When we lived in England, our home had picture rails mounted on every wall in the lounge (living room) and dining room and on at least one wall in each bedroom. At first, I thought it was odd. But, the walls were made of concrete covered with layers of plaster so when I tried to hang a picture by drilling a hole and sinking a plug, I almost broke the masonry bit, the plaster kept chipping off, and it was a big mess.
I purchased some equipment to hang my pictures from the rail at my local hardware store and hung my artwork. It was the easiest thing ever!
The following post (updated since it was originally published in 2007) talks about the ease and versatility of the picture rail system, something that I will install in our next home.
My father is a wildlife photographer. As his daughter, I have free access to his always expanding portfolio. I do not, however, have an always expanding supply of wall space to display my collection of his work.
To solve my conundrum and to keep my collection from getting out of control, I decided to turn the walls of the first floor of my house into an art gallery.
I started the project by installing an art gallery hanging system along the top of my walls. Cables slide into the tracks, and pictures hang from hooks that attach to the cables. I can hang multiple photographs on the wall at once, in any configuration, without having to hammer a single nail.
I currently have enough of his photographs that I can change the artwork on the first floor of my house three times a year. It does take some time to switch out the frames–I only have one set of frames that I use–but on the whole it is a pretty quick process. When the photos are not hanging on the walls, I store them in glassine envelopes inside an archival storage box. Having a limited number of pictures out at a time and the others stored safely in a small storage container keeps my collection of my father’s artwork uncluttered.
If you’re someone in a small space or who has a large artwork collection, you might want to consider installing an art gallery hanging system in your home. The system certainly worked for me.