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Picture Rails & The Art of the Gallery Wall

Get inspired with our editors’ favorite picture rail treatments to master an artfully-curated backdrop with the perfect pieces.
Gretty Garcia Feb 10, 2021
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Whether you’re moving into a new home or thinking of ways to instantly refresh your space, one of the most daunting design moments is when you stare at a blank wall and wonder how you’ll fill it. That’s where the picture rail comes in. This term refers to a horizontal piece of molding that is perpendicularly affixed to a wall and serves as a propping tool for an array of artwork. Curate your ultimate gallery wall vis-à-vis the concept of the picture rail and use it as a stylistic tool to help layer and organize your art collection with added dimensional impact. Channel a bevy of different vibes, from eclectic to modern, and build in the versatility to swap out pieces of art if you want to tap a different vibe or aesthetic. Cull inspiration from our editors’ favorite picture rail looks and their edit of hyper-chic images and frames to style them to perfection!

Stairway

Picture Rail_Story Image_1
Photo courtesy of @dejabluedesign

Colorful

Picture Rail_Story Image_2
Photo courtesy of @andobjects

Eclectic

Picture Rail_Story Image_3
Photo courtesy @dejabluedesigns

Monochrome

Picture Rail_Story Image_5
Photo courtesy of @hubertzandberginteriors

Modernist

Bold

Picture Rail_Story Image_6
Photo courtesy of @fawninteriorsstudio

Minimalist

Picture Rail_Story Image_7
Photo courtesy of @livingbylo

Black & White Photography

Black-and-white photography looks both elegant and dynamic on a picture rail as it possesses an anachronistic quality that renders it virtually timeless. Gritty, classic, and directional are all apropos ways to describe black-and-white photography. Since the advent of mass-produced color film, which initially made everyone think that black-and-white images would fall out of fashion, duo-chromatic renderings remain as popular as ever. Given that they incorporate the same hues, a range of images, from contemporary geometric patterns to portraits and landscape images, they are able to seamlessly mix-and-match without clashing. The perfect option to dress any picture rail is an edit of black-and-white photographs that is guaranteed to instantly elevate your space.

Vintage Abstract Art

Adding a vintage look to your home requires a keen eye and flair for styling charming accoutrements. One of the easiest ways to master this home decor aesthetic is by taking advantage of your picture rail to incorporate a storied, timeworn vibe with vintage-inspired pieces. Whether it’s a still life of a portrait sculpture of Clyde Singer, or, a lyrical and minimalist painting on a loose grid, the tones of these pieces tap into a romantic vibe that stands the test of time and serves as a perfect zoom backdrop.

Family Photos Printed And Framed

Artifact Uprising helps to “create joy by helping you honor the meaningful moments in your life through printed photo gifts, books, and more. “With a focus on high quality and sophisticated design, the brand underscores the permanence of what matters most: your loved ones.” An ecocentric ethos lies at the forefront of the company, which uses recycled papers and reclaimed materials across its product line, which is expertly made in the United States. Adding portraits to a picture rail edit instantly adds a personal touch to any space. Whether it’s childhood images, friendship portraits, or family group pictures from holidays, this ultra-personalized approach remains one of our editors’ favorites.

Gretty Garcia
Gretty Garcia handles features and special projects at Editorialist, and covers all things from exciting new releases to profiles on prolific figures across multiple industries. After studying at Harvard College, she began working at Editorialist and is now simultaneously pursuing her master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism. When she’s not covering this season’s must-have accessories, she’s adding to her book collection or listening to culture podcasts.
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