By Steven V. Philips –
Here at fabulous Chez-Philips you probably expect that we have “people” to do things, knowing the male resident’s genius for directing. But alas, “people” would be the humble husband homeowner delegated to improve things around here.
Reclining in the hammock, this “people” recently got to thinking about the goofy trend of kitchens loosing their upper cabinets. Why this trend? More wall space for those overpriced back-splashes? What else to do with these new blank walls?
Unable to focus properly on this conundrum, I rolled over in my hammock and got onto a new topic as to why our kids are lucky enough traveled extensively while I’m still cleaning leaves out of gutters in my dotage. Rome, the Caribbean, Hanoi, and so on. But do photos of the Trevi Fountain, wide beaches or Colonial French architecture ever show in our emails? N-o is the correct answer. Do these beautiful photos ever get enlarged, printed and framed for home decor? They should be.
Now, go back to the newly available space on those kitchen walls. Think, hey, a photography art gallery here. Possibly photographs of meals you prepared or places you’ve been. Great veggie photos or original paintings or collections of heirloom plates you bought on vacation.
How to physically display them and maybe rotate the art show? Picture rails are the answer. You mount two or several of these rails on a kitchen wall and instantly you’ve got space for a kitchen art gallery. One rail version is about an inch and a half wide shelf with molding under, thus supporting it to give some horizontal mass. Or the rails could be heavier in scale. The rails could be wood, metal, acrylic, whatever. But, I’ve mostly seen wooden rails.
Picture rails look good anywhere. Why not the kitchen? Try frames of various sizes, colors and contents. Layer then for a really cool installation. Or select a monochrome scheme and use the same frame shape for all. Get creative.
You can custom craft your own picture rails, but it’s easier and just as inexpensive to browse the aisles of Pottery Barn, Target or some big box stores. You can also buy them online.
But, if you want to make your own thus showing some creativity, you could craft them with molding found at any lumber yard. Use one-inch wide pine lath for the horizontal. For the supporting molding, make sure it’s consistent with your home’s trim. Glue those two beauties together for rigidity and mass. Install more than one rail. Vary the lengths. Paint or stain.
If you have just a single rail, where does it hang? The center of what sits on it should be at eye level. Not the shelf itself at eve level. If two shelves, average them out. If 27 shelves, send me airfare and I’ll do it to ease your pain.
Don’t fear using 8” x10” or 11” x 14” photos/prints. Or even a bit larger. And don’t limit yourself to paintings or photos. Plates, framed old maps, platters, framed menus from famous restaurants. You’ll definitely need more than one rail. If you need specifics on the physical way to hang them, send a self addressed envelope with $300 in unmarked bills for the details. I typically don’t roll out of this hammock for less.
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