DIYers all over Pinterest and elsewhere online have been coming up with fun ways to use picture rails for years. But when are commercial and high-end residential designers going to catch up?
What’s a picture rail? We won’t speak for wood and extruded metal rails (OK, we actually will in a bit.), but metal picture rail mouldings let you hang decorative items in style. Those decorations can be the usual artwork, but this article is about celebrating the obscure, too!
Prepared to be wowed by these five unique examples of picture moulding use. Just remember that if you want to stand out and present a high-end look, you should be replacing the wood rails in these images with metal ones!
5 Unique Uses for Picture Rails
A designer used a picture rail to stack layer several pieces of artwork in a Los Angeles design studio. As a result, the decorations look three-dimensional, artsy, a little messy, and very cool.
Note you can use picture rails to hang artwork from varying heights. If you want to move decorations up or down, simply lengthen or shorten the wire supporting your art.
(Maybe ditch the potty-mouthed French pillow, though.)
2. Shelf Life
You can take the idea displayed here and apply it to metal mouldings. Creating additional shelf space for houseplants, pictures, and lighting is never a bad thing.
You could even attach a shelf that runs the entire length of the wall. We’ve seen such a system in a Pottery Barn catalog that supported a chalkboard, plants, galvanized rusted decorations, a mail storage box, and more.
Now you’ve turned an aesthetic design into a functional one, too!
3. Weird Wire
To fit the motif of the artwork, this designer used rustic craft wire that resembles rough rope. It creates create a vintage, island-esque look.
As long as your metal mouldings have the trademark upper lip, you can use whatever material you want to hang art (provided it’s strong enough to hold it). You can order hooks in a variety of metal or other styles, from the plain and unobstructive to the ornate and showy.
4. Blend It In
You could try painting the walls the same color as your metal moulding. This sameness in color lends a unique feel to a room.
Or maybe you can match the picture rail color to the wall instead! Metal lends itself to more color than you think. The red metals (bronze, copper, brass) offer a wide palette of colors, especially if you intentionally age them for that blue-green patina effect.
5. The Bedroom Dresser
Thinking picture rail for your next residential design? Turn one into a makeshift dresser!
Since you can hang pretty much anything from a picture moulding, mirrors, jewelry, clothes, and even purses are possible. The uses of metal mouldings are only limited by your imagination.
Metal picture rails are sold in very few places in the United States. Most companies that do sell them are offering very generic and commodity-type products. A large majority of them are made from extruded aluminum. They’re mass-produced and a bit cheap-looking.
But you can open a door of possibilities by using one of the many different, more extravagant metal moulding varieties:
- Stainless steel
Using a moulding over an extruded piece lets you pair an ornate profile with that luxury metal. These rails are great for museums and art galleries, but also can class up a high-end residential project.
Customize Your Design
We offer the ability for you to customize an order of metal picture rails. After all, no two projects should look alike, right?
If you need to get a clearer picture of what a metal moulding can look like, read our countdown of the top 10 moulding profiles. Or, if you want to see and feel a metal moulding for yourself, click the graphic below to request a sample.
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