photo ledges complete @
Decor, Our Apartments, Projects, Uncategorized

Putting Things on the Walls – Our Journey to Photo Ledges

Update:  We’ve been featured on Ikea Hackers!  Stroll on over to Jules’ blog to take a look!  And WELCOME fellow Hackers!

As I previously shared in this post, Bill had some interesting decorating ideas.  It was very ‘take from dorm, insert into apartment’ like.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to be Irish too, but I would rather display my pride in a way that doesn’t require thumb tacking a flag to my wall.

I’m a HUGE fan of the gallery wall look, like YHL’s Hallway.  But since we don’t have a huge space like a hallway, I was worried about just going for it like they did.  The space we were hoping to fill was above the couch, and something with a little more structure would be needed.  Then came Ashley’s fool-proof layout on 7th House.  She even labeled it to make it easy to know which Ikea frames to buy!

7th House Gallery Wall

So I showed it to Bill…. and he was not pleased.  His response? “It looks too girl-college-dorm-room-collage to me.”

College Collage Beth @
Yes, this is me circa ’09 taking a self-portrait that was supposed to also show off my ‘awesome’ collage wall above my desk Senior year. No big deal.

…So maybe he knows me a lot better than he realizes.  Haha!  So, he won’t go for a gallery wall – and though I typically will persevere and re-approach if I think his objections were just gut reactions or are not founded in realistic issues – but here he had a valid point.  If we had a full hallway of space to commit to  it, then maybe it would be different.  But we’re working with a small apartment, so a collage could read more like clutter too.  Maybe we could keep it sparse?

sparse artwork ugly @

Consider this image an example of what NOT to do.  We had made some map art and Bill was very excited to hang it, and while I was back in DC he snapped this picture of them.  It was better than a blank wall, but clearly not enough to fill the space.

And then, while browsing Ikea’s website, I found this PERFECT compromise for the space.

Ikea Inspiration

Using Ribba ledges we could create both vertical and horizontal space for displaying photos and artwork, AND it would allow us to switch things out and adjust them without having to put more holes in the wall, etc.

So after picking up a set of 3 ledges (and a few months of printing photos and collecting frames and creating artwork) we ended up with this:

photo ledges complete @

The photos and artwork we chose all revolve around our love for the Outer Banks and travel, as well as a nod to our geographically challenged ways.

On the left of the vignette we have a large print of the coast of the Outer Banks, with the lighthouses labeled.  It was actually a gift from Bill’s Grandmother when he first got the apartment.  Below that we have a trio of pieces, including a snapshot of us smiling on the beach, a nautical heart knot Bill made for me and mounted, and an image of the ocean-front beach house we rented with my family this past summer.

OBX Print @

OBX Print @

In the middle we re-hung the map artwork that was originally on the wall, with Pittsburgh, DC and Philly each represented.

Map Art @

On the right side, top ledge we have a trio of images I snapped featuring the spiral stairs and black-and-white flooring of the Cape Hatteras Light, as well as the sunset I captured while we were enjoying a date night at Avon Pier.

Cape Hatteras Light Stairs @ BandBBuildALife.comCape Hatteras Light Stairs @

Finally, on the bottom right ledge we have a few more photos, including a self-portrait of us at Bodie Island Light and our first step into the ocean  as well as our National Parks Passport shadow box.

Cape Hatteras Light Stairs @

The beauty of going with the ledges is that it is perfectly OK to still be a work in progress.  I could see a little collection of succulents (fake, as I somehow keep killing them) nestled in, or some additional seashells and starfish come summer time.  And for the holidays we can drape garland and ornaments along them too.

So that’s how we came to decorate the empty wall above our couch.  Now to get to the blank canvas next to the bed, in the dining area, the kitchen….

~ Beth

Linking to:
Made in a Day   button The 36th AVENUE

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