A Massive Wood Picture Ledge for the Living Room!

Last week, we updated you on a little corner of the living room that got a few new accessories and today is what you could call the rest of the story. Some of you even noticed a picture ledge hanging out in a few of those photos. We were waiting to show you some pulled back shots until three prints I purchased arrived back from getting framed using Framebridge (more on that in a minute), and now that they have–ta-da!

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We had a couple photo ledges in our last house and we loved/missed the casual leaned-art look and the ease of switching things around. Here’s a reminder of how things were arranged previously:

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Don’t you love watching rooms evolve? I knew as soon as I hung those frames above the couch months ago, the wall needed something more. Eventually, I moved those frames to the wall on the right and blew up some photos of the girls (you can read about that here), which made room for this ten foot picture ledge. Huge!

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The new picture ledge is lined up with the rug and both are centered in the width of the neighboring dining room and kitchen–just an fyi. It took Chris 45 minutes and about $15 to make. He purchased two 1×6 boards in 10 ft lengths and cut one of them to make the back and front lip. There was a tiny miscommunication about screwing them onto the front/back rather than on top, but he was already done and I really don’t mind.

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We debated between staining the wood or painting it, and you can see staining it (we used a walnut stain) won. It adds an extra layer of natural texture and warmth to the room and we love that. Shall we talk about all of these great prints!? Let’s!

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On the ledge from left to right, we have a Clare Elsaesser post card that came with a print I bought for our room awhile ago and I definitely framed that baby / eye chart / desert gallery print

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The Decision by Kai Samuel-Davis (the purchase of this print kind of started this whole project!) / a signed poster from our dear musician friend (who happened to also sing at our wedding) Preston Pugmire, we love you–do check his music out! / a photograph my sister took in my hometown, Pittsburgh!

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A postcard print by Kai, Street Walker by Kevin Russ.

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We had the large Kai Samuel-Davis print, the desert gallery print and the bison print all framed by Framebridge. We thought we’d try it out after a few of our friends gave rave reviews about the service and we have only good things to add. They sent us shipping tubes to mail in the prints and they arrived back packaged to perfection. I love the large gold Potomac frame The Decision is housed in and the black core mat in a white modern frame for the desert print is such a pretty juxtaposition. We chose a natural wood frame for the bison print which ties in nicely to the frame of the Britt Hermann print on the end table. If you have an odd size print, or just want something special framed, I can’t say enough good things about Framebridge. A lot of Etsy artists are even teaming up with them to make their service even easier.

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In person, the 10 ft ledge is so substantial and the art lining it is such a great alternative to the ever-popular “gallery wall”; especially if you like to switch things around as much as I do. This project went a long way in bringing our personalities to this home–we are thrilled it feels like that’s finally happening.



44 Comments

  • Reply March 30, 2017

    Aimee Dotter

    What size piece of wood did you make the lip on the front out of? So cute.

  • Reply December 4, 2016

    Amy Henderson

    Hi!

    I love the look of this photo ledge. I am trying to get an idea of how you fixed it to the wall. I read through the comments about how you drilled it straight into 4 studs but I’m a little confused about how that works with the ledge being assembled. Did you attach the back piece first and then assemble the shelf. I’m sure I’m making it more complicated than it is, thanks in advance for the help!

    • Reply December 5, 2016

      Julia

      We assembled it and then drove screws into the studs through the back. The front lip is shorter than the back so it’s pretty easy to get to

  • Reply October 12, 2016

    Samantha

    I’m considering doing something similar in my living room, but am concerned about it sticking out too far and people hitting their heads. We spend most of our time in this room as it is our TV room. Have you guys encountered that problem at all? Do you have your couch up against the wall? Does the ledge sit above head level when the average person is sitting on the couch?

  • Reply September 18, 2016

    GoBlue

    Love this! How high is the ledge from the top back of the sofa?

  • Reply April 7, 2016

    tamsin

    Hi Julia!

    Just stumbled onto your blog now. LOVE IT!! I want to make this ledge for our awkward and long living room but I’m uncertain how to secure the bottom shelf. I can see that the back would be screwed into each stud, but how do you secure the bottom shelf to the studs so that it holds the weight of all those frames? Our walls are just drywall over wood studs. Cheers!

    • Reply April 7, 2016

      Julia

      Hi Tamsin, We drove several screws up from the bottom to connect the bottom to the back, as well as the lip in the front. If you secure the back into all the studs it hits, it will be solid!

      • April 8, 2016

        tamsin

        Thanks Julia! Seems simple enough even for us! :)

  • Reply March 7, 2016

    Carrie

    Do you have the DIY plans for this?

    • Reply March 7, 2016

      Julia

      The tutorial is in the post. :)

  • Reply August 16, 2015

    Veronica

    Love everything about it. As a reference what size are the prints you framed?
    Thanks

    • Reply August 17, 2015

      Julia

      The largest one in the middle (by Kai Samuel Davis) is a 17×22 print, but closer to a 22×27 framed. The smallest is a 10×8.

  • Reply July 30, 2015

    Jennifer

    Hi! Love this living room – can you let me know where you got the leather coffee table? Thank you!

    • Reply July 31, 2015

      Julia

      That’s from overstock.

  • Reply February 10, 2015

    Abby

    Where did you get that gray lamp? Love it!

  • Reply January 27, 2015

    Amber

    these look wonderful! Your blog has become a must check daily. I love all your diy projects! You totally have inspired me to be brave and make my own photo ledge! Do you mind me asking how deep yours ended up being?

    • Reply January 27, 2015

      Julia

      Thanks so much, Amber. So, it ended up being about 5″ deep. We used a 1×6 for the base and put the back and front ledge on top. Considering the 1×6 is closer to 5″ in depth and the two 1″ width pieces on top are closer to 3/4″, there’s about 3.5″-4″ of space for the pictures to lean. Hope that makes sense!

  • Reply January 20, 2015

    Maggie

    I just stumbled onto your website and I have spent all night admiring your beautiful home! You have fantastic taste. This picture ledge is exactly what I am looking into for the space above our couch. Wondering how you installed it into the wall. Pegs? Or is it sturdy enough to simply screw. Thank you!

    • Reply January 21, 2015

      Julia

      Thanks so much, Maggie! We just screwed it straight into the studs in 4 places. It’s not going anywhere!

  • Reply November 10, 2014

    Jennifer @ Brave New Home

    Wow! This little spot of your living room is turning out so cozy. I love the height of the ledge in comparison to the couch. Pinned!

  • Reply November 10, 2014

    Alison

    Interesting taste in art work.

  • Reply November 8, 2014

    Cathy

    Love love the look of this picture ledge and how easy(!) it is to make! One question though – what kind of wood and how thick did you use?

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Kristen @ LoveK Blog

    Love your photo ledge! We have a couple in our house and I’m always trying to find more places for ledges! Haha!!

    I’ve been really enjoying all your posts lately! I really love your style!

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Victoria

    I’m envious of this. I’m hanging a gallery wall right now, and while I consider myself a gallery wall expert :), this looks effortless and chic. Maybe I’ll rethink things :)

    Let me know when I can do some art for your collection!

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Annie

    This looks amazing and gives me confidence to do something similar in our home. Awesome job!!

    I do have to make a plug for using a local framer, however. I find one every time I move (right now ours is 45 Degree in Colorado Springs). Working with a framer in person, having them show you the different options for mats, getting their opinion, etc., is invaluable. You probably have a great eye as an artist so you don’t need the assistance, but for the rest of us actually going to the framer and working with them and the piece one on one always yields the best results!

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Lauren

    I love this. The wall above our couch is totally blank because every other rendition I’ve seen of this just didn’t seem to fit (with our house). This, however, is amazing. Another job well done.

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    AnnMarie

    I love everything about this update. I love the casual-yet-collected-and-classy vibe of the prints and frames you chose. I think staining the ledge was definitely the right call — I think it looks like eyeliner for your living room, adding a little drama and pizzazz. ^_^

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Meagan Briggs

    I like that your couch isn’t right up against the wall! And I’m glad Greta hasn’t tried touching the frames. I’m always so cautious to put anything on our coffee tables (so there’s nothing on them!). Ellie is kind of a monster these days and likes to get into everything!

  • Nice! How many inches up from the floor did you mount the ledge? Also, how high is the top of the highest frame from the floor? I’m just trying to get a sense of the scale on the wall.

    • Reply November 6, 2014

      Julia

      The bottom of the ledge sits at 42 1/2″ from the floor and the top of the gold frame is at 74″.

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Claire Cilip

    You guys are literally my go to site right now! I have been a follower since your last house but came in at the tail end, it’s been fun watching you guys evolve the new space  I am just in the process of making some rather large picture ledge shelves as well for our dining room! This couldn’t have come at a better time to convince me that is the way to go! Love your style, your un-pretentiousness and your guts to just put it all out there, even when you’ve made a mistake! I have to work on being better about showing the “process” on my blog, taking a cue from you! Awesome job!

    • Reply November 6, 2014

      Julia

      What a nice compliment. Thanks so much, Claire.

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Kates

    Are they study? Have you noticed any sagging in the middle? I so so badly want to hang two picture ledges in our house so this post is very inspiring!

    They look great!

    • Reply November 6, 2014

      Julia

      We mounted the shelf into 4 studs so it is definitely sturdy in that way and no signs of sagging whatsoever. We’ll keep you posted on that front.

      • November 6, 2014

        Kates

        Thanks! I am so in love with them! Also I love that they look so good together with all the different types of frames! Love that! I always have a hard time finding the perfect balance of different types of frames and colors!

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Britney

    I love this! Absolutely gorgeous! But aren’t you worried about Greta knocking them down??

    • Reply November 6, 2014

      Julia

      The couch is pulled away from the wall about 18 inches. So even though she still could, it really isn’t in her path or close to her path. We’re crossing our fingers! Haha

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Kelli

    I have been following your blog now for a few years and rarely if ever have commented! I love watching the evolution of your home which has been so inspiring for me as we update our own home – thank you! Sometimes I forget how important it is to thank bloggers for their time and willingness to share their homes and stories with complete strangers.

    I was inspired to comment today because as I was reading this post I realized that the picture of your hometown is my daily view from my desk at work in downtown Pittsburgh! So again thank you from a loyal reader in the ‘burgh!

    PS – I love the ledge!

    • Reply November 6, 2014

      Julia

      Ahh, a fellow Pittsburgher! Miss yinz. ;)

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Amanda

    It looks great! I’ve been debating putting a picture ledge in our dining room, and this has finalized my decision!

  • Reply November 6, 2014

    Noelle

    I LOVE this! My one worry would be my 2.5 year old and 10 month old constantly knocking pictures off…. maybe I could find a place out of their reach!

    • Reply November 6, 2014

      Julia

      Our couch is 18+ inches away from the wall, so it’s really not in the path of little hands over here, but we’ve had a talk with Greta just the same.

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