesive, streamlined look. Great for minimalists.

Photo via Anna Truelsen

If like me, you’re really tired of nail holes when you seasonally change your art, try layering your prints on a ledge. You can re-arrange as needed. This is probably the easiest way to show depth on the ledge with artwork and photos. You can use one color frame and mat for a cohesive look, or mix sizes and frame colors on a single photo ledge for a  dramatic statement in your room. Get a new print and work it into the design.

 Photo via Two Twenty One

For a shot of personality, choose objects to mix with your prints. Whether it’s a small ceramic piece, a metal sculpture, a candle, or even books, totally depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. Choose appropriately sized items from your family or travel treasures. Add a small plant to soften it. Do not use heavy items that will cause your ledge to fail and fall. The ledge/shelf below helps define the work space.

Photo via Hurd & Honey

Choose a color that is either in your room or in a colored photo on the ledge to tie the room together. Remember less is more. Don’t put everything of that color on the ledge. Below is a great example with a blue vase of yellow blooms. It certainly adds a pop of blue and yellow.

Photo via Pinterest

In several of my gardening posts, I have discussed going vertical to add depth and space in a small garden. This design trick also works beautifully in your home. You can add more than one picture ledge and add height to your space. For a streamlined look, keep the ledges all the same width and distance apart. Add framed photos, canvas, metal prints, memorabilia, books – anything that you like and that makes you happy when you look at it.

Photo via Salty Spaces

A. Paint your ledges the same color as the wall and go vertical.  I love the look of the ledges below.

 Photo via Apartment Therapy


B. Use the same shelves/ledges for a cohesive look. If you have shelves of books or plants, a hat rack, or hooks and other objects on a wall, add a ledge of pictures as part of the wall design.  A ledge over or under a shelf of books  becomes part of a larger composition – the wall.

Photo via Hurd & Honey

C. On the other hand, perhaps you have a collection begging to be displayed. The row of hats below really work well with the picture ledge and rustic bench. I love the texture of the hats, wooden bench, and plants. This has beautiful composition and contrast.

 Photo via Pinterest

I hope I’ve fed your creativity and given you ideas for designing your perfect wall that makes a happy place in your home. For me, I love the walls that have picture ledges with additional objects on the wall to make a cohesive design. This can include a large painting, sculpture, vase of flowers, or a filled bookshelf. I’m working on a design for my home and hope to share it with you soon.

Photo via Etsy

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

10 thoughts to “7 Tips to Style a Picture Ledge”

  1. This is a great idea and I love the look. You’d have to hope that anyone that dusts puts them back exactly where they were found!
    Wren x

  2. So glad I found this post. I’m considering doing a picture ledge but not sure how to do it. Now I have lots of great ideas. Perfect timing. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I am in the exact same place. I’ve decided where I’m putting one and have chosen the one I want. Now I just need to have it installed and start playing. Good luck with your picture ledge; I hope to see it in your photos in the future.

  3. Thanks for the inspiration. All of these are so beautiful. I’m about to do ledges on each side of a large room entrance. Just not sure if I should do two on each side or three. Hmmmm….

    1. That’s a good question – hard to plan without a visual. Try cutting out paper or cardboard the length of your ledges and lay on the floor below walls you would use. If you know what you would display, lay the objects down on the backs “on” the “ledge” and check out how the shapes look. Figure out how far apart the ledges need to be. Then you’ll have a better idea of number to use.

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