Years ago, picture rails were the norm for homes, mainly because the ceilings were higher, walls were much tougher and it was easier to hang hooks from rails than it was to constantly knock holes in the walls each time you wanted to hang a picture. Then homes became smaller, walls became weaker and the functionality was replaced with the damage control decor of the dado rail.
If you don’t know, a picture rail has grooves on the top so that hooks can be placed on them and hanging wire used to hang the pictures from the rails, rather than anchor them to the wall. A dado rail though; that’s usually placed in the centre of walls and usually for aesthetic purposes. While it looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye, it has a function and that’s to stop your furniture damaging the walls.
Only huge mansion style homes can cope with a dado rail and a picture rail. Modern homes don’t have high ceilings, or at least not high enough to accommodate a picture rail and a dado rail.
Would you rather have a dado rail protecting your walls, or a picture rail to add character to your home?
The dado rail will add to the decor once, whereas the picture rail can add to the character of your home by letting you display all your family photos, swap them without knocking nails into the wall, and avoid the most horrendous thing that can happen to your home…
Becoming Immune to Family Photos
Think of the last time you redecorated any of your rooms. Chances are that you changed a picture or two, or perhaps an entire gallery.
The photos you hang on your wall, you see every day. They should make you feel happy. When they stop doing that, they’ve become a part of your furnishings and just there, bringing no real pleasure to you.
Pictures can lose their emotional impact when you see the same thing every day. If you’re looking at the same half dozen baby photos every day, they eventually lose the emotional impact. The same can happen with inspirational quotes you’ve turned into a nice piece of framed art – after a while, you stop noticing it.
When you stop noticing your family photos or your old favourite work of art, your prints have become clutter and you’re losing part of the character of your home.
With a picture rail in place, you can prevent the immune travesty from occurring.
The Only Three Components You Need
- The picture rail
- The picture rail hooks
- Hanging wire, or cord
The contours in picture rails vary so you need to be careful that you get your rails and hooks at the same time, or buy the hooks you plan on using first so you can match that to the contours of the rail to make sure they will work together. If you get the rail first, you may find it difficult finding a hook that fits perfectly into the contours to secure it in place.
When you have the rails and hooks, the last part is the wire to suspend the frames from the rail. There are three different ways you can use the wire:
- Attach the wire to the centre of the frame and hang it straight down. This can cause you problems because the frame will angle forward and possibly swing around so you will have to adjust it frequently to keep it balanced and hanging straight.
- A more secure method is using D rings attached to either side of the frame, placed two thirds down from the top and attach it to two hooks.
- Use a decorative cord for some added grandeur. You can use the D rings as mentioned above, but only hang it from one hook creating a triangle shape from the decorative cord, or even chains for even more effect.
The rail, you only need to put it up once, but once that’s done, you can reorganise entire displays, change the wires for decorative cords, alter the way the frames hang down and adjust different heights to create a variety of different gallery displays. You may surprise yourself with some of the creative displays you create.