Why Don't You: Hang a Picture Ledge

Now that our house is in a more comfortable place, I'm turning my focus back on to the site (redesign almost done! huzzah!) and to my design business. I've picked up a couple new clients this month that I'm excited about. I flew to New York last week to meet with one of them and to help the other style her home after a big move. One of them has about a million framed family photos - and they are beautiful! So homey and personal. None of them are formal portraits, just sweet candid shots, lovingly blown up and framed. I came home inspired to tackle the monumental task of sorting and organizing and printing our favorite family photos. (still working on getting to that one!) :/
You all know I love a good gallery wall. I think it's a great way to display a collection of art or photos that are different, but work well together. I've been thinking of other ways to display family photos besides the traditional nail-in-wall method (something like my friend Emily's picture rails), and I am finding myself so drawn to picture ledges that look like these below - simple, mostly monochromatic, and really artfully curated.

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IKEA sells a simple 4' ledge for only about $15. It would be so easy to make your own version too, with a few pieces of glued and pinned together lengths of wood.

I really love India Hick's family photo ledges in her dining room. I'd love to do something similar in our dining nook. It makes me happy to think about seeing all the faces of people we love and have been inspired by every day, at every meal! And what a great conversation starter for dinner guests!

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Have you seen any cool/different ways to display family photos lately?

The Library Bookshelves!

If you've been reading LGN for practically any amount of time, you probably know that I love me a good bookshelf! In the past we've used a series of IKEA bookshelves to house most of our books (here's a link to the DIY arched version and the faux-built-in version). When we moved to this house though, I knew we were going to invest in something special for our library built-ins. I am SO happy with how these turned out! The shelves are pretty much the first thing we see when we walk in the door and they make me smile every time.

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I hired a local company called Classy Closets to build and install the insanely huge shelves (they are over 16' tall!). I learned about the locally-owned company first when I was helping my friend Caitlin Wilson work on a show house for the Street of Dreams in Gilbert. Show homes are a great way to discover local companies and I saw Classy Closets' work and was super impressed.

They were wonderful to work with them from the get-go. They have amazing in-house designers that can take care of everything if that's what you need/want, but they also love to collaborate with designers. They also offer trade pricing or commissions, which ends up being really helpful for big projects like this one, though I will say their pricing is incredibly fair for the great, fast work they do. And actually, Classy Closets is offering a huge give away right now for a $2000 worth of custom cabinetry (they do everything from closets to kitchens)!

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New Frames and Tiger Chest in the Library

I love coming up with ideas for inexpensive but still good-looking framing options (I included a link list at the bottom of this post), but sometimes it's fun to drop off art at a framers. I happened to noticed a couple of really pretty gold frame moldings at Michaels that were on clearance a few weeks ago.

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I found both of these paintings at local junk and thrift stores in the past year since we moved here and I LOVE them both! The colors and subject matters are so beautiful to me, and they were both pretty inexpensive, so it was worth it to spend some money on pretty frames (I think the smaller one came up to about $45 and the larger was $75).

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I have them hung over my favorite tiger chest (that was a Housing Works find in the city) in our front room/library area.

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I wanted to keep all the colors in the same family here and I love how they all work together with the color of the new curtains too.

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The Sonneman lamp was a recent purchase I got during a work trip at Olde Good Things in New York. The metal sphere is from CB2. The girls pretend it's some sort of gazing/crystal ball situation. It's pretty unbreakable, so I mostly just think it's hilarious when I find it in the playroom at the end of most days. :)

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The leaning abstract was another vintage find. There is some sort of interesting back story about the artist, whose name is simply Harley, but I don't know much about him. Antique Gatherings in Scottsdale has a ton of his work right now though. I'm sure it was an estate purchase.

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I love this little spot in our home. :)

And as promised, here's a list of some cheap framing/matting options:

DIY Frames from Bigger Frames (photos below)
$4 Giant Prints and Mounting on Foam Board
Antique Prints in IKEA Frames
"Gold Leafing" Old Frames with Markers and with Legit Leaf
Adding Hand-Drawn Lines to Existing Matting
Bias Tape Designs on Matting
Colorful Mats

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Win $1000 of Jewelry from Gemvara!

Earlier this year Michael and I celebrated our 10th anniversary together! So crazy, right? I wanted a new band to add to my wedding rings stack (which includes my original wedding band and a band Michael got me for our five year anniversary). For this anniversary, I picked something out myself and I customized this beautiful ring in black diamond and yellow gold from Gemvara. I recently remembered that diamond (including black diamond) is the 10th anniversary stone, so that totally worked out!

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I love the new the mix of stones and metals in my stack. Lately I've just been wearing my wedding bands alone and leaving my engagement ring for the days I'm not doing any hard labor. :)

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Gemvara was kind enough to reach out and offer up a $1,000 gift certificate this week! So exciting, right? I was invited to curate a whole collection for their site. Below are a few of my favorites, and you can view the rest of my picks HERE.

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Gemvara is wonderful company made up of NYC-based jewelry artisans. Each piece is hand-crafted and made-to-order in less than two weeks. Every style is available in over 20 different natural gemstones and nine different precious metals. They totally guarantee your satisfaction with their beautiful pieces - everything can be returned (even engraved pieces!) for 101 days! They really do a great job of making the whole process simple - I was choosing between a few band styles for my new ring and they have a ton of photos of every piece from all different angles that helped me to narrow it down. It took a lot of the guesswork out of buying jewelry online.

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To enter to win $1,000 credit to Gemvara:
1) Click HERE to sign up.
2) Browse around the site.
3) Leave a comment on this post with a piece on the Gemvara site that caught your eye (how will you ever choose!?!).

The giveaway ends on August 27. Good luck!

ALSO! Gemvara is giving LGN readers 15% off orders placed in the next 72 hours! Click here for the discount, no code needed!

This give away was sponsored by Gemvara. Thank you for supporting the companies that help keep LGN running! :)


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