Are Picture Ledges the New Gallery Wall?
We’re going out on a ledge (pun intended) and proclaiming that picture ledges can be even more stylish than gallery walls! Gallery walls are all over social media, but they can be intimidating to create—and they leave a lot of holes in the wall! We think picture ledges are much easier to create and style, as long as you follow a few simple tips. Another bonus: you can easily swap out artwork when the mood strikes you, so you can give your room a whole new look without breaking the bank. Intrigued? Read our designer-approved tips and get inspired to create your picture ledge display today!
Choose Your Ledge (or Shelf)
The type of picture ledge you choose will help set the style for your space. A wood ledge adds warmth and natural appeal, while metal has a sleek, modern look. The finish also has a big impact. Dark wood tends to feel more traditional, while light wood feels more bohemian; metallic finishes convey luxury, while a pop color can feel exciting and playful. Also consider whether you’d like a narrow picture ledge, or a shelf with a bit more depth so you can add other elements to your display, like potted plants, books, or sculptural objects.
Pick Your Layout
Choose how many ledges you’d like to install based on your available wall space and the size of the artwork you’d like to display. (For more detailed advice about sizing, read How to Choose the Right Size Art for Your Space.) Aside from hanging one ledge, the simplest layout uses multiple ledges of the same size hung directly above each other. For a more eclectic look, hang different size ledges so they are offset from each other. And if you’re nervous about installing the ledges yourself, don’t hesitate to hire a pro!
Make it Custom
To create a truly wow-worthy wall, you’re going to want to use custom-framed artwork in your picture ledge display. Custom framing allows you to bring out the best in your art and photos through unique frame options and optimal mat choices. You’ll also be able to frame pieces in the exact sizes you need to complement the artwork and your display. That also means you can have multiple pieces framed in the same sizes, so they are easy to swap out when your room needs a refresh.
Curate Your Artwork
Creating a cohesive art display is as simple as choosing a color palette and sticking to it. No matter the mix of mediums or styles, a unifying palette will tie everything together. Go for classic black and white, incorporating vintage photographs and abstract artwork. Or choose warm neutrals with desert landscapes and modern prints. Go luxe with jewel tones in lush, tropical patterns and depictions of exotic destinations. Or be bold with primary colors in posters and prints with post-modern appeal. Just make sure your palette pleases you and have fun!
Frames and Mats
If you’re aesthetically-challenged, there’s no shame in choosing the same mats and frames for the custom-framed artwork in your display! However, if you want to have a bit more fun without getting overwhelmed, opt for neutral mats that complement your artwork and choose from two frame color options. Try doing one-third in one color and two-thirds in the other, or go half and half. Some classic frame combinations: black + white, gold + white, bold color + black, two different wood tones.
Now for the fun part: arranging your display! When working with custom-framed artwork of different sizes, be sure to put pieces of varying heights next to each other to add visual interest. If you opted for multiple frame colors, disperse them throughout your display, so they’re not clustered in one area. You can highlight your favorite piece by putting it at the center of your display. Layer frames for a casual look, but stick to two deep so it doesn’t feel cluttered. If you have deeper ledges or shelves, have fun mixing in other elements, like plants, vases, or figurines!
Custom framing truly is key to creating a stunning picture ledge display. If you’re feeling inspired, grab your favorite artwork and head to your local FastFrame! Our talented framers will help you create a collection of custom-framed artwork that will make your walls shine! Visit our locations page to find your nearest store.