A picture rail is like an easier version of a gallery wall. Today you are going to learn how to style a picture rail using vintage finds!
Picture rails are one of my favorite ways to display vintage art and decor. Using picture rails in your home allows creativity and expression, creating a display that is one-of-a-kind and can be re-arranged easily. Find inspiration here today on how to style a picture rail using vintage finds!
Why Picture Rails?
Sometimes, in a home, you need a unique way to display pieces. Regular old shelves or side tables might feel too stuffy, mundane, or just plain boring. When trying to create a home that is distinct to you and your definition of home, think about how you could use things in a different way. Incorporating the use of picture rails on a large wall may be able to help you achieve that distinctive look.
Picture rails also tend to be on the modern side in terms of how they look. Typically you will see very clean, simple lines in basic colors such as black, white, or stained wood. Using picture rails is an easy way to blend modern and vintage in your home.
Picture rails themselves are typically made out of wood or metal. My husband and I actually made the picture rails you see here out of lumber, metal brackets, and screws. There are many online tutorials that you can watch if you would like to build your own.
The Purpose Of Picture Rails
Simply put, picture rails allow you to display many pieces in a creative way without sacrificing floor space. Think of how an actual gallery wall looks in space. There is usually a plethora of art, pictures, macrame, and a host of other pretty pieces. Picture rails allow you to not only display art but decor and vintage pieces as well.
Styling A Picture Rail
When it comes to styling a picture rail, the beauty about it is that are no rules. My suggestion would be to lay out all the pieces on the floor that you would like to use on the picture rail and then just start arranging. Keep moving your decor around until you are happy with how it looks.
There are three different picture rails in my house and they are all completely different. Here are some creative ideas to try with your picture rail.
If you have collected many vintage art pieces over the years, picture rails are a fantastic way to display those. It doesn’t matter if the art is all different styles or color schemes or frames or sizes because the rail itself will make all of the art feel cohesive. As you can see above, there is a vintage needlework next to an oil painting which is next to a fancy gold frame. Having variety is what makes the rail interesting to look at and will, more often than not, become a statement in your home. Sometimes you might want a change and picture rails make it simple to switch out your art, which I often do, especially seasonally.
Collected vintage home decor pieces look stunning on a picture rail. Whether you have a collection of one specific style or various decor pieces, picture rails allow you to display these in a cohesive way.
I have devoted one of the picture rails in my house to displaying my vintage milk glass and Jadeite collections. Those two colors combined together paired with the vintage look of the glass adds so much character to the living room. If you are looking to add texture and height, try incorporating faux greenery by sticking branches into small jars or vases.
For another option, instead of taking up floor space with a side table, you can utilize a small part of the rail to hold a light or lamp. This not only helps with lighting in your space but also emphasizes the vintage decor.
A Combination of Art and Decor
You can absolutely mix art and decor together on a picture rail! That’s what adds interest and gives your home character.
There is a vintage water spritzer displayed amongst my vintage art, adding color and texture to the display. You could try using half art and half decor or more decor and a couple of art pieces. Play around with what you have and eventually you will land on a combination that speaks to you.
Items that hold special meaning to you work beautifully as well, such as these fishing lures that my husband has on his picture rail.
One Final Note
Finally, I just wanted to point out the wood stains of the picture rails shown in this post. If you look at the grey stain, it feels light and airy. The darker stained rail feels moody and heavier. My point is to pay attention to the color of the picture rail besides what you are putting on it because that really sets the tone for the whole piece.
I hope you found inspiration here today on how to style a picture rail using vintage finds. May it be a source of encouragement for you and your home.
Comment below and let me know if you would like to try this and what you would display on it!
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