Monday, January 17, 2011

Lean On Me

Currently, I'm obsessed with picture frames leaning on the wall.  Whether it's on a shelf, side table, or picture ledges, I can't get enough.  I'm not sure you've noticed or not:




I especially love the picture frames ledges I bought at Ikea that are over the guest room bed.  They are so simple (and cheap!), and they provide a huge impact when you want to display many photos, but don't want the whole wall to be filled. 

I thought of these when trying to decide how to fill the void that is our living room wall:


Both the wall behind the chair, and the adjacent wall behind the TV felt very lonely to me.  I felt like a genius when I thought to create a corner picture frame ledge.  Brilliant, right?  Well, apparently Pottery Barn thought so too:

Via Pottery Barn

They might have thought of it first, but I was going to make it better.  I mean, spending less than $576 is already making it better in my book, (yes, that's the price I would pay for the dimensions I wanted).  So, I went back to my tried and true friend Ikea for more picture ledges.  At $15 a pop, I figured I'd be safe with 6, which turned out to be perfect.  I also picked up a cart load of frames knowing that if they didn't make it on the ledges, I could find somewhere else to put them.

Before I could even start shopping I had to get the okay from the boyfriend.  Of course he thought I was crazy, but I decided to make him a little picture to show him what I was going for:


Yes, I uploaded a picture into Paint and used a paintbrush to draw shelves and picture frames.  You can be impressed of my mad skills, it's allowed.

To start the actual project, I started by taping out where I thought I'd like the ledges to be along the wall.  I eyeballed it, and added pieces until I got the final lengths. 


We used the 6 store bought ledges to get the desired lengths.  I then had the handy boyfriend miter the edges to 45° to fit nicely in the corners. 


He then added biscuits to give the joints extra stability.  Although you should glue these joints together, then wait about an hour before mounting, the 40° weather didn't allow for this step.  Yes, something we figured out after gluing and waiting an hour.  We figured the biscuits would be enough to keep the joints from shifting after we mounted them.





After the biscuits, we took everything inside, made sure our lines were level, then mounted the shelves.  It really was that easy.  The shelves come with pre-drilled holes, so as Mike held the shelves in place, I handed him the tools and he got it done.






The only problem we had when retro-fitting the pre-made shelves were the seams didn't always line up exact.  If we didn't live in a 83 year-old house, this might not have been an issue, but our plaster walls are far from smooth.  But that's what gives them character right...right?


A quick once over with the Sharpie and the noticeable seams were no more.


Add some of my Ikea picture frames, and the project was complete.  Now, like half of the frames in my house, I just have to figure out what to put in the frames.

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