Picture Rails

Wallpaper above the pic rail

Last weekend, we inspected an “older-style” 3 bedroom, single storey house for rent. It had been updated and the master bedroom boasted THREE sets of French doors and a courtyard. I was sold. So the application went in on Monday, I bought a rug for planned daughter’s room on Tuesday and found out yesterday (Wed) we didn’t get it… so the rug had to be returned. (Yes, yes, it was premature.)

I am disappointed.. didn’t realise how much until the agent called with the bad news.

Anyway. This inspection got me thinking about picture rails (it was everywhere). Most rentals in Australia don’t allow tenants to paint (or hang pictures). This place had light coloured walls from the 80s and dark brown stained picture rails. So they stand out a mile.

Interesting way of hanging artwork off pic rail

‘Course, if you owned such a place, you could do one of a few things. Nicole of Making it Lovely demonstrated a few options with paint/wallpaper above and under the rails different colours.

So I trawled through my files, magazines, blogs-on-left-menu and Flickr for inspiration. I didn’t find many! Here’s what I found:

Nicole from Making it Lovely evidently has picture rails in many rooms too and she has varied her method for hanging, which is nice:

pinklovesbrown on how she uses herpic rail

Martha Stewart makes the fishing line/string an architectural feature:

Beautiful hanging same size of artwork off pic rail

Softening the look by ribbons ala Martha Stewart:

Interesting way of hanging artwork off pic rail

Ignoring the picture rails (using it purely as architecture detail) and playing with paints and wallpaper:

Wallpaper above the pic rail

Wallpaper above the pic rail

I still find them to be messy… maybe we can convince owners to allow us to paint. (Or maybe not.)

Any other ideas/pics?

21 August 2007
25 August 2007



  1. Reply


    25 August 2007

    Bummer about not getting the place! I know how you feel. Took me six months to find a suitable roomy rental… it does happen eventually though- and ours has picture rails too. (in Mont Albert).

  2. Reply


    26 August 2007

    heh, what did you do to your picture rails? did the owner allow you to paint? yes we’ve beeen looking for yonkers for a place to rent too… buying in Melbourne (and then not getting the house snatched away by banks with the increasing interest rates) is not a possibility without selling body parts.

  3. Reply


    11 September 2007

    Had any luck on the house-hunt front? Regarding our picture rails – sorry to take so long to check back in but child has just learned to crawl and climb, so the computer and I hardly get to talk anymore – I’ve gone crazy hanging pictures everywhere possible – making little visual tableaux all over the place… Great fun and quite a rare treat in rental accommodation, so I’m making hay while the sun shines. (There are no rails in my bedroom though, so that’s a minimalist haven.)


The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

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