Swoon Day: Ledges and Shelves

Swoon-Day, Swoon-Day, Swoon-Day (think Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!)

I’m starting a new series here at Tell’er All About It: Swoon Day!  It’s a day when I just swoon about one thing swoon-y-rific, whether it’s a picture that has me totally inspired or an idea that I’ve heard and just think is too special not to pass on to my readers.  It might be something I’ve already done.  It might be something I’m dying to try!  The sky’s the limit and when we’re in hibernation reno mode (like we are right now), it’s a fun topic to get all swoon-y about (bring on the smelling salts!).

My very first swoon?  Ledges!  Oh, you had at me at hello!  I have six ledges throughout my house and at two feet apiece, the possibilities are practically limitless for decorating!  I purchased them years ago from Pottery Barn and I absolutely adore them, but everybody is selling them.  I’ve seen them at Pottery Barn, Target, Ikea, Ballard Designs, Crate and Barrel, Macy’s, etc, etc.  They come in dozens of sizes, colors, and styles.  And why wouldn’t everybody want to sell these beauties?  They’re crisp, stylish, and I love how they corral knick-knacks, mementos, and even pictures into one organized spot all while bringing a little bit of architecture and charm to a space.  Here are a few examples of how I have used ledges in my decor in the past and all apologies to the quality of pictures!

Ledge Idea #1:  Display a Collection!

Ok, ignore the Big Top Circus color scheme.  I was younger and more daring, okay?  But I actually came up with this idea purely on my own and, aside from having to purchase the ledges themselves and frames, this was a relatively inexpensive DIY project!  It goes without saying that Dr. J and I are band nerds at heart; he played Alto Sax and I played Clarinet – he’s oversaxed and I’ve got a blowstick, but whaddya gonna do?  But back to the decor – those instruments actually belong to us and are antiques, so they’re really special to us.  The sax is a vintage 1920s Alto Sax made of silver and the clarinet (broken in two pieces so it wouldn’t fall on our heads while we were watching TV – ouch!) is an old wood clarinet that actually belonged to Dr. J’s grandfather!  Since we both had storage bins filled with sheet music, I just inserted a few copies of music that we actually played just for a personal statement on our former lives, which is much less obvious than, say, plastering your walls with old band photos and posters.  Not a musician?  No problem!  Try corraling like-themed items, say pottery pieces, plates, baskets, clocks, or any other collection that you have that’s just gathering dust.  I was in an Antique Shop recently and I saw a whole table filled with old box cameras and thought what a fun decor item if you’re in love with photography!  A lot of these ledges come with plate rails as well, so throw your favorite dishes up there for a fun colorful statement!  I’m not typically a fan of “collections” because they can sometimes just be magnets for dust bunnies and clutter, but paring down your collection to a few shelves or ledges makes it feel crisp and personal without overwhelming a space.

Ledge Idea #2:  Corral all of those itty-bitty frames we like so much!

I love photos.  I love framed photos.  But I dislike very much disorganized clutter!  Enter a couple of decorative ledges and you’ve got all of your photos on display (without the pesky step of having to hang every single one) and they really feel less chaotic than a fridge covered in family pics or a piano topped with a thousand small frames.  This display was was *all* black and white photos mostly of my family members/ancestors and one or two of Dr. J and myself.  None of the frames matched, but that was part of the charm of it!  They all sort of had the same tone (most of them were silver or silver-y save one pop of red) and for the purposes of display this totally worked.  The thing I loved most about this display was that it took a bunch of smaller un-matched frames that could have been potentially viewed as clutter and displayed them in a streamlined, cohesive and jumble-free manner.  And if you don’t have the patience to pull of this beauty:

…then perhaps this is just the project for you!

Ledge Idea #3: Dishes are pretty to look at as well as eat off of!

Old house ledges in the background

The same ledges above the same hutch in the new house

You’re basically looking at the same display but two different houses (the above photo is while I was prepping for a party at our rental house and the photo below is a picture of the same hutch re-fab-u-lized and brought to the new house).  I only included both just to show you how amazing that hutch transformation really was!  Love it!  Ok, I’ll stop gloating now!  I love this display as well because it definitely brings a sense of formality to both spaces, which works great in a dining room (rental house) and a family room that also has to serve as a formal living space (new house).  Since we’re all about casual elegance at Tell’er All About It, we prefer the lower-profile hutches to the really tall china cabinets.  But a lower profile means that there is an empty space above the hutch that needs some lovin’.  Enter two ledges stage right and not only is it pretty to look at, but it’s functional, too!  While I’m not typically a fan of open storage (too much dusting!) I think that keeping our beautiful wedding dishes cooped up in dark cabinetry is kind of a shame, especially since mine are such a neutral shade.  The dishes above are an off-white color (Lenox, Butler’s Pantry – j’adore!), so they go with absolutely everything!

So there ya have it!  Just a couple of ideas to get the juices flowing.  Now don’t go swooning too much over my cringe-inducing decor of old!  Let’s just focus on the positives with the new!  Go swoon, my friends!!

Swoon-day!  Swoon-day!  Swoon-day!

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