DIY picture ledge shelves

Things are always changing and evolving around our home.  It's part of what I love about decorating. I like to change things up as my style changes and I also tend to tweak things after living with them for a while.  That was the case with this wall in our living room.  There was nothing really wrong with it, but I knew it could be better.  This wall is pretty large and I felt like the shelves were getting lost on it.  I also wanted to be able to pack as many family photos on this wall as possible since it's one of the few spaces we have for photos. 

So here's what it looked like before, not bad but like I said, could be better.  

I also felt like the bottom shelf was just a tad too high and it always sort of bugged me.  I knew I wanted the new shelves to be long, really long.  Like 12 feet long.  So I called my brother in law who happened to be itching for a wood working project and asked him to make me some new shelves.  He graciously agreed.  I had him make the shelves deeper than my original shelves as well so I could layer some of the frames.  There are lots of tutorials out there for these types of shelves and they seem fairly simple to make.  (This one from Ana white looks similar) Home Depot or Lowes will cut the wood to size for you and all you have to do is screw the boards together.  My brother in law also added some wood glue for extra stability.  In case you are interested in making some of your own, he used poplar wood so it would be more straight but any type of wood would work really.  He used 1" x 3" boards for the back, 1" x 4" boards for the bottom and 1" x 2" boards for the front piece.  And all of them were 12 feet long.      

I chose to paint the shelves the same color as our walls (Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray) for a more seamless look.  I wanted the pictures to get the attention, not the shelves.  And here's what it looks like now.

It really is amazing what a difference it makes, especially in person.  That wall feels so much more substantial now and we have room for so many more pictures.  You may have also noticed the chairs are different.  We switched them out after a few people bumped their heads on the lower shelves.  The higher backs on the new chairs eliminate that problem.  Plus we've had those chairs for several years and it was nice to have an excuse to change things up.     


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