The Secret to Flexible Decorating: the Picture Ledge

The Secret to Flexible Decorating- the Picture Ledge.jpg

Does this scenario sound familiar? You cuddle into the corner of your favorite chair. You pull a comfy throw onto your lap while closely hugging a cup of steaming tea, coffee or fire water. And you sigh, content and happy, until your eye rests upon that framed bit of artwork on the wall and you realize you’re ready for a change.

The good news is that the things we hang on our walls can be easily swapped out and updated for a fresh, new look. The challenge, however, can be finding a comparable piece to hang in that exact spot. Can the new piece use the same nail hole? Will it fit in the space of the item that you’re replacing? Will you need to create new holes in the wall for another sort of hanger? Do additional items need to be moved around to accommodate your new find? The more change this seemingly simple update requires, the more reluctant you may be to make it. 

Don’t worry! There’s a simple solution. Put down the hammer and don’t hang another thing before you read this. The secret to creating an easily updatable room is the picture ledge. Whether you like to replace your wall art each season or you want the flexibility to change things up on a whim, a picture ledge gives you a creative space to easily swap pieces without drilling new holes in the wall and alleviates spacing headaches each time your décor evolves. 

Let’s talk about the basics. Start by selecting the ledge length that best suits your decorating style and room size. You can find pre-made ledges in a variety of lengths or you can DIY a ledge to your specifications. If you’re going the make-it-yourself route, get creative with the materials you use. Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration and decorations for such a project. 

Generally, if you’re going to place the picture ledge over a couch, place the bottom edge of the shelf about 10 inches above the back of the couch. If you’re going to hang it elsewhere, keep in mind, you’re aiming for “eye level” artwork on a wall. A good rule of thumb is to hang your ledge 4 to 4 ½ feet from the floor. 

What goes on the ledge? For starters, there’s the obvious framed artwork. It is, after all, called a picture ledge. But don’t stop there! These ledges with their grooves and/or framed edges are ideal for displaying things like decorative plates, forward facing books, thin vases, and collectibles. Think outside the box! Hang some picture ledges in your bedroom and display your favorite shoes. Use these unique shelves in the kitchen to arrange your go-to bottles of spices and seasonings. Try a picture ledge in a child’s bedroom or play room to display those awesome Lego creations and favorite toys. Anything that will securely fit on the flat space available is fair game. Have fun with it, and the next time you glance up and realize it’s time for a change, go for it! Swap out your old shelf décor for something fresh and new without any worry.

by Anjie Cho