Hosting and lifestyle experts, Shannon and Jenna of The Busy Bee, are on the blog today sharing a beautiful way to wow your walls by creating a picture ledge display.
While galleries have remained the craze for home decor in recent years, did you know they date back to the 1600’s?! In the late seventeenth century, the French would display a mix of different sized and textured art on what they called “salon walls” of palaces and academic establishments. Today, gallery walls give us an opportunity to display our personal collection of artwork and photos in our own homes.
For quite some time, Shannon has been looking to create a gallery wall in her home, specifically on a small but prominent wall shared by her family and dining rooms. For the last few years, it has adorned a set of wooden hexagon shelves of varying sizes that just didn’t do much for the space. The pieces had been repurposed from a photoshoot we directed a few years ago, and it was time for them to go!
That’s when Shannon headed straight to Old Time Pottery to check out their vast selection of wall decor, picture frames and framed art. We tend to spend most of our time in the kitchen and serveware aisles of Old Time Pottery, so this trip added an extra layer of fun getting to explore a few aisles we don’t get to explore often. Let’s just say, what she left with was more than she had hoped for!
So, how did she create her picture ledge display that she can’t stop staring at? Below, we are sharing some tips to help you create a gallery wall in your own home.
Know Your Space
First and foremost, understand the space you are working with.
- Does it incorporate various spaces in your home or is it closed off? If it incorporates various spaces, you will need to ensure the frames and/or artwork you choose complement the aesthetics of those spaces. If it’s closed off, you’ll have a little more creative freedom.
- What are the dimensions of the space? Know how big or small the area is you are working with. If it’s rather large, you can work with larger pieces or incorporate more smaller pieces. If it is a smaller space, it is generally better to work with smaller pieces or fewer larger ones.
For Shannon, her wall is one of the first things you see when you enter her home, and it is shared by her family room and dining room. She is in the process of redecorating her home and started with her dining room late last year. She loves the direction her decor has taken, so she decided to continue with that aesthetic.
Because the wall she chose is a bit narrow, she focused on a vertical design to maximize the space. She had previously purchased three picture ledge shelves and decided she wanted to hang them in a stacked design (one directly above the other). Each shelf measures 23” long, so she knew the largest frame or framed art could not measure larger than 11”x14”. She also knew each ledge could hold up to three frames comfortably, if they were displayed in an overlapping pattern.
Choose Varying But Coordinating Frames
To create more interest within your picture ledge display, choose frames of various sizes, colors and textures. The best way to do this is to design in sets of three and make sure the style of your frames or artwork as well as the colors complement one another.
Here’s how Shannon chose hers:
- 3 large, 3 medium and 3 small frames (1 per shelf)
- 4 wood, 3 plastic textured and 2 metal frames
- 3 ivory, 3 light brown, 2 gold and 1 light brown and ivory frames
#DesignerTip: Don’t be afraid to lay your pieces out on the floor to see how they work together. Move them around to get an idea of how and where you will place them on the picture ledge.
Choose Meaningful Artwork
When it comes to choosing artwork for your picture ledge display, whether you are selecting framed artwork from Old Time Pottery or adding artwork to Old Time Pottery’s picture frames, opt for pieces that have meaning to you. For example, Shannon chose to add artwork to an assortment of frames of the cities that hold significant meaning in her life.
The alligator sketch represents Gainesville, Florida where she met her husband. New York was their first big move that changed the trajectory of their life. The city where she got engaged and her husband grew up, the places they honeymooned together and took their babymoon are also depicted. Where she grew up and where her husband is from along with where they traveled with their baby for the first time internationally are also framed. By grouping each of these pieces together on the picture ledge display, it not only creates a work of art, but it also tells a meaningful story.
Display Your Gallery Uniquely
Traditionally, a gallery wall is a collection of art hung on a wall. While this is still a great way to display your gallery, feel free to get a little more creative using a picture ledge or two (or three) to add dimension. Create a stacked design like Shannon did with three picture ledges, use a long one above a couch or stagger a mix of ledges on a large wall.
Furthermore, consider the way you display your frames on your picture ledge. Shannon simply rested her frames on each ledge and overlapped them a bit for added depth. You can also choose to hang a few of the frames on the wall directly above the ledge or mix in decorative trinkets for a different look.
So, what do you think? Would you create a picture ledge display like this in your home?