Tips for Styling a Picture Ledge

Picture ledges are a gift to the indecisives of the world. Think of them as a gallery wall without the commitment – you hang a shelf or two, and have the option to switch up artwork and accessories freely without the precise planning and measuring. They’re an excellent way to showcase multiple pieces at once, and to be honest – it’s fairly easy to make them look really good.

For the minimalists, a single ledge can make a huge impact with only 3-4 pieces of artwork. If you’re looking to up the ante, stacking two ledges above one another creates a truly striking focal point (plus – more room for art!). I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite picture ledge looks along with tips on how to style them. Happy curating!

Choose your theme.

My favourite thing about picture ledges is how versatile they are. Literally ALL you need is a ledge – even if it’s not specifically designed for photo frames. A desk or credenza will do if you want to avoid making holes in the wall, as long as there’s enough room for a few pieces side by side. Smaller surfaces can benefit from either a layered or minimalist look (both shown below), so decide what you’re aiming for prior to beginning!

Pick your artwork.

There are tons of incredible resources for artwork. Artisanal or vintage stores. Art gallery and museum gift shops. Online marketplaces like Etsy or Society6. SO. MANY. OPTIONS.

If you’re looking to print your own photos, try Posterjack or Parabo Press. For a more personal piece, you could even try framing travel souvenirs like postcards, coasters from a bar you visited during a trip, city maps, etc. Once you’ve chosen a few key pieces, you can choose complementary ones to build out the rest of your “gallery”. For a more layered or tiered look, choose multiple sizes for each piece of art.

On a budget? Try rights-free stock images websites like Pexels and Unsplash which offer gorgeous high-res images that are perfect for printing.

Select your frames.

Once you’ve decided on your artwork, you can purchase the frames to match. I personally like to use a variety of widths and finishes, but there’s also something so clean and beautiful about a matching set. A few of my favourite sources are Ikea, DeSerres and Walmart, and some websites will even offer a framed option of your selected prints during checkout.

Ready, set, STYLE!

This is the best part, where you can choose to be as whimsical or structured as you’d like. If you’re layering, start with your biggest pieces first and add smaller ones on top. Using thinner frames for the back pieces of art will allow you to layer more in the front row. If you’re going the minimal route, use a measuring tape and pencil to make tick marks along the wall or ledge to ensure each piece is perfectly spaced. If you become frustrated and can’t find the perfect combination at first – that’s okay! The beauty of this project is that you can switch up the pieces and layout so easily until it’s just right for you. Pro tip: if you’re printing photos yourself, print more than you think you’ll need and alternate them within your frames until you find a combination of artwork that suits the space.

Need some inspo?

See below for some of my favourite ways to style a picture ledge. No matter what your space or budget is like, you can easily design something that fits your needs and keep building upon it as you collect more pieces!

Layered

Multi-Tiered

Via Stylizmo

Minimalist

Monochromatic

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