House For Six

Picture Ledges, Photo Gallery Tips, and a GIVEAWAY!!

Deme Crinion34 Comments
This giveaway is officially closed - congratulations Rebecca Rooney! Check your email, Girl!

I'm embarrassed to admit how long it's been since we've had family pictures up on the walls.  Or on a nightstand.  Or even tucked into a wallet.

Where they have been, is multiplying on my computer for years. Which made the task of actually sifting through and printing them even more intimidating.

But this big open space above our couch was calling for attention, and I felt like maybe it was time to add some evidence of the family who actually lives here. Since we tend to have a lot of rooms in progress, it can be easy to put off the finishing details of a room.  Those usually come towards the end, but they're what gives a space personality...makes it relatable and meaningful.

I finally decided to stop waiting and have been intent on adding some personality to our home through those details over the past month, finished rooms or not. OK, all our rooms are pretty much in the 'not' category, but the living room just nudged a bit closer to 'done'.
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

This project all started with a long RIBBA picture ledge from IKEA that used to hang in my office, now the babe's nursery.  I'm intimidated by gallery walls (which would have been a great space filler) but a picture ledge gallery seemed more doable.  Little measuring, no nails.  I could handle that.

But I needed a ledge about twice as long as the RIBBA to span the majority of the couch. Observe one RIBBA, alone and afraid:

Heeeey......maybe I could shove two of them together to make one long ledge...but what about the seam in the middle?  Could I caulk it and paint it?  

Why yes.  Yes, I could.  Because someone smarter than me had already done it (check out the ledges Jenny did in her mom's home here.)

I made the trip to IKEA to stock up on 3 more RIBBA ledges, and had a minor panic attack when I discovered they were being replaced with the MOSSLANDA.  It was like a flashback to the traumatic news of the discontinued EXPEDIT.  But lucky for us, the MOSSLANDA  turned out to be a great upgrade....and a steal at just $9.99 for the large ledge (a $5.00 price cut from the RIBBA ledge)!

The MOSSLANDA is a bit chunkier than the RIBBA but keeps its slim/sleek footprint.  I really liked the more substantial feel, but especially loved the addition of this groove down the middle.  It acts like a stopper for the frames layered in the back, leaving space to add another frame in front.  It would be a really nice feature if you wanted to create a display with plates or something similar.
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

We did some quick measuring, some checking with the level, and lots of eyeballing. We ended up with the bottom of the lower ledge  12 inches from the top of the couch, and 18 inches between the front lip of the lower ledge and the bottom of the upper ledge.


As I perused some of my favorite pins, most picture ledge galleries that caught my eye were black and white (both the frames and prints).  I also liked white mats and preferred the look of a thin black frame vs. a wide edge.  

Fortunately, I had a few black and white frames on hand, but certainly not enough to fill the ledges.  I really needed to keep this project from becoming too costly and was excited to find these frames (holding our baby girl announcement below) on the end cap at Target for $3.00 a pop.  I grabbed a few 11x14 (matted to fit an 8x10) and a couple 8x10 frames (matted to fit a 5x7).
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

 After playing musical frames for a day, we finally had it.
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

I wanted it to feel balanced with the various sized frames, but not too cluttered.  I kept the prints mostly black and white, but did work in a few color prints (most of which are not super saturated and have black/white somewhere in them). 

IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

From my uber-extensive frame tweaking experience, I walked away with a few simple tips for success: 

-Large frames are key to keeping the group from feeling too busy.  I recommend 2-3 large frames on each ledge.

-Place the large frames first, then work the smaller frames in around them.

-Balance elements.  I made sure I didn't spread load one side with color prints and the other with black and white.  I also tried to vary the frame orientation for a good spread of horizontal/vertical, and to equally disperse the few white frames I had among the black.

-Shift the frames so that they aren't perfectly aligned with any of the frames above/below.

When I did this it looked good, but something still felt off.  Until I tried this: make sure that none of the gaps line up vertically.

See this?  There's a gap between two frames and if you trace a line to the ledge below there is another gap right below it. 
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

So, I slid one of the top frames over and now if you trace a line up from that gap on the bottom ledge, your eye hits a frame.
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery tips

Just follow that rule of thumb throughout.  Wherever there's a gap between frames, make sure the vertical line leads to a frame, not another gap.   All the gaps in the arrangement below have a frame along the same vertical line on the opposite ledge.
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery tips
I suppose you could just layer the frames without any gaps all the way through, but I felt like a few spaces helped the whole thing breath.  If frames could do that.

I tried to include a baby, toddler, and current individual pic of each kiddo and then a few of our family favorites.  I was so happy seeing these pictures in no-kidding frames and not the screen of my computer.  I loved the black and white frames, but a few other items made this area just a bit more special.
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

I've been loving neutral rooms with a small pop of bold color, so I thought this mostly black and white set up might benefit from the same idea.  This print from Jones Design Company was the perfect touch of color and whimsy.  And it really captured the heart of these photos.  The time goes by so fast and it's those little things, their little way, that I want to remember.
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery
(*I have not yet caulked and painted the seams but will update once I do!)

I had a gap on the lower shelf but didn't have another frame.  This horseshoe was a special gift from my inlaws and perfectly filled the space on the wall.
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

My friend Katrina recently opened the most beautiful hand lettering and art shop on Etsy  Hatch Prints . She has so many amazing designs that it took me forever to place an order because I wanted. them. all.  This one seemed to be the perfect mantra for us.  I hope those that witness the love between our family, also witness the Gospel in action. Every time.
IKEA picture ledges, photo gallery

I also snagged this print from her shop, and can't wait to find a spot for it in my kitchen.
Picture ledges and photo gallery tips

 Gorgeous right!? Her prints are striking online, but even better in person.  The print quality is so fantastic they would look good in or out of a frame.  

The best news is that she's giving away two gorgeous prints (one 8x10 and one 5x7) to one of you!  Just check out Katrina's lovely shop and leave a note in the comments with your favorite print.  You can also use the code HOUSEFORSIX at checkout for an extra 15% off your Hatch Prints order through the end of October. I have several of these beauties in mind for Christmas gifts, but you'll find so many great options for newly arrived babies, and even loss.

You can follow Katrina behind the scenes and get shop news over on the gram and FB.  But don't miss out on the goodness of her blog Cedars and Tiny Flowers either!

And what the heck, lets throw in a $30 IKEA OR Target gift card (your choice) from me to help get you started on your own gallery wall, or putting those personal touches on your home.  That's one 8x10 art print of your choice, one 5x7 art print of choice, and one gift card to one mothership, for one lucky reader.  Good luck, ducks!!!

*Giveaway will run through Friday, Oct 30th at 11:59pm EST.  Winner will be chosen using random.org and notified via email. 


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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